In 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order 9981 to desegregate the armed services which some scholars cite as the first diversity initiative in the workplace.
In 1987, Secretary of Labor commissions Workforce 2000 – that is what many attribute as the beginning of the “Diversity Industry”.
Almost 40 years later, there is overwhelming evidence that diverse workplaces perform better. Publicly traded companies started increasing transparency on the topic mid 2010s, with Google releasing the first diversity report in 2014, and Intel revealing pay data across populations just last year.
While there is now more data, and that data is now more publicly available, transparency is only the first step in the journey. We now know that 80% of diversity and inclusion efforts fail. That’s with investing in unconscious bias training, harassment training, company wide policies.
So what can move the needle? It comes down to behavior.
Without people behaving differently, we’re going to experience the definition of insanity: repeating the same things and expecting a different result. So how do we break the cycle?
- We have to understand what success looks like for a role based on objective metrics. Not what the manager thought in the 2 weeks before the performance review. Not what two out of 45 peers thought at the one time of the year that the 360 is done. Objective metrics.
- We have to take a look at people differently, and we have to make it easy to view a wide talent pool based on the objective answer to “What does it take to be successful in this role?”. Beyond the keywords in their resumes, the names of the institutions they attended for education, or the “firmographics” aka past companies who hired them. We need to have a consistent view at behavior that drives performance.
- We need to have that behavioral view throughout the employee experience – so that internal career pathing is based on behavioral success for that role in this company, based on objective metrics.
- We need that view across the organization so that internal mobility is easy to operationalize.
This is possible today. Learn how understanding behaviors based on objective metrics moves the needle for diversity and inclusion, and download the 6 steps to understanding behavior at work here.