Inclusion is Key to Maintaining Diversity

While organizations have made a push to ensure diversity in hiring, many struggle to find a way to retain the talent they acquire. Some companies experience as much as 100% churn, making D&I the leakiest employee bucket. Part of the problem is that companies look at “diversity and inclusion” as if they occur in sequence—first diversity, and then inclusion. In fact, one could argue that inclusivity must exist before there can be true organizational diversity.

Inclusion is all about employees of various backgrounds feeling that they belong and are valued for what makes them unique. It’s about everyone having equal access to opportunities, being evaluated on actual performance rather than the opinions of others, and developing talent from within.

The truth is that when diverse employees are brought into an organization that lacks a culture of inclusion that makes them feel valued and respected, they tend not to stick around long enough for the company to reap the benefits of diversity.

Diversity and Inclusion Are a Demographic Imperative

Although race is only one of the dimensions of a diverse workforce (along with gender, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, and others), it is one of the most researched. The demographic shift that is already underway makes racial diversity in hiring and retaining top talent a more important goal than ever.

While 72% of the 76 million Baby Boomers are white, Millennials will soon comprise the largest segment of the working population in the United States, and only 56% of them are white.[1] By 2025, Millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce. [2] And their employment interests, expectations, and priorities are very different from those of Baby Boomers. Chief among these is their belief that diversity is essential for business growth and success.

Millennials have a different take on diversity than Baby Boomers who view it in terms of race, demographics, equality, and representation. Millennials see it as “a melding of varying experiences, different backgrounds, and individual perspectives,” and are looking for employment in “a company they can grow with, instead of out of.”[3]

AI Tools Can Help Employees Look at Employees Differently

The same AI tools that help companies hire diverse employees also eliminate bias in making decisions about deploying, managing, and developing a diverse workforce. Analyzing jobs and the qualities and the characteristics of top performers reveals the factors that are essential for success in a particular role. Such success profiles are powerful tools for matching current employees to opportunities that fit their talents and abilities, engage their interest, challenge their intellect, further develop their skills and knowledge, and enable them to advance within the organization.

For example, the success profile for an open position can result in a job posting that attracts diverse internal candidates who might not otherwise have considered it or even taken note of it. Basing the selection of an internal candidate to fill the position on the candidate’s “fit” with that success profile can bring diversity to the new role and aid in maintaining an inclusive work culture and environment.

In short, AI tools provide the basis for holding on to diverse employees who might otherwise seek opportunity elsewhere.




[3] Bridging the Diversity Disconnect: Charting More Inclusive Pathways to Growth; Association of National Advertisers Research Report