As a global company, diversity is one of our foundational pillars. At Proco Global, we ensure an unbiased assessment of candidates and present diverse shortlists. We encourage our clients to assess an individual based on merit, competency, attitude and whether this person can bring diversity of thought to a team. This article will explore some of the best ways to genuinely improve diversity in your team. We’ll also showcase a few examples of other teams that have successfully implemented authentic inclusion campaigns.

Diversity starts from the top

There are too many cases of companies with diverse workforces, but non-diverse management and leadership teams. As is with all desired attitudes, encouraging diversity and inclusivity effectively needs to come from the top-down. In order to present authentically, it makes sense that the management team of a company should reflect the diversity of its workforce.

But what does this mean? Diversity isn’t just more than one race, more than one gender, or more than one religion. Diversity is more than just ticking off different boxes of characteristics. It could come in different forms as well. For example, diversity in one company could refer to supporting parents of children with learning disabilities. It’s about thinking about how you, as an employer, can support them and their specific needs.

Diversity can mean a number of different things. But ultimately, diversity of thought seems imperative to the growth and success of a business. Making sure that implementing and retaining diversity is a core part of your management system is the best way to drive genuine progress. This may require looking outside typical industries or expanding your candidate pool. Whichever way you choose to pursue this endeavour, making sure that those at the top of your business are involved and seeking to reflect your diversity within your top team is of utmost priority.

Diversity improves business

Arguments have been made against the implementation of standardized, formal diversity campaigns and offices in businesses because some might think that ‘pushing’ diversity doesn’t actually add anything to a business other than brownie points. Over the last couple decades, there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that having a diverse workforce actually significantly improves the overall functioning of a business.

Frans Johansson introduced the concept of The Medici Effect in 2004. This notion argues that innovation is borne from diversity of disciplines and thought. It follows naturally that to maximise this effect requires diversity of backgrounds and socio-economic classes. A study performed by McKinsey demonstrated that companies committed to diverse leadership are ultimately more successful. In the United States, for example, there is a linear relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and improved finances.

Implementing genuine inclusion campaigns

Of course, the ultimate question here is how best to action your vision of inclusion. There are a number of changes you can make to help make this vision a reality.

One of the biggest ways to help defeat unconscious bias at the root of the problem is to utilise name-blind policies. This means asking candidates to amend their CVs to black out certain details. These may include name, gender, or any other distinguishing characteristics related to their demographic. This leaves a CV that is purely based on merit. This may already help the problem of unconscious bias at this stage.

Another way to aid this process is to amend your search process. Take more time, expand your candidate pool, and stay open to candidates from traditional industries. Meredith Brooks at Hasbro recommends “not always going to the same colleges and to your competitors for candidates. You might want to look to a different type of company, a different type of industry.” If you’re still not ending up with diverse shortlists, then it may be worth it to reassess the stipulated requirements of the role. This could perhaps attract candidates with a more unique set of skills that might end up more suited to the role in question.

If you still need help amending your hiring process to become more diverse and inclusive, get in touch with us at Proco. We’ll set you up with the right person to find you the right person.