- To increase the diversity of managerial and leadership teams, HR and diversity, equity and inclusion leaders need to address systemic bias embedded in their processes, according to a Gartner report, Advancing Underrepresented Talent: 3 Ways You Need to Reset Your Strategy, announced July 30. There are specific actions HR can take to reset current practices, Gartner found.
- Building healthy manager-employee relationships that include trust is essential. Teaching managers effective coaching to enhance personalized support of direct reports can build awareness of the experience of underrepresented talent as well as set a foundation for advocacy and advancement, according to the report.
- Creating accountability regarding opportunities for underrepresented talent to network with senior leaders is vital as well, Gartner said. It also recommended redesigning talent processes by exploring job design to accommodate diverse talent with different needs; analyzing how performance is evaluated; and considering nontraditional talent pools.
The greater majority (almost 90%) of HR leaders who responded to an April survey said they believed their organization has been ineffective at increasing diversity representation, a Gartner representative told HR Dive in an email. Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion (D&I) practices should continue, Lauren Romansky, managing vice president in the Gartner HR practice, said.
"COVID-19 and the transition to remote work has created a variety of change in talent processes already," Romansky said in a statement. "This is the opportunity to adjust talent processes to prevent non-compliance on D&I goals and ensure there are no opportunities for bias to occur."
Time's Up Foundation, an advocacy organization, called on employers to keep in mind the value of D&I even if financial hardship leads to layoffs. The Time's Up Guide to Equity and Inclusion During Crisis released May 27 suggested employers examine the impact on workforce diversity and create a task force composed of a cross-section of employees at all levels to advocate for employees when leadership makes decisions on layoffs and furloughs.
Some companies are creating D&I positions amid the pandemic. For example, Korn Ferry announced June 11 that Michael Hyter would become its first-ever chief diversity officer. Hyter previously told HR Dive that he views the role as "a strategic part of the structure of the business." And, Crowe LLP, a public accounting, consulting and technology firm appointed its first ever chief diversity officer, Chris Mitchell, April 9. To come through the COVID-19 crisis as "a better and stronger firm," a focus on D&I was "more critical than ever," Julie Wood, chief people officer at Crowe, told HR Dive in a previous interview.