The phrase "diversity fatigue" refers to waning levels of interest or enthusiasm for diversity, equity and inclusion work, notably after the summer 2020 rekindled conversations about institutionalized racism in every facet of American life — especially business.
Last March, a majority of respondents interviewed by Hue said their company’s initiatives regarding equity for Black and Indigenous workers, and workers of color, had had not seen “meaningful progress” over the previous six months. This past April, research firm DDI reported that C-suite endorsement of DEI efforts had decreased over the past two years. Additionally, more companies reported not having DEI programs.
At the Diversity Fatigue Summit on May 18, data — both metrics and analytics — was positioned as a way to help HR professionals hold their leaders accountable for meaningful DEI progress.
Kostiantyn Gridin, Big Idea officer at summit organizer Global Inclusion Online Forum, asked panelists to dive into how to measure DEI success. One area of data collection and accountability is the performance review.
Traci Sanders, Vice President and Global Head of DEI at Verizon, explained that she just introduced leadership principles at her company, meaning that the C-suite is graded on how they foster inclusion.
“Based upon how they get rated, we have trainings and learnings that we can introduce to them, to help them further get on that continuum of being an inclusive leader. That's how we're using it. Not necessarily in a negative way,” Sanders added, but to give leaders another opportunity to excel.
Similarly, Lam Research Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity Antoinette Hamilton said that her company has added inclusion and diversity to its core values. “That's a strong subset of principles that we all live by, from a day-to-day standpoint,” Hamilton said, highlighting Lam’s inclusion index and engagement survey. It has three key pillars: inclusion, authenticity and equal opportunity, she said.
“People managers across the globe are measured against it, from the standpoint of the employee engagement survey,” she added. At the end of the survey cycle, people managers receive scores and can see how they trend against others. “It's really a nice benchmark,” she continued, saying that Lam’s DEI team also provides learning and development in that area.
In turn, Yetta Toliver, Xerox’s global head of diversity, inclusion and belonging, highlighted a different perspective to audience members: Don’t get too lost in the numbers.
“We're very steadfast on not looking to drive any sort of indication of a quota or you know, unnatural behavior,” Toliver said. Xerox’s approach is more about moving in alignment with goals. Along with setting up an executive leader mentorship program, DEC (diversity, equity and culture) are tenets that factor into executive compensation.
Leaders are “directly compensated for the work that they're putting in — that will obviously drive the outcome that we're looking for,” Toliver said.