By Janice Burns | Harvard Business Review | May 26, 2021
In my experience, many companies seeking to improve diversity and inclusion (D&I) in their organizations consistently make the same mistake. They look at addressing the symptoms of discrimination, rather than the root causes.
Executives assess demographic data about their company and make decisions about their D&I success by comparing it to a benchmark. If the numbers are low, they seek to “solve” the problem via talent acquisition or by fast-tracking promotions. This may boost their demographic figures temporarily, but the improvement typically doesn’t last. This is because they have artificially altered the employee demographic before assessing why it was skewed in the first place.
Unfortunately, the root causes of a lack of diversity are often systemic and cultural — and therefore not a quick fix. To ensure lasting change, organizations should measure how effective they are at creating an inclusive culture and workplace where all employees feel they can contribute most authentically.