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Eyeing Diversity & Inclusion at EC19

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace isn’t just a hot topic these days but an enterprise mandate. A diverse workforce, businesses have come to understand, will provide differing perspectives and ideas that can improve overall performance as well as the ability to strategize and communicate.
In fact, as Matt Krentz, senior partner and head of diversity efforts at Boston Consulting Group, shared in a recent Harvard Business Review article, the firm’s research across 14 countries shows that 96% to 98% of large enterprises (more than 1,000 employees) are investing in diversity programs. Diversity problem solved, right? Well, not quite.
“[D]espite this investment, we’ve found that around three quarters of employees in underrepresented groups -- women, racial and ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ employees -- do not feel they’ve personally benefitted from their companies’ diversity and inclusion programs,” Krentz wrote.
In order to find out what companies should do to make progress, Boston Consulting Group surveyed more than 16,000 employees regarding which policies in place at their companies they find to be the most effective. The top-ranked enterprise diversity-related interventions are antidiscrimination policies that are “robust, well-crafted, and consistently followed;” training for employees around “increasing cultural competency;” and the deliberate removal of bias from decisions regarding employee evaluations and promotions, the firm found.
While there is no blanket approach for ensuring the efficacy of diversity initiatives, Krentz suggested that each enterprise tailor its interventions to its culture. “Employing both top-down approaches (for example, corporate-level training, programs to track promotion and pay across diversity cohorts) and bottom-up approaches (for example, measures to help managers think about who is invited to and runs important meetings) in concert typically leads to the best outcomes.”
Perhaps most critically, Krentz added, is the need to involve impacted employees in the crafting and assessment of diversity programs so that enterprises can better ensure they’ll work for its employees.
This is a thread we’ll be picking up at Enterprise Connect, in a Wednesday morning session featuring panelists:
  • Amy MacLeod, corporate diversity officer, Mitel
  • LaFawn Davis, global head of culture & inclusion, Twilio
  • Kari Mattek, senior director product management, Northwestern Mutual
These panelists will provide an overview of their companies’ diversity and inclusion efforts, and then we’ll discuss key questions about the value of such initiatives, how to get started, and things to look out for along the way. Please join me on Wednesday, March 20, at 8:00 a.m. for the session, “Eye on Diversity & Inclusion: Developing Talent & Teams.” I hope to see you there!
And also be sure to join us for related programming aimed at empowering women in communications, including our Women’s Luncheon featuring a panel of women IT professionals, a Women’s Networking Reception sponsored by Cisco, and an Enterprise Connect Theater session featuring women from enterprise IT and vendors.
If you haven’t yet gotten your pass for Enterprise Connect, coming to Orlando, Fla. March 18 to 21, there’s still time! Register today to save over the on-site price. No Jitter readers can get an extra $200 by using the code NJPOSTS at checkout.