The theme of diversity and inclusion #DEI is today at the heart of organizational resilience, and is therefore a critical cross-functional topic for decision-makers and leaders of companies, departments, services and teams.
- Diversity encompasses all aspects that differentiate groups and individuals: age, gender, origins, disability, education, preferences. It aims to respect and value these differences.
- Inclusion refers to corporate practices that fully accept and treat different groups and individuals fairly, in order to benefit fully from the contributions of diversity.
- Diversity therefore creates a potential that can be realized through inclusion.
Climate change, economic crises, pandemics, changing consumer patterns or shifts in the way new generations perceive the “world of work” are just some of the elements that can dramatically affect the way an organization operates and survives. Organizational resilience is the organization’s ability to absorb and adapt to this unpredictability, while continuing to achieve the objectives it has set itself.
Diversity doesn’t always mean inclusion
Take recruitment, for example.
Numerous biases limit diversity, as recruiters tend to copy and paste stereotypes: specific educational background, target age or gender… and they sometimes have biases linked to their own beliefs or those of their internal customers.
Once this hurdle has been overcome, when an open mind is present and recruitment focuses solely on what will really make an impact, i.e. the technical and behavioral skills and motivation of the person chosen, diversity can be broadened.
For inclusion to be successful, however, the manager and his or her team will need to welcome this new person, allowing him or her to fully integrate into the team and contribute his or her individuality and specificity.
Then, supposing the new recruit is a manager, it’s possible that she herself will start to favor her ethnic group, her group… and through positive discrimination, slow down the inclusion process by shifting the barriers to entry onto other groups.
This example provides a good illustration of the key mechanisms involved in enhancing diversity and inclusion.
Lack of consideration
People from different social and ethnic backgrounds can often feel excluded, or face obstacles, particularly when it comes to internal promotions.
The difficulty of creating and then developing social ties will lead to a lack of networking and information sharing. As a result, there will be very few opportunities for greater responsibility.
These factors can give rise to a feeling of exclusion from the group, leading to demotivation and premature departures. What’s more, these mechanisms will deprive organizations of the richness of diversity.
Analysis via the components of organizational resilience
Modern international companies function as organic networks of teams connected via digital interfaces, where mutual understanding, collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and expertise are fundamental. Diversity and inclusion not only help to retain talent and increase motivation, they are above all the breeding ground whose richness will greatly enhance an organization’s ability to act.
Does the organization base its actions on shared values that promote diversity and inclusion? The organization’s ability to translate these values into expected behaviors will be crucial in fostering diversity and enabling the in-depth inclusion that will bind the team together and multiply its effectiveness.
Innovation and the ability to adapt to changes in our society are underpinned by the diversity of people within our teams, and the fluidity of their exchanges and skills. Here again, diversity appears to be a fundamental lever for the sustainability of organizations, a lever that will only be fully effective if this potential wealth is fully mobilized.
Leaders therefore play a fundamental role, as they are the master builders of this mobilization. Upstream, by encouraging the recruitment and integration of a variety of profiles, then by facilitating the deployment of this collective intelligence. This support includes sharing feedback to encourage expected behavior and transform inappropriate behavior.
Elements of proof
Through its studies, McKinsey never ceases to underline the very substantial impact on economic performance of in-depth work to develop Diversity and Inclusion.
Deloitte’s research also demonstrates the importance of these themes for any organization. Diversity and inclusion are essential drivers for transforming organizations, and thus increasing their resilience and performance.
Finally, the Boston Consulting Group puts forward 4 major reasons for working on these themes: talent retention, increased innovation, better financial results, alignment with investor expectations.
Fear is one of the most powerful brakes. At an organizational level, it alters the ability to face crises and reinvent oneself, by allowing strategies of withdrawal and standardization of recruitment profiles to unfold.
This search for certainty isolates us in a reassuring organizational comfort zone. Today, it’s time to dare to go beyond appearances and our beliefs and open up to diversity, because the development and survival of our organizations depend on it!
At Skillspotting, we offer you the opportunity to see where you are in the deployment of a Diversity & Inclusion strategy.
For example, you can view the male/female breakdown of your local managers, your middle managers and finally your general management. When you consider that mixed management teams achieve far greater results, it’s a state of affairs that becomes critical.
In the same way, you can analyze the breakdown of different populations by profession, by analyzing their composition, by age, gender, training background, origin… and thus measure your current diversity efforts by profession, by department, by site or by country.
We can also help you check that your managers have the right skills to support the growth of diversity, on the one hand, but also the development of inclusion, on the other. In this way, we analyze the mastery of technical skills such as the ability to give feedback, to make sense of action… and also behavioral preferences such as openness, listening or assertiveness.
In addition to these fundamental elements in the analysis of a DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) strategy, we enable you to go even further by visualizing the diversity, mobilization and distribution of all the skills held by the company. While gender balance is an important indicator, it is not a good predictor of performance. On the other hand, the skills balance and diversity indicator is a strong predictor of an organization’s resilience.
Finally, we enable you to reflect on the power of your organizational culture and, above all, on how well it matches the preferences of the people who make up your organization.