Championing Diversity for Business Profits and Principles

When Jennifer Brown joined corporate culture in America, she had an exacting awareness of the minority status she was carrying. She wanted to break the shackles of ‘covering up’ her true self to please the larger masses.

What manifested was a brilliant example of what happens when diversity is at its best- in the form of the renowned speaker and award-winning entrepreneur- that she has become. Her experiences converted into invaluable suggestions and are now part of the book- Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change.

Past Imperfect. Present Continuous. Future Uncertain.

Silicon Valley is bearing witness to the prices at stakes of not adhering to the new rubrics of the new world order. As testified by the Uber CEO losing his face and credibility amidst accusations of sexual discrimination.

James Damore was fired from Google for his memo titled ‘Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber’ criticizing the efforts of gender balancing. The memo, which ascribed the inequalities in the industry to the inherent biological differences, earned quick backlash from the world and rebuttal from the CEO.

In the face of a new diversity head, Danielle Brown – Google can’t afford to go wrong when the rest of the world looks up at it for every inspiration. The company’s 2017 annual diversity report claims the women, Black, and Hispanic represent 36%, 14.4%, and 13.9% respectively of the total workforce. The progress has been steady but slow over the years since it has started making the demographics public.

Recently, Deloitte shunned the practice of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and other such affinity groups as their talent management strategy. These ‘out-groups’ were started in the past which seems anachronistic at present for the world of talent management. Reason being the people in such groups felt separated and never reached the top of the corporate ladder.

The Diversity Dilemma

To or not to implement diversity? This is the major dilemma global organizations in world of talent management are facing. While the frontiers of old practices seem to fall and fail easily, the new practices aren’t yet ready to be implemented. The HR departments are running from pillar to post just to get their talent management strategy right. A strategy which solves the issues of diversity and inclusion as well as earns business revenues.

The companies are still in the process of figuring out whether or not promoting diversity at the workplace, as a talent management strategy, is actually materializing into real profit figures on paper. In this difficult scenario, emphasizing the diversity inclusion benefits to the top managers seems empty.

How do you define minority today? The most exact depiction of the minority today is turning out to be ‘anyone who is not white and not male.’ This is not exhaustive and the aim of diversity inclusion is not alienating the majority. It’s a paradox in the world of talent management but any positive change to the minority issue has to start with the majority.