Leadership Teams Still Lack Diversity

For all the progress made in the workforce in recent years, the issue of diversity is still something that many companies continue to face.  That is true even for companies such as tech giant, Intel.  Recently Intel went public about its own lack of diversity among its employees. In an interview with NPR (National Public Radio), CEO of Intel Brian Krzanich discussed the company’s current diversity initiatives. One of the conclusions that Krzanich found is what is termed the “pipeline problem.” He found that the assumption that there simply aren’t enough qualified diverse candidates was largely inaccurate.

“If the pipeline was such a big problem, I would have come back as a failure,” he said.

Companies like Intel have set aside a part of its budget in order to target a more diverse pool of recruits at least for entry level positions.  More and more companies are following suit by launching their own diversity and have partnered with educators and surrounding communities to achieve their goals. They are also addressing the issue of diversity by training hiring managers about the effect of unconscious bias so that more diverse talent can be brought in.  Companies like Apple, which also took a hard look at diversity within their own workforce, now reports an increase of 50 percent in the number of African-Americans and an increase of 66 percent of Hispanics that it hired last year.

Even with a more critical eye toward the issue of diversity, Fortune reports that only 4 percent of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies were minorities and 5 percent were women. This lack of diversity within the workforce appears to be systemic and extends through the ranks of middle management as well.  Hispanics are at the head of senior management of a mere 4 percent and African-Americans account for less than 3 percent of listed S&P companies. According to the same study conducted by DiversityInc, women of color are almost completely absent from the equation.

Of course, the solutions to these problems have to come from within. Some of these solutions over the long term may be:

  • Ensuring that all levels of the organization have increased focus on diversity. If workers of color see only white men in positions of leadership, they are less likely to stay with that company if they see no path toward advancement in their career.
  • Putting mentoring programs in place where management is able to create relationships with minority employees so that they can be seen and recognized for their accomplishments and be able to organically rise through the organization.
  • Inclusion of young diverse talent in discussions within the company to create a more diverse culture that has a wide range of perspectives to add to the conversation. Consider having in place a diversity committee that is representative of all levels of the organization and work with these along with vendors and business partners to promote robust and transparent diversity initiatives. Conversations regarding flexible work schedules, religious holidays, childcare options and dress-codes that are diversity-friendly can go a long way to assuring employees that diversity is appreciated within the organization.

Diversity initiatives within any company often take committed and focused strategies before real change can be realized. At NetPEO, we understand the importance of having a robust and diverse talent pool. Diversity initiatives do increase an organization’s ability to recruit and retain employees and can better prepare them to meet the challenges of the future.

NetPEO along with our professional partners will be there to help you in addressing your company’s personnel needs. We offer a wide range of services which include payroll services, managing employee benefits, liability management for employers, brokerage services, and employee leasing.

Contact us today to discuss your company’s current needs and to schedule a free assessment.