As a manager/leader are you doing all you can to support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace?

We know the pay equity and diversity differential still exists. While the gap is slowly closing for some, unfortunately, for many, it is not.

A recent study from McKinsey & Company on representation shows that over the past nine years, women—and especially women of color—have remained underrepresented across the corporate pipeline. However, we see a growing bright spot in senior leadership. Since 2015, the number of women in the C-suite has increased from 17 to 28 percent, and the representation of women at the vice president and senior vice president levels has also improved significantly.

Female Manufacturing Leaders Collaborate

OSHA exposes further disparities within the construction sector, with Black and Asian workers comprising only 6.3% and 2.1% of the workforce, respectively. Despite a comparatively higher representation of Hispanic or Latinx workers, they are notably underrepresented in leadership positions. The gender imbalance is more pronounced than initially apparent, as only 11% of construction workers are female, predominantly occupying sales and administrative positions rather than roles in the trades.

The good news? Many companies are onboard to close the gap of equity in the workplace.

Mckinsey & Company also reported that 60% of companies surveyed have increased their financial and staffing commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the past year. Additionally, almost three out of four HR leaders emphasize the critical importance of DEI for their companies’ future success.

The study also found that companies with strong women’s representation across their pipeline were more likely to have the following DEI best practices in place that can benefit workplace environments across all industries:

  • Track outcomes to improve diversity and progression

    Tracking outcomes is common practice for most business initiatives and can also reveal where diversity is lacking in your organization. Metrics (by race, gender and self-reported identity) for hiring, promotions, attrition, participation in career development programs, performance ratings and employee sentiments can be collected with the appropriate data privacy protections in place. Evaluate the data for insights and most importantly use it for organizational change.

    Don’t be afraid to openly communicate your aspirations for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Sharing your goals can send a strong message to employees, letting them know they have support.

  • Support and reward “people” managers driving organizational change

    Give managers the direction and support they need to be good people and culture leaders. Creating a culture where DEI and employee well-being are top values and then measuring manager performance reviews based partly on their ability to integrate these values is critical. This can be accomplished by offering continuous learning opportunities for managers, focusing on fundamental DEI concepts and actionable steps they can implement in their daily practices.

  • Implement steps to end microaggressions

    Indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination is harmful to the employees who experience them. Organizations need to address microaggressions with openness and transparency and a zero-tolerance policy. Developing a code of conduct that describes supportive behavior vs unacceptable is a good first step as well as offering employee training to recognize where microaggressions can exist. Most importantly, create a culture where employees are encouraged to speak when they witness disrespectful behavior.

  • Refine Flexible Work Models

    Establish clear expectations so there are not conflicting interpretations of what’s expected. As part of this process, companies need to find the right balance between setting organization-wide guidelines and empowering managers to collaborate with their teams in crafting an approach that equally benefits both men and women.

About Lakeside HR Group

We are a premier full-service HR Consulting and Recruiting firm connecting people and businesses through personalized services. Our boutique firm of experienced HR professionals specializes in tailored HR services for small to midsize businesses. Our clients partner with us to find the best talent and support solutions to help their businesses thrive.

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