What are diversity and inclusion, and how are they implemented in organizations worldwide? Nili Goldfein, CEO of NGG Global Consulting Solutions, takes a closer look at one of the hottest trends in the business world
Just like in fashion, trends in organization management come and go. New trends pop up every week, and contrary to what we might think, they are not concocted by the frenzied minds of designers (or management consultants at leading American universities). Trends emerge as solutions to problems that plague the top players in a certain sector.
It’s no wonder, then, that the sector formerly known as ‘HR’ is being rebranded. It was known by many names over the years – ‘manpower’, ‘system’, ‘administration’, and, more recently, ‘human resources’, ‘human capital’, and ‘talent’. Recruiters are using updated terms and titles, and it’s not uncommon to come across the phrase ‘talent acquisition’ on employee recruitment networks such as LinkedIn.
A Low Supply of Talents
Yes. There’s a talent shortage, and not just in professional sports. Any self-respecting organization wants to snag the hottest Ivy League graduate or the next rising-star employee and find forward-thinking managers that go the extra mile – and for that purpose, companies today are willing to go to lengths that our generation never even had to consider. Each generation has its own challenges.
Generally speaking, all companies use more or less the same technologies, manufacture their products for cheap in the same countries, follow the same transportation schemes, and buy online advertising space from the same pool of providers.
Human talent has an advantage over computers and machines. This has always been the case, and it holds true today more than ever. The way for a company to differentiate itself and gain a competitive edge is by utilizing its human capital. Organizational culture, which has been proven on multiple occasions to have a critical influence on a company’s chances of success, relies in part on human psychological and sociological factors.
On Pride and Prejudice
The world is advancing faster than ever, and there’s a true shortage of managerial talent. Due to declining birth rates in developed countries, some parts of the world see a shortage of working hands. Prejudice is holding entire countries back from taking in high-quality manpower – readily available employees, to be found perhaps one step too far beyond one’s comfort zone. It’s never said out loud, but everyone knows it’s there.
The Latest in the Business World: Diversity and Inclusion Trend
The terms ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ have become popular ways of referring to human talent –not because democratic institutes conspired together with women’s organizations to take over the business world, but because the financial world is in desperate need of more: More working hands, more managerial positions, more points of view, more innovative and groundbreaking solutions. Because the world has truly gone insane.
For decades, research has shown that diversity in work and management teams can significantly increases a company’s chances of success over time. The variety of perspectives stems from the differences in character, occupation, gender, and social background between individuals, so the more diverse teams are, the higher their chances of finding the best solutions quickly. Inclusion has a lot to do with organizational culture – the type of culture that rejects differences (mostly out of ignorance rather than malevolence) and prevents those who are different from contributing their share.
Non-kosher kitchens are unfair toward observing employees; evening meetings prevent women from holding senior management positions; low language skills can hurt one’s chances of promotion in global companies – and these are just a few simple examples.
Wanted: Inclusive, Pro-Diversity VP
Leading companies invest a lot of time, money, attention, and planning into diversifying their workforce in a way that benefits all parties involved. It’s not enough to enforce a female employee quota or hire women for management position as an act of affirmative action, just as it’s not enough to make a kitchen kosher or hire Orthodox women as developers. What’s required is a long-term process that aims to correct years of deep-rooted views on minorities.
That’s why so many leading companies are appointing special directors to tackle this very issue. Look at Apple, for example, who recently hired Denise Young Smith as VP of Inclusion and Diversity. Her job is to consider the company’s employee mix, examine its business strategy, and come up with recruitment solutions, among other things. This includes finding creative solutions that seek out to change people’s habits and challenge prejudice within the organization, solutions that call to abandon existing perceptions of employees, managers, and minorities.