The Best Ways to Hold Companies Accountable for Increasing Representation of Black Senior Leaders

It is always affirming to be asked to provide an opinion on diversity matters as a diversity expert. Matthew Boyle a journalist with Bloomberg Business asked me:  What have you learned about the best ways to hold companies accountable for increasing representation of Black senior leaders?

Here is my long response to Matthew. (The referenced article is linked below.)

Organization’s C-suites, Boards of Directors, and shareholders can hold each other and, most importantly, themselves accountable for increasing representation of Blacks (and Latinos and Females) in leadership by following a simple set of protocols:

  1. The skills and competencies required for the role are established (rather than requiring an MBA, for example, because the person who had the job for thirty years had an MBA).
  2. A job description is developed based on the actual Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications (BFOQs) for the position.
  3.  Long lasting relationships are developed with organizations that facilitate the recruitment of Black, Latino, and Female candidates by Board and C-Suite Members, in addition to HR staff.
  4. Through our “Unconscious Bias” and “Inclusive Recruitment through Hiring” Workshops, my partner, Paula Edgar and I help hiring committee members to become aware of  and manage their implicit or unconscious biases regarding candidates (biases regarding candidates names, addresses, colleges, etc.) when screening resumes and conducting interviews.
  5. Organizations that are serious about diversifying their leadership designate a minimum acceptable percentage for candidates who are Black, Latino, or Female for leadership positions. An agreed upon percentage of those being interviewed for leadership positions are reserved for Black, Latino, or Female candidates. This is not a hiring quota. It is not a lowering of the bar or standards of an organization. Everyone who is interviewed must meet or exceed the requirements for the position. It is  acting on a commitment to increase diversity at the senior level of an organization.
  6. Inclusion Strategy Solutions LLC  has established interviewing methodologies to minimize the impact of those biases including: developing uniform interview questions; managing the way that those questions are asked; and establishing consistent protocols for how candidates are ranked and selected by the hiring committee.

These are tangible, measurable best practices that can be implemented by any organization regardless of size or sector. 

“Walmart’s Black Executives Lost Ground Since Five Years Ago” by Matthew Boyle Bloomberg Business, June 18, 2020

If your organization is not being strategic about increasing diversity at all levels, isn’t today the perfect day to begin?

Onward!

Wendy Amengual Wark
Partner
Inclusion Strategy Solutions LLC

June 18, 2020

 

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