Right now, many companies are recruiting diverse talent and spending money on their professional development. But more often than not, that talent ramps up and moves on to other firms. This is because not only do their organizations lack diversity across many demographics, but also because of a dearth of opportunity for career progression.
But the current confluence of crises has spurred many organizations into action. These companies now recognize that hiring diverse talent at the top—and hoping inclusion will follow—is not an effective strategy to building a truly inclusive organization. As a result, organizations have shifted diversity and inclusion from an aspirational item on the board agenda to a business imperative requiring substantial investment, according to Korn Ferry’s latest report, Building Inclusive Organizations.
In an effort to change the tide, organizations have started to talk about targets in terms of leadership numbers, from front-line managers to top executives. They are putting firm metrics on representation, measuring how they progress underrepresented talent through their careers and ensuring that progression is thoughtful and intentional. And as D&I comes more to the forefront, companies are becoming more transparent about their objectives, creating internalized accountability that feeds success.
Because, in the end, inclusion drives results. It leads to be better decision-making, better customer centricity, and more consistent execution of the company’s purpose. Plus, in a competitive labor market, measuring D&I objectives and being public about their progress can differentiate an organization—and help retain its high-potential talent.