Pictured in Photo (L to R): Patricia David, Managing Director, Global Head of Diversity, JP Morgan Chase; Lynette Chappell-Williams, Associate VP for Workforce Diversity & Inclusion, Cornell University; Stephanie Quappe, Global Talent Management, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited; Desiree Dancy, Chief Diversity Officer & VP Corporate Human Resources, The New York Times Company
The latest invitation-only event from the HUMAN CAPITAL GLOBAL LEADERSHIP SERIES at TMP Worldwide Headquarters in NYC welcomed four expert speakers who are leading their industries in optimizing diversity talent and inclusion initiatives. Attended by over 50 of their peers, the event offered stellar presentations and discussions on the subject. Event participants connected many others via Twitter feeds and personal blogs throughout the morning. We’ve gathered a few insights and best practices to share from that morning:
Start with a Question
Ask any number of individuals to define the terms diversity and inclusion. You’ll receive an equal number of “diverse” responses. Everybody has an opinion. Ask the same people how to strategically optimize diversity in the workplace. You’ll hear a pin drop – then a few daring individuals might step forward.
Our keynote speaker and panelist, Patricia David, Managing Director, Global Head of Diversity, JP Morgan Chase, likens building a diversity and inclusion strategy to a doctor’s prescription – one that will be unique to every business:
“Every doctor will ask you the same five things no matter where you go in the world. But then it moves toward specific things about you. That’s where he finds out how to write the prescription. Once we figure out the details, we can move toward administering the medicine.”
Get a Plan
David insists this prescription, or system, must be “scalable, sustainable and repeatable.” Keeping business leaders in mind, it’s aptly named “The Marshall Plan for Diversity.” It includes 5 basic steps:
- Measure Current State via data metrics and best practices
- Obtain Benchmarks from peer and workforce data
- Conduct Analysis through self-assessment
- Set Goals and Objectives for the future state, while identifying management accountability and critical success factors
- Build an Oversight Model that includes structured reviews on a scheduled basis, with measurement and recalibration
David offered an additional word of advice on how to get your plan executed:
“This is a prescription for the top-level members of the organization, nobody else. You have to figure out who owns the community of people you want to access. Go to those brokers. Engage managers in the conversation and focus on it with the same intensity as you would a merger. If they really understand the vision and the philosophy in their belly, then they can execute it.”
The Deloitte member firm network is a global professional services organization comprised of 53 member firms and approximately 180,000 individuals. Tasked with helping other businesses think about how to conduct their own multi-national projects, their teams are diverse by necessity. Who shows up at the table is as much about representing the company as it is about being able to understand the subtle nuances of clients’ markets, languages and cultures.
In today’s wireless and highly mobile workforce, people are free to work from anywhere, and, increasingly, the majority of college recruits want to work on international teams. Stephanie Quappe, Global Talent Management, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), shares how gaining competitive advantage requires analyzing how international teams from diverse backgrounds work together to drive innovation and increase the bottom line.
“Research has shown that encouraging and appreciating different opinions, identities, and perspectives leads to greater innovation. When Deloitte member firm teams can bring a more diverse perspective to their clients, we find the solutions they are able to put forward are more valuable.”
Reap the Gender Divide
As the talent shortage increases with an aging workforce, one commonality seems to transcend borders across Deloitte member firms’ businesses – the need to fully leverage women’s leadership. Global Retention of Women (GROW) has become a program that is a top priority. DTTL and its member firms contributed to the development of and signed the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles that offer practical guidance to businesses on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Sharing this work and other tools within DTTL’s network of member firms around the world has been critical to the advancement of the GROW program. There are now member firm gender and diversity initiatives in more than 50 countries, with networks for women, mentoring programs, flexible work options, and goals for female representation. Their metrics show the fruits of their labor, with an aggregate 23.1% new member firm female partner/principal/director worldwide in FY10 up from 13% in 2004.
There are a million ways to start a conversation about diversity. For Lynette Chappell-Williams, Associate VP for Workforce Diversity & Inclusion, Cornell University, her strategy for diversity and inclusion required a holistic approach. At a rural “Ivy League” campus in the early 1980s with 8-9% racial diversity among the student population, inclusion was yet to become a top priority. That had to change.
“Our watershed moment in starting our journey from diversity to inclusion was creating the vision. We asked ourselves if we achieved the perfect ‘diverse environment,’ what would it look like? It was a grassroots project created by over twenty people from across our organization. There were students. There were faculty. There were different levels of staff that came together to create this vision. It took nearly a year to complete. It was the dialogue that it took to get to the vision that brought people to understand what it meant to be a diverse and inclusive environment.”
Chappell-Williams and her team have continually designed new ways to create dialogue and increase awareness ever since, including:
- Diversity Arch-building Competition placed in front of building doorways
- Annual Unity Celebration that focuses on a different religion each year
- “Safe Space” signs for LGBT population in staff and faculty offices
- Unconscious Bias Program that catalogues instances of unconscious bias online
- EnCoRe program that welcomes alumni volunteers to share their experience with local communities to build generational diversity
Make It Your Own
As the moderator for the HUMAN CAPITAL GLOBAL LEADERSHIP SERIES panelists that day, Desiree Dancy, Chief Diversity Officer & VP Corporate Human Resources of The New York Times Company, offered a key to applying these best practices.
“You must consider context and the specific community that is being addressed, but borrow a peer’s best practice. Take it, doctor it and make it your own.”
Not bad advice for our readers or those of us who were lucky enough to be in attendance at the event that day.
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The Human Capital Global Leadership Series (HCGLS) is a global event series conceived and hosted by TMP Worldwide that gathers senior HR and corporate staffing executives to create a forum for thought leadership and peer discussion on the most pressing and relevant topics impacting the Human Capital arena. These events take place around the world, multiple times a year, to deliver thought leadership on topics that include but are not limited to: recruitment metrics, employer branding, social media, diversity, HRIS and many others.