Diversity is something we hear about quite a bit these days. As companies struggle with trying to make their work environment more closely match the diversity within the population we decided to take a look at some firms within the Fortune 100, and get a sense for what companies have become truly diverse.
Diversity is thrown around all the time, and while we all may know what it means, do we actually know how to create diversity? Better yet how important it is for retaining and attracting talent while improving our workplace performance. According to McKinsey and Company, companies with a diverse workforce are 35% more likely to outperform those without diversity initiatives. However, making diversity initiatives that are deemed successful is proving to be a hard thing to do.
In a 2018 Talent Intelligent and Management Report by Harris Interactive and Eightfold.ai, 57% of employees say diversity efforts are failing. Even though over half of companies are failing when it comes to diversifying their workforce there are those unique companies who seem to have the right recipe for success, and we can look to for suggestions on how to turn things around when it’s not working.
Headquartered in Boston, and at number 68 on the Fortune 100, Liberty Mutual gets high grades for their diversity program. According to the CEO, David Long, “Liberty Mutual Insurance is committed to continuous improvement, innovation, and excellence.” By encouraging a broad array of ideas, attracting people of all backgrounds, and fully engaging all employees.” When viewing the company it becomes clear that this commitment trickles down through the remainder of the organization and is a key factor to the success of their workplace diversity program.
Liberty Mutual’s workforce is made up of over 50% women and 22% diversity, with over twelve percent of those two groups in upper-level leadership roles. To put it in perspective, Liberty Mutual has over 40,000 employees, so this means they employ over 20,000 women and almost 9,000 diverse employees. The amount of workforce diversity may be a result of their established Employee Resource Groups or ERGs.
These ERGs are usually groups comprised of diverse employees within the company and serve as a resource to connect, support, and develop the companies diverse communities within the company.
When looking at Liberty Mutual specifically, some examples are the @Amigos@Liberty _+ Allies group, which is comprised of Hispanic/Latino employees, as well as other ERGs such as Asian American Professionals, African Descendants, and many more. These ERGs allow employees to expand their networks to other areas of the companies as well as foster engagement and innovation.
Named the “Overall Best Employer” by the Best Asian Society’s Best Asian Pacific American Employer Awards and received a 100% on DisabilityIN’s Disability Index Award this year underscored that Goldman Sachs diversity program is thriving.
Of the 15,000 plus employees Goldman Sachs, 40% of their workforce is comprised of diverse employees and 37% of those are front-line managers. As for women, the statistics are pretty close with 38% of Goldman Sachs workforce being female, with 32% of those being front-line managers. Part of what may make diversity thrive in Goldman Sachs is the company’s commitment to take on diversity initiatives when it comes to recruiting top talent.
In the recent years, Goldman Sachs has coupled recruiting efforts with diversity efforts and made it a top priority. By partnering with numerous external organizations they were able to improve their diversity recruiting efforts. Some of their most successful programs include their Veterans Integration Program and their Black Analyst and Associate Initiative.
Ranked 14 on the 2018 list of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune Magazine is the financial giant American Express. Part of what may make their diversity program shine is its 2015 training program to mitigate unconscious bias in the workplace.
American Express’s workforce is comprised of over 20,000 employees, 44% of which are diverse, and over 55% women. Similar to Liberty Mutual, American Express has relied on ERGs to pave the way, when it comes to diversifying their workforce. As an early adopter of ERGs, American Express has built up over 16 employee networks and 100 chapters globally.
Named one of the most Innovative Companies Worldwide by Fast Company and the Top Corporation for Women Business Enterprises, Delta is worth a double take when it comes to diversity.
Delta employees almost 87,000 employees, and has a workforce that is made up of 40% diverse employees and of that 45% are front-line managers. Women make up nearly 41% of their employees, and 32% of those are mid-level management team. What may be even more interesting about this transportation powerhouse is that 33% of the employees are baby boomers or older.
Delta creates a truly diversified workforce by sponsoring and participating in a variety of activities that cater to a wide range of perspectives and lifestyles. Much like the other businesses on this list Delta Airlines offers similar employee groups but refers to them as Business Resources Groups or BRGs. However, Delta offers more than just demographic-based groups but also includes interest-based groups.
For example, Delta has a group called Green Up, which focuses on ways Delta can reduce waste and become environmentally sustainable in the transportation space. In addition to offering Business Network Groups Delta also offers care groups as well. These care groups include CSEN, a Cancer Support Employee Network and Wrenched Hearts- a group for parents who have lost children. Clearly, this combination may be the right mix as it is tailored to employees workplace needs, as well as their emotional needs during tougher times in life.
Employee Networks Are Key
As you can see, there is a distinct pattern among the companies on this list, and it all starts with building up company networks.
Creating a more diverse company may start by creating either Employee Research Groups or Business Resource Groups. As mentioned above, these are formed by creating groups based on either characteristics or interests employees have. Once formed, these members may have designated senior leaders working directly with its members to support their group’s goals. In addition to a senior leader, your network group may conduct panel discussions, participate in community outreach programs, or participate in corporate innovation and improvement projects
Offering these types of groups sets a standard for diversity and shows potential candidates that companies that actions are being made to increase workplace diversity and foster inclusion.
Another way you can take action towards achieving your diversity goals is simply committing to diversity initiatives. By taking a closer look at Goldman Sachs diversity initiatives, much can be learned from their success. Part of the key drivers of this initiative includes opening a pipeline for diversity by focusing on growing and retaining the diverse talent pool. Opening this pipeline usually calls for a dedicated group of professionals or sponsors within a company charged with building an environment and network that sponsors relationships among the professionals, senior sponsors, and career development coaches.
As a team, these individuals often discuss the available career pathways and work to create a roadmap for achieving long-term career goals. The senior sponsors will also share their experiences with leadership teams to bring new ideas and perspectives to the company. Along the way, a panel discussion and networking discussion will usually take place to bring these participants closer together and create a welcoming atmosphere.
A Note On Recruiting
Here’s an easy, no-brainer. Recruit more diverse talent. Some may think this means putting an extra tab on their career page discussing their diversity, but I assure you it is much more than that. When looking at all of these companies, they make it known to their potential employees that diversity is essential by detailing in-depth about the current plans for diversity, as well as showcasing videos and participants in their programs who have gone up the ladder in the organization.
Again, this may seem rather intuitive but is often overlooked by many companies. Firms should not be shying away from showing their eagerness to recruit diverse talent and this includes showcasing it on social media. By showing how committed your organization is to diversity through your website and social media you will be able to paint a much clearer picture of what diversity means to your organization.
Diversity may be hard to achieve, but that is no excuse for not diversifying your company. From showcasing the companies above who are successfully building a diversified workforce there are many things that can be learned. By adding in diversity initiatives, creating employee networks, and showing potential employees how committed you are to making your workforce more diverse, you may just open the doors to candidates who may see your company through a different lens.