If there were ever a wave of secondary effects from the events of 2020, then the renewed visibility of diversity, equity and inclusion (D,E&I) is right on the crest of it.
D,E&I are now more than just agenda items on the HR leader’s to-do list, they’re a key driver of policy and culture for the entire organization. Or at least, they should be.
UNLEASH partnered with talent experts iCIMS to underline this point by gathering global heads of talent and diversity from AXA, DHL, Novartis and Finastra to discuss their challenges, solutions and experiences as part of INSPIRE, a day-long European summit of insight excellence from some of the world’s biggest brands.
Session five of the day, entitled “Supercharging your DE&I program with an equitable hiring strategy” was watched live by more than 2,000 delegates.
Markus Graf, global head of talent for Novartis, kicked things off by giving us an easy hack to start with: Make your interview panel gender-diverse.
Why would anyone believe your rhetoric if the evidence in front of them said otherwise? He cited results from his organization, that interview panels that enforced a gender split resulted in a 49/51 male:female ratio of staff at Novartis.
Vera Gramkow, global head of talent for DHL Express, was keen to talk data and expectations, with an old truism: “What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done. Identify the KPIs that matter to you and your organization and build from there.”
And for good measure, because DHL is in the talent acquisition business of course, “…make sure your candidates have a superstar experience from the start.”
James Watson, VP of talent acquistion and management at Finastra, highlighted the need to take it back to basics, way before the recruitment drive: “Start from the beginning of your talent pipeline so when you come to hire you’re one step ahead.”
But what if the mindset just isn’t there, how do you bring it to the forefront?
Kirsty Leivers, chief diversity and inclusion officer at AXA, shared how they do it at the finance giant, talking of the importance of coaching and mentoring to adopt that diversity mindset.
She also discussed the need to go out and actively seek diversity if faced with resistance to D,E&I initiatives, to expose your organization’s people to diverse experiences, and “then bring those experiences in-house.”
James Watson echoed this simply by saying, “diverse teams win.”
The future of D,E&I
The session’s discussion turned to future plans.
How do you secure a permanent move to a diverse workforce and how do you get buy-in, not from the board, but from the whole organization?
As Leivers said: “It’s one thing to have your processes ready, but you need to support your people through the shift in mindset.”
Watson shared the Finastra way: “Collate performance data, show it, use it to build trust around what you’re going to do with it to improve your teams.
“The aim is to have diverse pipelines ready to go before even recruiting for roles.”
It’s a position that all organizations want to be in, and while some are further along that journey than others, tactics such as diverse interview panels, coaching and mentoring sessions, proactive outreach, and data analysis can all surely help.
To hear more from the HR experts at the UNLEASH and iCIMS INSPIRE European summit now, or at a later date, register here.
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