Diversity, Equality, Inclusion Solutions

Dr. Sullivan has been writing for over twenty years starting with Diversity Recruiting — The Compelling Business Case. This page contains a selection of John’s articles on D&I for the last 20 years.

Why? Many diversity programs are well supported by top management but often for the wrong reasons. Some do it to avoid legal issues (we might be sued) while others do it to be “politically correct.”  Executives give speeches, announce diversity targets and some executives even have the top diversity manager report directly to them in the hope that it will send a message that diversity recruiting is important. While all of these reasons have value, if you really want your diversity programs to be successful you have to go beyond these traditional arguments and make the economic case to managers for having a diverse workforce. 

The most powerful and effective arguments that can be made for excellence in diversity recruiting relate to the business and dollar impact that diversity recruiting can have on the bottom line of the organization. Does having a workforce with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas have an impact on the firm’s profitability? The answer is a resounding yes!

Table of Contents:

  • Reducing Unconscious Biases
  • Diversity Recruiting Solutions
  • Recruiting STEM Women
  • Building a Diversity Retention Program
  • Building The Compelling Business Case for Diversity
  • Take Action On Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Reducing Unconscious Biases

There has been a great deal of recent coverage on unconscious biases. However, almost all of the attention has been on becoming aware of these unconscious biases. This is problematic because even data-driven Google could not prove that unconscious bias training actually resulted in an increase in diversity hires. So it’s time to move on from awareness and on to actionable solutions.

If a firm really wants to meet its diversity hiring goals, than it needs to move beyond the typical BAND-AID awareness training solutions. Instead, corporate recruiting leaders and executives need to shift into “solution mode.” That’s because I estimate that all varieties of biases taken together result in the loss of up to 25 percent of your firm’s qualified potential diversity hires.

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Diversity Recruiting Solutions

By looking at the many business impacts of diversity, it is easy to see the potential financial impacts on a firm. Generally, the impact of having a diverse workforce on an individual firm is well in the millions of dollars. At that point, excellence in diversity recruiting no longer becomes an option. I would argue that this point has already been reached and that excellence in diversity recruiting is already a business necessity!

Recruiting STEM Women

The concept of recruiting women for diversity purposes is not new. However, if you want to multiply that impact many times over, add a program that focuses on recruiting women into executive and senior-management jobs. Adopt this Wonder-Woman recruiting approach primarily because of the business impacts that these new hires bring. But do it also because attracting female industry icons will help to retain your current employees and it will also serve as a magnet to attract others who want to work at a place where both men and women share executive roles.

Building a Diversity Retention Program

Most firms have no idea that they have a revolving door that is bleeding diversity talent because unexplainably, they don’t measure and report diversity turnover and the cost. But what if your executives knew that diversity turnover “was off the chart,” where “women were two times as likely to leave as men, while black and Latino tech workers were 3.5 times more likely to quit than white or Asian colleagues”?

Building The Compelling Business Case for Diversity

Understand how diversity increases innovation. Most organizations already have a formal diversity effort. However, it is not often fully resourced or data-driven. We have found that diversity receives an increased focus once executives realize the impact that it can have on innovation. There are several studies that show its business impact but one North Carolina State study actually showed a causal effect between workforce diversity and increasing innovation.

Take Action On Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Dr. Sullivan has written over 1,200 articles, a dozen white papers, conducted over 50 unique webinars, dozens of workshops, and has been featured in over 35 videos. He is an engaging corporate speaker who has excited audiences at over 300 corporations/organizations in 30 countries on six continents.