Tackling the Diversity Gap

In the latest episode of HerSuccess, host Chris Atiyah interviewed Ginnette Harvey founder of Harper & Grey – a staffing agency with a focus on diversity. In the episode Ginnette spoke on the topic of DEI, discussing how she set up her business, how she supports companies to implement DEI strategies when it comes to recruitment and her own experiences as a woman of color in the workplace.

In our latest article, we delve into the topic of DEI, looking why there is still a diversity gap and what needs to be done to address it.

Over 75% companies believe Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a priority.

However, only 1 in 4 C-Suite or senior leadership roles are held by women. Of that minority, only 5% are women of color. That’s 1 in 20.

While companies acknowledge the importance of DEI it’s clear there is still a significant gap when it comes to putting it in to action, and achieving results.

For many companies the key issue is simply not knowing where to start. Many leaders lack understanding of DEI, or aren’t invested in the programs in their organization. Companies that are most successful have responsibility for DEI sitting at C-Level, for example a Chief Diversity Officer.

For start ups in particular, diversity can be an issue when small founding teams grow from personal networks, with founders often hiring people they’ve previously worked with, who have similar backgrounds. While this may support a shared vision and culture it also leads to homogenous teams which lack diversity of thought.

Moreover, leaders which neglect diversity could be losing out. More diverse teams have been proven to be more innovative and more profitable, as well as seeing higher employee engagement.

However, it’s not just diversity that’s important. Many companies treat diversity, equity and inclusion as three separate strands, when they should be integrated, as each impacts the others. Companies that hire diverse teams but fail to build an inclusive environment will struggle to retain staff. It may also impact future recruitment efforts, with 44% of women saying they had rejected job offers when they felt the organization wasn’t inclusive.

But for companies who do successfully foster inclusive environments, there are significant benefits. HBR has found that companies which achieve a strong sense of belonging have a 50% lower risk of turnover and a 56% increase in job performance.

While DEI may be on the agenda for many companies, it is only by putting integrated strategies into action that companies can reap the rewards of diverse and inclusive teams.

Tune in now to hear more on this topic on the HerSuccess Podcast.

HerSuccess features interviews with successful, high-flying women working in Engineering & Technology, with the aim of inspiring the next generation of diverse leaders in these industries.