Let's Move Past Feeling Good About Supporting Diversity

When you push diversity for the good feeling you get quotas. When you align diversity strategy with business objectives you get inclusion that innovates.

In response to criticism about the lack of diversity within Twitter, the company published a blog entitled "We're committing to a more diverse Twitter" where they published the following quotas 'measurable goals' for 2016:


While the post acknowledges criticism for the vast difference in its employee population vs user population it fails to draw a connection between how creating and achieving these quotas   measurable goals will create an improved experience for its users or achieve any larger corporate objective, be it tangible or in cultural philosophy.  This disconnect is not unique to Twitter and is the ultimate culprit behind why initiatives to recruit diverse talent will work but getting them to stay or be promoted will prove to be an impossible task ( i.e. Why Your Diverse Talent Keeps Leaving)

Creating arbitrary numbers to get certain bodies in the door because its the 'right thing to do' is no different than the crazy parent at your child's little league game screaming for the coach to put their child in...just because. When organizations create goals 'just because' it is the right thing to do with no link to long term objectives you create programs that move diverse bodies into organizations where they don't feel valued, where they don't feel included, where they quickly see they were hired for quotas and leave just as quickly to contribute in more meaningful ways to organizations that appreciate their value proposition. Once companies stop humbly congratulating themselves for doing the right thing with public statements about committing to diversity and invest in quality unconscious bias training they'll be able to really narrow in on creating internal cultures that reflect the value in diversity of perspective, opinion, and talent that comes from inclusive populations. Then maybe the numbers of bodies won't matter as much an the innovation that results from an inclusive organization.



Shay is an attorney and diversity & inclusion consultant. A featured TEDx Salon speaker on the topic of diversity and inclusion, she has engaged with Fortune listed, non-profit, and government agencies to create lasting strategies to attract, train, and retain diverse talent.

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