Diversity (or the lack of it) is still a big problem for many US organizations. At Google, the problem is so bad that employees partnered with investors to demand that the company tie executive pay to diversity and inclusion metrics. But it's not just the risk of bad PR that makes diversity important.
There's a clear connection between diversity and profitability. And a 2018 McKinsey report, called Delivering through Diversity, once again found that more diverse companies financially outperform their peers. For example, companies with more ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability.
It makes sense because we know that these companies are better able to attract top talent; improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making; and secure their license to operate.
Creating a culture of inclusion is vital
True diversity can only be sustained when people from all walks of life feel understood, valued, and empowered at work. And an environment that values differences, encourages creativity, and promotes innovation will naturally attract high performers from all walks of life, which is a good thing for everyone.
Unfortunately, creating an inclusive environment isn’t easy. Like any process of transformation, including digital transformation, your Diversity & Inclusion strategy needs CEO support as well as buy-in from the executive team.
And then it needs to be managed very carefully.
Project Managers are good at inclusion
Research from the Project Management Institute says that managers communicating with team members, stakeholders or sponsors spend approximately 90% of their time scheduling and attending meetings, planning, analyzing risks, negotiating and resolving conflicts.
This positions project managers as ideal leaders on the journey to inclusion and diversity.
Not only are they skilled at bridging the gap between strategy and execution, but they also have first-hand experience communicating with and managing all sorts of people.
Inclusion requires collaboration - is your team equipped?
An inclusive environment empowers people to communicate and collaborate seamlessly. It's why digital transformation is such a wonderful enabler of diversity. For example, most PMOs have seen how just how powerful an intuitive project management tool can be - especially when managing stakeholders with different requirements.
Now imagine the same kind of technology applied to the implementation of your diversity and inclusion strategy, and rolled out with assistance from the Project Management team.