MAY 3, 2022

Diversity Includes Race & Not Just Gender

Here is something we see a lot of in our DEIB consulting work.

Organizations know they need diversity, so they focus their diversity efforts on hiring more women or pay equity, in part because gender equality is an easy place to focus their diversity efforts.

But without an intentional focus on racial diversity, DEIB efforts won’t achieve equity, inclusion, or belonging – the EIB of DEIB.

I’m not saying that organizations shouldn’t improve gender equity. It’s vital to have more women in leadership and to have equal pay at all levels.

But in our work, we see many organizations tout their hiring more women executives as diversity work, and it’s not. Usually what happens is more White women are hired…alongside the White men in leadership positions.

Most organizations still have few People of Color in the C-Suite or boardroom.

DEIB Practitioners Can Change The Narrative

Diversity needs to include racial diversity, and DEIB needs to address race-based discrimination and inequity.

If you’re a DEIB practitioner and you see an organization focusing on gender but not race, try to understand if leadership has good intentions but poor execution, or is instead just paying lip service to DEIB.

Find your allies, particularly those in management or HR. Together you can help leadership understand how to shift. Instead of calling them out, challenge them with a new perspective.

Start With The Numbers

If you need data to back up your claim, collect it yourself. What percentage of leadership consists of People of Color vs. the rest of the company or the population the organization serves? How does their pay compare? What are their performance ratings compared to their White counterparts?

HR departments should conduct compensation assessments, an important part of diversity and equity, which can reveal some shocking realities in how differently various racial groups are compensated. As a best practice, compensation assessments should be done annually, and then every six months, depending on the market and how large your disparities gaps are.

If you want to look at your compensation assessment with an equity lens, contact us.