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5 ways digging deeper increases diversity

Jenn Tardy tells us how as a society , specifically within the workplace, we need to take a step back to asses our intentions for creating a more diverse environment.

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"To avoid discrimination and afford all applicants equal opportunities, the US government requires that federal contractors and subcontractors take affirmative action to attract, engage, and hire individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or veteran status. One element of these affirmative action plans (AAPs) that will immediately impact your recruiting is a good faith efforts program." -"

That is powerful! So, my next question to you is:

Question: Is your employer hiding behind surface level good faith efforts to increase diversity?

When it comes to your organization’s ability to increase diversity, it must be willing to dig deeper. If not, then surface level good faith efforts can be perceived as performative allyship and not diversity recruiting. Therefore, it can lead to the opposite results of increasing diversity. And because that is not your intention, here are five tips that you can use to go beyond good faith efforts to increase diversity. Let’s dig a little deeper.

By the way, our team at JTC developed a cliff’s notes infographic with five tips to help your organization begin the process to dig deeper in order to increase diversity. You can access your own free downloadable copy by clicking here.

Here are our tips to dig deeper to help your organization move the needle to increase diversity:

Tip #1: Understand "Workforce" Representation. To increase diversity at your company can mean to invest in hiring more women, though, it has often meant investing in the hiring of more White women. But dig deeper. To increase diversity can also to mean to study representation at your company. What populations are represented in the workforce but underrepresented in your workplace? What populations are represented within your target customer population, but are underrepresented in your workplace? And be clear on who you are seeking. Before sourcing and recruiting, know whether increased diversity—at your organization—means more women, individuals who are differently-abled, more people of color (i.e., Asian, Black, Latinx, Native American, etc.), more veterans, LGBTQ+ individuals, or other marginalized groups.

“In the US, a 2004 study showed that black applicants were found to be 15% less likely to receive callbacks for jobs than equally qualified white applicants. a very similar experiment conducted in 2018 showed - drum roll - pretty much the same result: a 16% difference in chances of a callback. Virtually no progress was made in the past 15 years, in the us or the UK.” -

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Tip #2: Invest in Hiring, Retention and Promotion. To increase diversity at your company can mean to invest more in hiring. But dig deeper. To increase diversity can also mean to invest in hiring + retention + promotion at your company. Your company’s challenge around diversity may not even be in hiring. Are specific populations of employees, especially within your high performing group, leaving as quickly as they enter your organization? Do your employees feel a sense of self-determination, which is the ability to control their own career path via promotions and other opportunities? As an organization, you must begin looking at the challenge of increased diversity as not just a recruiting problem. Increase your perspective in order to increase diversity.

“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'?”

Tip #3: Conduct an Impact Audit. To increase diversity at your company can mean to invest in good faith efforts that promote good intent (e.g., artificial intelligence technology that creates blind resume). But dig deeper. To increase diversity can also mean to audit for impact, especially to the well-intentioned good faith efforts. I challenge you to look at your applicant data to see if your hiring process has created an obstacle course for historically underrepresented populations to get hired into your company.

No matter your intentions, ensure that your impact aligns with your intentions.

Tip #4: Understand "Workplace" Representation. To increase diversity at your company can mean to invest in increasing representation in one area of your organization (e.g., your customer service department is overrepresented with Black employees). But dig deeper. To increase diversity can also mean to look at data around representation within each of your business units, each of your departments, and by level. You may learn that underrepresentation is widespread throughout your organization, or maybe it is isolated to specific areas of your company.

Tip #5: Isolate and Analyze Demographic Data. To increase diversity at your company can mean to combine all people of color, for example, into one group as a part of a greater narrative that your organization is doing well with hiring and retention of people from all backgrounds. But dig deeper. To increase diversity can also mean to review uncoupled demographic data to see where underrepresentation exists within that data. For example, you may find that when combining all people of color, that your organization is well represented compared to the workforce, but when uncoupled, you see that you are actually highly underrepresented for Black and LatinX populations and overrepresented by Asians. Coupling data for the sake of a narrative is as damaging as colorblindness. By doing this you are denying people's individual experiences.

“between 2016 and 2018, there were a total of 230 new board seats within fortune 500 firms. across these openings white women obtained 124, black women 32, asian women 17, and hispanic women only 4 seats, according to catalyst, a research organization.”

To effectively increase diversity is to dig deeper. However, it is important to remember that you will not see results over night. Remember, Rome was not built in a day. Nor was any effective diversity recruiting program.

The goal of digging deeper is to move away from surface level towards authentic good faith efforts that will positively impact your organizations ability to increase diversity.

Written by guest contributor Jenn Tardy

Meet the Author

Jenn Tardy has vast industry experience as a Recruiting Thought Leader, Diversity Recruitment Practitioner, and Career Success Coach with over 15 years of multi-industry experience in the field of human resources and recruiting. She has been helping employers

and job seekers reach their goals since 2004 and is on a mission to make it easy for recruiters to find, attract, engage, and hire job seekers from historically underrepresented backgrounds, ultimately helping employers to increase diversity. She owns and operates Jennifer Tardy Consulting (aka Team JTC) which is an internationally known, award-winning diversity recruitment consulting firm based out of Maryland, USA.

*photo provided by Jenn Tardy


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