Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion is crucial to a company’s long-term success, and most leaders know it. A company with high levels of DEI “are associated with greater innovation, productivity, and performance,” as reported by the International Labor Organization.
But despite widespread evidence that investing in DEI is a business imperative, progress has been slow. In the current workforce, women make up 48 percent of employees, but only occupy 29 of the C-Suite. And only 5 percent of those roles are held by women of color. Meanwhile, BIPOC employees (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) make up 31 percent of front-line employees but only 17 percent of C-suite leaders. According to McKinsey & Company, three in 20 LGBTQ+ women believe that their sexual orientation will negatively affect their career advancement at work. For LGBTQ+ men, this number is even higher, at six in 20.
The way to improve these statistics is to make DEI a priority rather than treating it as an afterthought. Companies must move away from instituting mandatory training—which has been shown to backfire and in some instances, increase prejudice. They need to introduce systems, policies, and practices that have the buy-in from employees of all levels.
When talented employees are satisfied and engaged, companies can focus on doing what they do best—to produce the best product or service. But when employees are disengaged, turnover is often higher, which means increased costs and loss of productivity. Improving employee retention starts with building a better foundation for employee interaction, development and inclusion. Deloitte found companies with inclusive cultures reported 22% lower turnover than their less inclusive counterparts.
Innovation in a company occurs when someone–or a team—discovers a unique solution to a problem. A diverse company provides an optimal environment for this to take place. According to a 2020 McKinsey report, when companies have employees of different perspectives who feel empowered to participate and contribute, the odds of coming up with creative solutions are higher.
CNBC and Survey Monkey surveyed 8,233 employed adults and found 78% of workers found it “important” to work at an organization that prioritizes DEI. Diverse, equitable, and inclusive companies are more likely to attract a wider talent pool during the application process. Existing employees will also be more likely to recommend the company to their peers and professional networks.
A diverse, equitable, and inclusive company leads to a better bottom line. Happier employees are more likely to be engaged and high-performing employees, which means higher levels of productivity and better financial results. Research shows that diverse teams are better at anticipating customer’s needs and consumption patterns, which results in better products that are more in line with the consumer’s demands.
Underrepresented and marginalized employees are at higher risks of burnout and exhaustion due to constant exposure to bias and microaggressions. Introducing a comprehensive DEI approach based on the needs of different groups of employees can go a long way in correcting that. Actively creating systems that reduce instances of discrimination can dramatically improve their wellbeing and company culture as a whole.
When it comes to informal mentoring, underrepresented employees can sometimes fall through the cracks, feeling like the program is not meant for or targeted to them. With Chronus mentoring software, you can build intention into the DNA of the program by automating and structuring the system to overcome typical challenges. The presence of a mentoring platform keeps both admins and participants on track, providing accountability and structure so everyone feels included and on track to complete their goals.
The Chronus mentoring platform allows you to customize your matching algorithm to meet the unique needs of the program. This means elevating diversity questions and criteria in order to match people across genders, ethnicities, nationalities, neurodiversity and beyond— all while keeping function, tenure and desired skill development in mind at the same time. Remove unconscious bias with features like Anonymous Matching and Hide Unanswered Question Fields.
Key reports and dashboards within the Chronus mentoring platform help you optimize match rates and partner compatibility while tracking program impact in the areas of retention, advancement, performance and more. Segment and configure data for actionable results to improve performance over time with the help of our Program Outcome Report, Match Report and Diversity Report.
This mentoring format pairs mentors and mentees in a one-to-one relationship aimed at engaging and developing underrepresented employee populations and can last 6-12 months. Diversity mentoring creates an environment of trust and support. It provides opportunities for employees who may have been left out of informal mentoring or sponsorship engagements previously, building a more inclusive workforce and talent pipeline.
Reverse mentoring partners an older, more experienced employee with a younger, less experienced newcomer. Companies can implement reverse mentoring in a one-to-one or group setting. The younger employee serves as the mentor, providing senior members of the organization with up-to-date information on the latest business technologies, technical skills, and workplace trends. Reverse mentoring can also play a vital role in encouraging DEI within organizations.
A mentoring circle is a peer-to-peer format that enables employees to find peers who share common interests or learning objectives, and develop together as a group. People from across departments and generations can learn from one another, expanding institutional knowledge. Employees can also build cross-functional relationships with people of similar or diverse backgrounds. Organizations can utilize mentoring circles for employee resource groups (ERGs) as a way to foster belonging. Employees of similar backgrounds can find a psychologically safe space for discussion, solidarity and support, where people can feel free to self-identify and be their authentic selves.
In order to see real change in DEI, organizations must invest in holistic solutions rather than check-the-box fixes. Mentoring establishes measures of accountability, fosters a truly inclusive culture and can exist across all stages of your employee experience. This powerful approach can move the needle in creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce.
With the help of Chronus, you can help your underrepresented employees move within the organization, while also identifying improvements in retention, advancement and improvements to your company’s overall DEI strategy and goals.