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Diversity diagnosis

Performing a diversity diagnostic allows understanding the root causes for an organization’s inability to fully leverage its talent pool.

Performing a diversity diagnostic allows understanding the root causes for the organization’s inability to fully leverage its talent pool. Our typical approach is as follows:

 Leverage talent analytics using demographic data to surface actual issues and better target actions

 Understand attitudes and surface barriers to diversity with specific interviews.

 Quantify and prioritize unconscious attitudes using adapted Implicit Association Tests

 Measure the impact of HR processes and identify how to adapt them to foster more objectivity

This allows developing the right action plan to improve the efficiency of diversity management, ensuring related targets and KPIs are the most appropriate.

Understand attitudes and surface barriers to diversity with interviews

Senior executives often do not have a precise idea of where and how their organization could better leverage all talents. They often tend to believe a lower representation of diverse groups is due to “women leaving to have babies”, “difficulties for international people to understand the local culture”, “elder employees’ inability to understand today’s way of doing business”. As a result of such beliefs, diversity programs are often reduced to “one size fits-all” approaches.

Talent analytics provide different, more actionable answers. Quantitative analyses are useful to understand the actual root causes for the organization’s inability to fully leverage its talent pool. They also enable to surface the gap between the assumptions of the organization’s managers and the reality. The use of comprehensive and structured analysis not only allows tailoring diversity actions to the issues that need to be addressed but also serve as eye openers.

Client example

One of our clients believed that women were “leaving to have a baby”. The company invested significant budgets to extend maternity leave to 6 months at full pay, way above local legal obligations, around 2,5 months. Our analysis showed that no matter what performance they delivered, women were less likely to be promoted beyond middle management and were “getting stuck”. As a result, even high potential female executives with no children sometimes opted out. This finding completely changed the approach: as retention of young mothers had no impact; the client focused on revamping its career management processes, and set proportionality targets in promotions.

Our talent analytics work generally consists in:

Using demographic data to obtain a clear picture of the workforce and best target the efforts: at what level do some talents drop out? What type of profiles / competencies and at what level are less likely to be hired, trained, promoted or benefit from a pay raise?

 

Performing dynamic analysis to understand the root causes of the problems: do the issue revolve around recruitment, promotion or retention? What would their longer term impact be?

 

Identifying the impact of current HR policies: What are the specific impacts of HR policies such as extended maternity leaves, training programs, part time or flexible work? Do they address or reinforce the issues?

Talent analytics

Understand attitudes and surface barriers to diversity with interviews

Corporate culture shapes attitudes and implicit biases about specific social groups, sometimes even more than the culture of the country. We have found that for each social group, some of these associations can positively contribute to professional advancement; others can actually hamper it.

Identifying those positive and negative associations has allowed some of our clients to develop much more effective diversity initiatives.

We have designed an innovative interviewing approach to surface automatic, unconscious associations about specific social groups. Based on those interviews, mind mapping can be used to represent specific attitudes that need to evolve for an inclusive environment.

Quantify and prioritize unconscious attitudes using specific Business IATs

Once we have surfaced the implicit associations that need to evolve, we use specific Implicit Associations Tests to quantify and prioritize them.  Tests need to be carefully selected as people are not “biased” in general but develop specific implicit associations about specific social groups.

Beyond measuring attitudes, Business IATs also trigger behavioral change for test-takers: Research shows that 80% of people who take relevant and related IATs before making a decision are more objective than people who do not take the test.

Client example

One company had focused for many years all its diversity initiatives on improving women leadership skills mainly with leadership seminars for women. Female representation at the top was not moving at all. The results of the customized tests we developed along with other findings in the diagnosis showed that most people in this company had no issues associating women with leadership. However, they did have a strong association of women with family and men with career. The company refocused its efforts on addressing this prevailing association.

Measure the impact of HR processes and identify how to adapt them to foster more objectivity

Diverseo has developed a set of proprietary tools and approaches to help corporations make more objective decisions to better leverage a larger pool of talents to improve performance. Our proprietary methodology, the HR Process scan, aims at identifying the effectiveness of HR processes in reducing the impact of cognitive bias. Once we have captured how this process and corporate culture might induce inaccurate inferences about talents, we recommend an updated process to best allow decision makers to make objective decisions.

Client example

Performance evaluation programs often start with self-evaluations. Men and women tend to report on their performance using different words and tend to influence the perception of their reviewers. More surprisingly, at one of our client, the fact to have wordy or laconic self-evaluation forms significantly influenced reviewers’ final judgments, sometimes in a reversed way according to the countries. In some countries, long self-evaluations were associated with high performance, in others, with low performance. There are plenty of other examples of such apparently insignificant cues which can foster biases and lead us to make wrong decisions. Most of the time, such biases are in disfavor of women, international managers, people with disabilities and represent a barrier to corporate diversity.

The roll out of the new system is generally coupled with bias awareness sessions.

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