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BW Businessworld

Why Finding Diverse Talent Remains A Challenge

The challenge today is not about bringing women into the origination but the how to make them successful at work

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Great Talent is scarce today. Markets are dynamic and competitive, and if a company doesn’t put in efforts in understanding diversity and the benefits of diversity, in turn, they would have to pay a heavy price for productivity, Innovation, Culture, growth and inclusion. 

Diversity is not about hiring women into leadership roles or showing a percentage of improvement in women hiring. It’s all about changing mindset, the way we behave with our colleagues, internal and external customers, suppliers and its habit where everyone should talk, walk, breath in everyday life. It should be a way of life. 

By having women leaders in top management roles would help to become customer-centric and also to understand the customer preferences better. The challenge today is not about bringing women into the origination but the how to make them successful at work and the diverse talent has to be acquired across the organization 

Poor Basics

The organization has to make its fundamentals right, many times companies aren’t good at the basics and that will make a big difference. The organization has to stand for its values, ethos, purpose and their existence in the society. Many times family businesses would have a short-term mindset when compared to Multi-National Companies. They are right in one way if they can’t survive today and there is no tomorrow. The organization must have values that are caring, trust and respect for people. Meritocracy, employee engagement and hiring top talent has to be organization prime agenda.

Poor Communication& No accountability 

Many times organizations won’t talk about their diversity, Inclusion and current standing which would put the prospective employees in a dilemma. Men and women should speak about the organization and its value proposition and emotional side of it. Sharing success stories of employees and their experiences with data speaks for itself and allows leaders to account for results – whether it’s representation, actions e.g., hires, promotions, termination, compensation actions or sentiment. The qualitative analysis sentiment allows for deeper awareness and empathy that might, in turn, help people be heard and feel more respected.  

Are diversity and inclusion  CEO’s agenda or CHRO? It’s the collective responsibility across the organization. CEO, CHRO and leadership team should take the accountability for diversity results and shortfall. Also measure the progress and shortfall regularly and it has to be on top of organization agenda so that they breathe, sleep and retention of diverse talent. 

Unstructured Business Strategy and Bias

There exists unconscious bias from leaders when they recruit talent and they like people with whom they would be comfortable with. This bias limits in acquiring great talent and retention of talent. Unconscious biases which translate into behaviours, opinions and actions. Including diversity is part of the business strategy of the organization and policies would have an impact on diversity hiring and retention. You need to have a Diversity and inclusion plan in place and the sooner is better to correct the challenges.

No Flexibility 

Flexibility at work matters a lot for women and this is very important especially millennials and Gen Y. But it isn’t about work-life balance per se. Most of the women workforce career is very important in their lives and want to be a part of creating a great, enduring success and changing the world. And that implies a certain amount of work. But they want flexibility in those arrangements—the chance to make choices that enable them to be successful throughout their career and their personal lives.

Women and diverse candidates get attracted if there is a great corporate culture, belongingness, employee engagement and flexibility. When the organization shows that it had shown that women or diversity employees were taken care of in the past, have grown and given challenging assignments 

Equal opportunity 

Everyone in the organization should feel that there exist merit and performance to showcase their true strengths. The company culture revolves around its values, passion and culture which allows providing the flexible environment, generous benefits and frequent perks that help to retain the highly skilled employees 

Diversity and inclusion impact a business in three main ways, Results in better decision-making, strengthens corporate culture and better collaboration among teams. Diversity& Inclusion has to become a social responsibility. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Venkat Rao V

The author is Managing Partner of Executive Access, a leading executive search firm

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