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Employers are more enthusiastic about diversity education than ever before.

“Business leaders can no longer dismiss racial and social injustice as an issue outside the workplace, but so many well-intentioned employees and managers can , don’t know how to deal with them.

A common acronym for this type of training is DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion). The work touches on a wide range of cultural and management topics, including cultural celebrations during Heritage Month and staff discussions on how to avoid pitfalls. No As well as mentoring, hiring, employee retention, and employee affinity groups, according to Diversity Inc., a long-standing national consulting firm.

Estimated at $9.3 billion in 2022, the DEI market is expected to grow to over $15 billion by 2026. Because everyone from American corporations to small business owners discusses unconscious bias, racial inequality, and pay gaps.

However, careful scrutiny is required. The industry has been around for decades, but since 2020, many new entrants have been hanging out with shingles and calling themselves diversity experts.

“Suddenly, anyone who had a passion for justice decided to start a sideline consulting firm,” said Clary. “Employers were fighting for those people.”

She hears about “a new person you’ve never heard of before” after being hired by a company. She is often told by her clients that she “sounds good but lacks a track record”. Then they call me.

The business case for diversity in the workplace has long been well documented. According to the Harvard Business Review, companies with diverse employees are 35% more likely to achieve greater financial benefits than those with less diversity, and more diverse companies are more likely to capture new markets. is 70% higher. Leading consulting firms such as McKinsey and Deloitte have launched think tanks around DEI.

If you’re hiring talent to help your business solve diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, consider these expert tips.

Experience matters. “If the people you’re hiring don’t have a long track record at DEI, they can’t turn the ship around,” Creary advised.

DEI “experts” just starting their business in 2020? Avoid them, Clary said.

Start by changing the language. “When I hear that companies need to do diversity training, I think, ‘We’re training seals and dogs, not people.’ That’s education,” says Ken Ken, an adviser to Erica James, president of Wharton College. Shropshire said.

time consuming. “Equity partners earn a portion of the company’s profits each year as part of their salary package,” said Virginia Essando, who was hired as director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Center City’s Ballard Spar law firm. Equity is a big issue for law firms.” In 2008, he was promoted to Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer in 2021.

“We decided not to use the word [equity] if we didn’t mean it. We researched what equity meant for Ballard,” she said. It took me a year to research how the partners were named, their performance and potential, and who produced what in the years they had been partners.

Learn what your staff want. The DEI business “has been booming since the death of George Floyd,” says diversity educator Christopher “CJ” Gross. “And employees are demanding it from their leaders,” he said. “Millennials are driving these initiatives in the workplace, and surprisingly, so are older white men who mentor marginalized people in the workplace.” A former GE engineer who taught at the University of Maryland. , consulting for private companies.

“Employees aren’t happy with tweets that say, ‘We support Black Lives Matter.’ They’re asking, ‘What are you planning to do internally?’ They want transparency on strategy, pay gaps, and promotion gaps. Workers are more sophisticated,” said her Leora Eisenstadt, associate professor and director of the Center for Ethics, Diversity and Workplace Culture.

Be prepared to ask questions when judging DEI educators. Essandoh recommends asking a lot of questions before hiring a DEI consultant. do they have a track record? How long have they been in business? Do they come with references?

Ask a trusted colleague for advice. Corporate customers often turn to Essandoh for advice on supplier and vendor diversification.

Creary has a go-to list of contacts, some of whom are related to Philly. She recommends Kinetta Roberson of Michigan State University, a longtime professor at Villanova College. His Oscar Holmes from Rutgers-Camden is now consulting. And Sulaiman Rahman, CEO of staffing firm DiverseForce..

Find certifications that prioritize live speaking and teaching. DEI certification programs are a huge growth area for universities and training companies that have emerged over the last five years. The University of Pennsylvania, Cornell Diversity and Inclusion, Diversity Executive Leadership Academy, Society for Diversity, Institute for Diversity Certification, and Georgetown University all offer DEI certification.

But face-to-face workshops and certification programs, whether online or face-to-face, are more legitimate.
Eisenstaedt says it’s better than passive lectures or self-directed online courses.

“To solve it, we have to talk about this. We can’t passively absorb and change ourselves or just sit there alone.”

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