In 2015, McKinsey & Company released a report called ‘Diversity Matters,’ prepared by Vivian Hunt, Dennis Layton, and Sara Prince. The analysis from the study of 366 American companies revealed a significant correlation between diversity hiring and financial performance for businesses.
The McKinsey study found that companies who prioritized gender diversity were 15% more likely to have financial returns above average for their niche and national industry median. Businesses who strategically balanced hiring to promote both gender and ethnic or racial diversity, were 35% more likely to have financial returns above national averages.
Another insightful study was conducted by Harvard Business School, which found that every 1% increase in gender and racial diversity within an organization, resulted in a 3% to 9% aggregate increase in sales revenue.
Not only is workplace diversity the ‘right thing to do’ but it provides a number of competitive advantages for both small businesses and enterprise organizations. Diversity attracts more talent, because employers who embrace diversity are viewed as having an equitable and fair corporate culture and pleasant work environment. Other businesses view companies that prioritize diversity in hiring as having integrity, and positive corporate leadership.
When you incorporate a variety of genders and ethnicities into your team, your business benefits from different world views, cultures, work ethic, communication styles and creative ideas. This is a tremendous benefit to organizations from a customer service perspective, for product design and creative problem solving.
While many businesses understand the clear advantages of maintaining a diverse team, there are obstacles that can inhibit the intention of recruiting with diversity in mind. While there can be cases of deliberate aversion, many businesses demonstrate a truly subconscious bias that they are unaware of, until it is addressed by a complaint, or determined by recruitment and human resource consultants.
Requirements for Equal Opportunity Employment for American Businesses and Penalties
Employers who have at least 15 employees are included in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) legislation that makes it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee, because of race, religion, pregnancy, gender and orientation, national origin, age or disability. Age discrimination laws apply to American businesses who have 20 employees or more).
The EEOC receives complaints and adjudicates for instances of job discrimination, outlined in three pieces of legislation:
- The 1963 Equal Pay Act Amendment to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLS)
- Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Job discrimination cases that are investigated by the EEOC, where the employer has been found to meet the criteria, can result in a maximum civil penalty fine of $50,000 and up to $300,000 for corporations with 500 employees or more.
Many organizations are unaware of hiring bias, until there has been a formal complaint about equal opportunity employment infractions. Legally, a business is required to base hiring decisions on merit, work experience, education, leadership qualities and soft skills.
Several inequities can occur, in terms of the male versus female ratio of new hires and salary disparities for professionals of the same skill level and performance, and even ethnic hiring preferences, with fewer minority hires organization wide, or in specific growth or leadership advancement opportunities.
The technology, social media and SaaS sector has seen increased complaints and awareness regarding this particular issue in the past three years. And many are openly and successfully addressing the issue.
How Can Your Business Improve Diversity Hiring and Recruitment?
Without a policy in place or the help of professional recruiters to govern hiring practices, it can be easy for businesses to unintentionally violate employment discrimination laws. Consider diversity in hiring to be a compliance goal, not just a moral and integrity objective for your business.
How can our team at Urgenci Atlantic help your business monitor, manage and successfully recruit skilled candidates while meeting diversity goals? Here are three important ways we assist our clients:
1. Implementing A.I. and New Tools to Eliminate Subconscious Bias
Did you know that some progressive American corporations prohibit the name of the candidate to be present on the resume, cover letter or application form? This is one big step that business can take, to evaluate candidates without subconscious bias.
It allows the Human Resource Manager and other executives to focus exclusively on skills, the candor of the communication style, experience and tenure, rather than form assumptions based on the legal first or last name of the candidate.
2. Changing the Language, Imagery and Inferences in Job Descriptions
While most businesses create job descriptions and recruitment advertisements without the use of gender identifying terms like ‘he’ or ‘she’, there can still be passive bias. For example, in the S.T.E.M. sector, several studies have shown that employment advertisements had more masculine language and some descriptors that would deter female applicants from diagnostic, analytical or research type positions.
Our recruitment consultants can help evaluate the presence of subconscious bias and help train managers to write in a more gender and ethnic neutral tone, to embrace all qualified candidates.
3. Consulting to Improve and Punctuate Diversity Branding for the Employer
A culture of embracing and encouraging diversity starts from the top down, in any organization. Businesses can publish a diversity statement on the careers page, that outlines the objectives and goals for equal opportunity and equitable recruitment without gender, religious, physical or ethnic bias.
Our recruitment consultants can help your business develop a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) and Employee Resource Group (ERG) to assist with monitoring and reporting on diversity goals, while providing guidance on avoiding cultural appropriation in the workplace. We can also help integrate your ERG into the employer side interview process.
In our global business environment, corporate diversity is an increasingly valuable asset to any organization. Urgenci Atlantic is a female founded and managed business based in North Carolina, serving SMEs and enterprise corporations with strategic recruitment and consulting services.
Contact us today to learn more about our proven process for connecting high-growth organizations to top tier employees, in every industry and sector.