There has been a spotlight on DEI efforts within the market research industry and the greater business world as ongoing racial injustices occur and continue to occur today. Bringing attention to such complex issues is a good first step, however, good intentions are just the start to making an actual impact.

The reality is that it’s easier to highlight celebrations or traditions of a particular group than it is to talk about the injustices and inequities the group has historically faced in the business world. Discussing grittier topics, measuring objectives, and tying those objectives to company goals is the only path to fostering true growth. Below are several considerations for businesses looking to enact meaningful change in their organizations.

  • Psychological Safety: This term, created by Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson, is essential to the success of any DEI strategy as well as a healthy work environment. She defines the term as “a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.” From the CEO to a company intern, there must be an innate culture that promotes all voices and opinions. Take note if there is one specific group dominating meetings and regularly measure the team’s perception of psychological safety. Encourage diversity of voices in company marketing, team ideation, and even executive planning. Follow through on promises, and work hard to elevate each team member’s confidence consistently.
  • Recruiting Metrics: Perhaps not surprisingly so, the words used in a job ad matter! Attracting the best and most diverse talent starts with the job listing language and choosing socially informed words. The location in which businesses are sourcing candidates is also important. It’s unrealistic to think that finding candidates from the same job board will breed a diverse group of candidates. There are a variety of methods in which companies can track the diversity of the pipeline. Businesses can gather DEI data of incoming candidates through AI tools and measure the diversity data. If budget is a concern, companies can capture DEI data by including a survey a part of the application process. Using technology and metrics can reduce unconscious bias of the hiring team as well. It is important to reevaluate any strategy that isn’t working and pivot for change.
  • Team Diversity: According to a 2015 McKinsey report, 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean. Intentionally building teams that consist of diverse groups will ultimately provide a variety of perspectives and solutions to creating the best outcome.

We need to increase perspective, lead with data, and act to solve some of DEI challenges faced in the workforce today. We have a long way to go, but it is incredibly important to start making changes today.

Mika Turner

Senior Director, Human Resources

Innovate MR