Organizations have been talking about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging for decades now, yet when it comes to progress, we’ve still got a long, long way to go.
Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) have all been very centre stage over the last few years, and organizations have done a flurry of training and development and education activities which is great foundational work. However, as we share in the 2023 L&D Trends report, it’s not really driving a lot of change.
As someone who has been heavily involved with women in leadership roles for the last 25 years, it’s been a slow moving target. One of the things proven by research to speed things up are mentoring programs. Having a dedicated DEIB champion within the organization helps — which we’ve certainly seen a lot of these roles put into organizations — and the other “needle mover” are mentoring programs.
One of the most effective ways to broaden the diversity in any organization is to expose influential senior leaders to talent they might not otherwise have a chance to interact with. This allows them to observe behaviours, and for women and other diverse populations within an organization to build the informal networks that men have been using for hundreds of years. It also adds a broader lens of talent and cultivates the trust and confidence needed to move from mentoring to advocacy: the hallmark of sponsorship.
Ultimately, HR and senior leaders must ask themselves this question: “What is happening within my organization that prevents people of colour and women from thriving in the way that white men with the same qualifications can thrive and advance?” Only this way can we start to accelerate change.
For this and other topics to keep an eye on in 2023, download our L&D Trends report.