Literature/202304141541 diversity efforts that work

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There are 5 key aspects that seem to work to foster diversity in companies:

1. Collect, count, and compare

Gather data that can be used to compare to other companies, the geographical context, and to track over time. It is the best way to establish policies and measure what is working and what is not working.

2. Alternative complaint systems

Half of all discrimination and harassment complaints lead to some type of retaliation. Therefore it is important to have systems that prevent it from happening.

The important thing is to change management mindset, and stop seeing complaints as threats.

3. Test for biased technology

Before implementing technology changes, it is important to understand if it was built on a biased framework. For example, screening tools for hiring may be biased towards specific groups of people. It is important to test before deploying. See: some products are designed taking into account only men.

4. Small N-Problem

Groups that are poorly represented in a company can face the extra challenge of being biased by the small group size. This can be solved by giving more visibility (for instance allowing presentations internally, as well as at conferences).

Another options is to increase the number of positions opened simultaneously. Instead of opening 3 positions through the year, in which a group will always be badly represented, open the 3 positions at the same time and hire from the same pool of applicants with the same metrics.

5. Managers should be involved

Often, when the programs are designed, managers may not be taken into account. Their current practices and work flows may be overlooked, and therefore it is much harder to get them involved. When an outside organization is hired to design a program that it will be deployed by managers, they should be involved in its design since the beginning.


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