You can hire diverse candidates, but it takes creating a culture of belonging in order to truly reap the benefits of diversity in the workplace. Here is how to make it happen.
How to Hire with an Equality Mindset
If brands want to build relationships with customers that last, they have to embody their values internally. For greater success, brands should be sure their target audience includes women and people from all different backgrounds: 53% of consumers tend to buy from brands that show people from a wide range of backgrounds in their advertising. How can brands authentically connect with women and minorities? It starts with embracing diversity in the workplace: towards candidates, colleagues, clients, and, ultimately, consumers.
In the Inclusion Lounge @ Google Marketing Live, industry experts shared their strategies for embedding inclusion into their DNA and eliminating bias beyond the hiring process. Representation matters! Watch the full discussion here and read below for highlights.
Become Conscious of Your Unconscious
We’ve heard about the various barriers that prevent women from advancing in their careers. The widely reported statistic is that men apply for a job when they meet 60% of the job requirements, while women apply only if they meet 100% of the criteria listed. It may be no wonder that women may be avoiding the application process: There’s mounting evidence showing that stereotype threat is widening the achievement gap for both the women who apply and the women who get past the hiring stage.
According to this study from the America Sociological Review, female candidates with identical or even more qualifications than their male counterparts are less likely to get hired. As a hiring manager, simply being aware of these biases is a first step towards overcoming them.
Add “Curiosity” To Your Job Descriptions
As employers, let’s look at the individual strengths each person brings to the team, rather than hiring candidates who remind us of ourselves. When determining whether a new hire is committed to inclusion, “curiosity” is the quality that Nicole Kuang, VP of Comms – Editorial, Huge, seeks out above all. “The idea that someone can be proactive and also care about other people really needs to come through when I’m interviewing them. Once they’re actually on the team, it’s all about mentorship.”
Know that Representation Matters
When we add women to any equation, there’s a return on equality. So how do we get from here to there in terms of inclusion? Equal representation, says Mohit Jolly, Head of Strategy and Ops, Growth Marketing, Google.
“An equality mindset means representation at every aspect of the market. It’s everything from having representation in different points of views on the team that’s developing the content, it’s the agency that we are working with, including the teams working behind the scenes that are shooting and editing the campaign. And equality mindset helps us think about which media to target.”
Celebrate Your Differences
Employee resource groups (ERGs) can be an effective way for individuals to forge relationships within and across teams inside their organizations. ERGs can also be a great opportunity for employees from different backgrounds to connect and gain a better understanding of who their customers are.
“I’m part of the American-Asian Pacific employee resource group at Discover. They have sessions where you can network and gain access to coaching or mentoring opportunities. The corporate culture is accepting differences, what makes each person unique, and that diversity is something that’s ingrained in our DNA,” says Gaurav Kane, Director, Marketing, Discover Financial Services.
Look for Potential
Due to embedded gender bias, men are often hired and promoted based on potential whereas women are evaluated based on experience and performance, reveals McKinsey & Company. But that’s starting to change, Guarav shares: “When we look at people for new hires, it’s about the potential that they show. The background and its relevance to the job are things that anyone can pick up. It’s more about the diversity and the diverse mindset you’re bringing to the table.”
No matter what industry you’re in or what your position is, you can be a leader in the workplace by making inclusion a priority. As a company, inclusion means cultivating cultures of care towards the people you hire, the partners you work with, and the campaigns you launch. And, as a customer, understand that you have the leverage to hold companies accountable for championing an equality mindset. Let’s work together so that we all win in the future.
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