During the Nov. 5 webinar, “How to Be a More Inclusive Leader,” Matthew Tuohy, Divisional Vice President of Sales and Channel Strategy at ADP; Chris Hoyler, Director of Communications and Sponsorship at Comcast NBCUniversal; Elvie Gee, Global D&I Networks Leader at Johnson & Johnson and Livia Konkel, International Diversity & Inclusion Leader at Wells Fargo, gave career advice on how to lead — inclusively.
Konkel led the conversation by jumping right into exactly why diverse leadership matters.
“The statistics are really clear. People who feel included are more engaged,” Konkel said. “And we know that engagement drives discretionary effort and productivity, and ultimately, the performance of our company. So that, for us, is a really clear reason why inclusive leadership is so important.”
- A diversity and inclusion strategy is key to developing a company with employees who feel included
- Unconscious bias mitigation should be a part of any recruitment process
- It’s important to have a focus on diversity and inclusion as well as making sure that the company also reflects the markets that they serve
Build a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
Konkel said her company’s diversity and inclusion strategy focuses on three main pillars: team member outcomes, marketplace outcome and D&I advocacy outcome.
“That third one is really key because with our D&I advocacy outcome, we hold each person in our firm accountable for their own diversity and inclusion journey,” Konkel said. “That has been a strategic pillar for quite a while, but over the last several years through commitment from our enterprise diversity and inclusion council — that’s our D&I council that’s led by the CEO — we’ve actually set leadership expectations around diversity and inclusion, which we hold every person accountable for through their performance objective.”
Part of Konkel’s strategy at Wells Fargo also includes encouraging employees to recognize unconscious bias and then mitigate it. Under her leadership, the company has built unconscious bias mitigation into talent acquisition in their talent management processes.
Part of building a strategy for diversity and inclusion is also breaking myths. Hoyler said that includes understanding that diversity and inclusion is not an HR issue.
“Inclusion is a verb,” he said. “It requires people to step up, leaders to step up and focus in their own individual way on the uniqueness of their teams and the uniqueness of their work and to integrate that into their day-to-day work at a tactical level.”
Intersectionality and Reflecting Your Markets
Tuohy spoke about the company’s perspective on diversity and inclusion.
“The key for us is to make sure that we not only stay ahead from a technology perspective but that we have a focus on not only D&I but a big-picture perspective of making sure that we also reflect the markets that we serve,” Tuohy said.
What intersectionality and being inclusive means to ADP, according to Tuohy, is that no matter what an employee identifies with or as, they should feel valued and supported to grow within the company. ADP does that by creating and continuing work environments where leaders are inclusionary and differences are embraced.
Because differences mean success, according to data Tuohy presented.
Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity in their executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. From an ethnic and cultural diversity perspective, the finding was the company was 33% more likely to outperform their competitors in lower quartiles.
“How do we make sure we’ve brought an inventory system of personal growth? What are we doing to make sure that we take advantage of those folks’ perspectives that are coming into our organization?” Tuohy said. “Because everybody has a lot of value. When you hear different points of view, whether it’s from a personal perspective, from an actual company perspective that they may have come from, that’s really how we ultimately can migrate and really accelerate. A third is: are we reflecting the markets you work in?”
Tuohy also spoke about the importance of spotting and mitigating unconscious bias within all levels of a company.
“D&I within our organization [is] a consistent message, and it is the fabric in terms of which we’re bringing up our leaders that both are going to develop future leaders, are going to identify talent, and are going to be able to reinforce that message that we want to make sure is very, very crystal clear,” Tuohy said.
Gee also focused on building internal barriers against unconscious bias.
“We have leadership performance standards that really support the leadership imperative, some of which address inclusive leadership behaviors … around respect, seeking and incorporating different points of view, collaborating across boundaries and engaging in really open and honest conversation,” Gee said. “The other way we are holding our leaders accountable is through our biannual employee survey called the inner voice survey. And we embed a series of questions that seek to understand how the organization is doing as it relates to inclusion.”
To hear the full conversation with even more takeaways, listen here. For more on recruiting diverse people, career advancement and advice, visit DiversityInc.com and DiversityIncBestPractices.com, and check out more webinars like this.)