Don’t Let Your Account Slip Into Diversity Debt

Joonko
Joonko
Jul 15 · 3 min read

When your company account slips into the negative, it opens the potential for some major problems. Lucky for you, we know a thing or two about cashing in on diversity.

Let’s Talk Debt

There are three types of debt that most companies are familiar with:

Financial debt

A physical lack of monetary funds. It’s the state of being under obligation to pay or repay someone or something in return for something received.

Technical debt

Technical debt occurs from shortcuts made to specific pieces of code or product features in order to meet deadlines.

Diversity debt

A lack of diverse representation in your present workforce. With a lack of representation, companies lose valuable perspectives, cognitive thinking power, productivity, and revenue.

Diversity Debt Affects All Industries

In the tech field, there’s a major deficit in diverse representation. In almost 30 years, there has only been an 8% increase in the representation of minority groups in comparison to white men. In law practice, women are notoriously underrepresented making up only 20% of the partner-level across the country. Diversity debt can also be found in the arts with an 84% non-Hispanic white bias. And sadly, it doesn’t end there — educational facilities are in constant need of teachers of color and struggle to retain diverse educators. These levels of debt create a national epidemic on economically huge scales.

How Diversity Slips Into the Negative

Fast pace growth

There are 28.8 million small businesses in the United States that are constantly evolving. When companies grow quickly they need to hire capable talent fast. Many founders end up overwhelmed and reach out to past colleagues, friends from college or someone that was recommended to them through their network. Granted, the positions are filled, but now the workforce is a team of “buddies,” and that doesn’t build an inclusive environment for bringing in new diverse talent.

HR-NO

It’s not uncommon for companies to go without HR for the first 50 or so hires at their organization. This leads decision makers and founders, many of whom have little to no experience in HR or with handling delicate and legality practices. 83% of employers believe attracting and retaining talent is a growing challenge. Even worse, without an HR mind present in the hiring process, building a diversity account becomes even more of a challenge.

Embedded Hiring Practices & Unconscious Bias

It’s surprising how many companies get stuck in their way and refuse to adopt new methods or processes. Companies like these begin hiring for culture fit and start putting blinders on to diverse candidate skills. For many, it feels like a good thing putting culture first, but if you audit your company and come up short, you might also be tip-toeing into the land of unconscious bias.

Diversity Debt Consolidation

Plan ahead

Instead of letting the growth get the best of your company, get the best of growth. Map out your company’s success, plan your hiring sprees off tangible goals and determine the demographics of your new hires before the process even begins.

Disrupt the culture

Don’t be afraid to shake things up and edit your process. If you have toxic employees that don’t embrace diversity, maybe your company isn’t the place for them. Do what you can to get all employees on board, and encourage their assistance in the reform of the current culture.

Audit

When it comes to unconscious bias, you can’t always see it and sometimes can’t even hear it. It’s an assumption and mind-game you have to gain control over. Focus on diversity and inclusion training and get to the cause of the problem. There are plenty of tools, like ours, that are out there to help.

Brand your brand

Candidates are on the search for a workplace that fosters inclusion. By focusing efforts on scaling your diversity account, they’ll want to cash into your company. Brainstorm how to attract diverse candidates and think intentionally on how you want your company to be perceived.

We consider diversity debt to be at the top of the list. Keeping a system of checks and balances is critical, even more so in times of growth. Make sure to check the ledgers and budget for essential needs so that your account stays in the green. What are some practices that keep your company rich in diversity?

Joonko

Written by

Joonko

We’re harnessing the power of technology to streamline the traditional talent cycle and advance organizations towards achieving their D&I goals. www.joonko.co

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