There is a lot to stop and consider in the linked survey results. McKinsey does a great job at breaking down where things stand now, and what the issues are preventing it from getting better. Obviously, across all industries, this is still an issue.
There were two takeaways I had, one that while we are seeing some statistical improvement for women, it’s very small, relatively speaking, and women of color are not seeing that improvement at all, which just goes to show that in some ways, businesses are only doing surface diversity work, promoting and attracting women with a similar background to the folks who are already in management.
The other paragraph that jumped out at me was this one, about how the work we describe as being critical to our business success, goes unrewarded.
“This critical well-being and DEI work is going overlooked
Companies see the value of women leaders’ contributions. Almost 70 percent of companies say that the work employees do to promote DEI is very or extremely critical, and an even greater number say this is true of the work managers do to support employee well-being. But less than a quarter of companies are recognizing this work to a substantial extent in formal evaluations like performance reviews.”
This is an acute problem for many of us, who want to participate in doing the work of promoting diversity and inclusion but are still getting measured by everything other than that. And, as the survey points out, it is oftentimes women who take on this work, in an effort to help other women and minorities achieve.
But, as much as the C-Level folks talk about the importance of this work, it is not a part of the job performance, nor is time and effort really allocated for it.
How many of you volunteer to take on this work, running an employee resource group, putting together presentations, leading group discussions, often at the behest of top management, and then when it comes times for performance reviews, the only thing that matters is time spent on bringing in revenue?
The message seems to really be, “It’s great that you want to do this work for us, but make sure you do it on your time because your productivity will be measured against the people who don’t spend any time at all doing this work”
That’s not how you incentivize people to do this work. In fact, it’s those incentives that lead many to believe that you aren’t serious about your diversity and inclusion efforts.
Maybe it’s not just a belief, maybe it’s true?
Meanwhile, there’s a lot of really good reading at the link below. you should take the time to read it and consider where your workplace is in terms of women within it.