Increasing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

June 7, 2022
Season 3, Episode 20

Senior Director Anthony DiRomualdo talks with Associate Principal Arbin Smith, Associate Principal Dorothee El-Khoury about results from our recent research examining best practices around corporate efforts to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.


Show Notes

Join us for this episode of The Hackett Group’s Business Excelleration Podcast, where we get to hear from experts on the top tips for avoiding obstacles, managing detours and celebrating milestones on the journey to world-class performance. Today’s episode is hosted by Tony DiRomualdo, senior research director with The Hackett Group’s HR Advisory program. His guests are associate principals Arbin Smith and Dorothee El-Khoury from The Hackett Group. This discussion focuses on what organizations can do to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Learn why continued commitment and diligence, along with active and intentional engagement, are all crucial here!

While this is a particularly amplified topic to address – as a culmination of many events over the recent years have come to a head – Tony seeks to draw out these experts’ thoughts on how significant progress can actually be made. While there have been many renewed actions of businesses and organizations on this front, Tony asserts that they’ve failed to move the needle in any significant manner. They chat about a number of key practices that actually have proven to make a difference for some companies, and they dive deeper into addressing three of these.

The first key practice Arbin and Dorothee take the time to discuss is the holistic approach that some take in rethinking a company’s strategies. Learn about how some organizations look at changes in order to make and improve the results of various processes – not just one. Today’s guests discuss what organizations should do better around talent management, as they remind the listeners that this is not just a transaction to occur once, but it is a continual process. Requiring all hands on deck, they urge people to look beyond the traditional pools of where they have gotten their talent in the past. Learn why successful companies are investing more into awareness, and how this helps people better see the point and need of the efforts they’re making. People need to understand where the movement comes from. Dorothee shares that focusing on careers and making examples for people will help to ultimately drive this different result.

Moving on to the second key practice, these experts discuss measuring and assessing progress toward desired key outcomes. This is a real differentiator. Both Arbin and Dorothee discuss this challenge of measurement and assessment around belonging, and why it is crucial that a company first admits that they even have a problem. Organizations need to honestly ask themselves the hard questions: Can we get diverse talent in the door and can they progress? Are there barriers along the way? Arbin tells listeners that you cannot manage what you can’t measure. Listen to why metrics should be a part of a company’s DNA – to look at every part of the organization and be honest with the findings. Looking at a broader spectrum of indicators and then actually acting upon them will make all the difference.

As the conversation draws to a close, they touch on the third key practice for today – holding leaders from top to bottom accountable for results. Listen to their thoughts on how to drive this accountability for results and how you can make it integral to a leader’s success. Through incentives and consistency, this can become a reflexive and second-nature behavior for any organization’s leaders. These experts remind listeners that this is something that needs to be enforced and reinforced – accountability and visibility must be present in all levels of the company. With focused communication, along with transparency of goals and progress, Arbin and Dorothee see a bright future for organizations!

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  • 0:49 – Tony introduces episode guests and topic
  • 2:48 – A number of key practices that make a difference
  • 3:24 – First key practice – a holistic approach
  • 8:59 – Second key practice – measuring and assessing
  • 14:04 – Third key practice – holding leaders accountable
  • 20:40 – Thank yous!