By Harvey Schachter, The Globe and Mail
Most progressive companies embrace the notion of diversity. The difficulty is in making it work – ensuring all people feel welcome within the organization, and have a chance to rise to the level their abilities allow.
Boris Groysberg, a Harvard Business School professor who teaches a course on how star women succeed, and Katherine Connolly, who works in the organizational behaviour unit at the school, decided to search for answers by speaking to 24 leaders of diverse organizations. From those interviews, it was clear that success depends on chief executive officers firmly pushing for diversity.
The CEOs we spoke with did not see diversity as a once-and-done initiative, nor did they hand off the responsibility for it to others. Rather, each of the 24, in his or her own way, approached inclusivity as a personal mission,” they wrote in Harvard Business Review.
In an interview, Prof. Groysberg stressed that it is important to make a distinction between the words “diversity” and “inclusiveness.” Diversity is about counting the numbers, to see that women and minorities are progressing to leadership posts. Inclusiveness is about making the numbers count – about all individuals feeling cherished and equal.
They lay out eight practices that can make a difference, according to the CEOs they interviewed