Enough with the talk! It’s time to take action for inclusion.
Jodi spoke recently at the Brandon Hall HCM conference and heard over and over about how people are working diligently to help increase inclusion. But over and over again, she also heard stories about how inclusion is considered strategic but there is no money available for training and no movement from senior leaders. Companies will set up ERGs and “let” volunteer advocates run them, but nobody is responsible for actually making a change to the organization. There is rarely a budget, and even when there is, it’s inadequate. Companies seem more willing to talk a good game than invest. Melinda Gates just created a fund to launch new ventures for women – $50 million – which sounds great until its compared to the average venture fund of $135 million. As usual, women compete for what amounts to a drop in the bucket. Everyone feels good but nothing changes.
Enough with the talk! It’s time for CEOs and executives to get serious about inclusion. In our recent survey on male allyship, 64% of respondents believe their company considers gender inclusion strategically important. However, of those, only 25% believe their company prioritizes it and 13% believe their companies are doing nothing. So fully 75% of organizations who say they care are merely paying lip service but not following through!
It’s 2020! Nobody’s fooling anyone anymore. There are no more excuses. Gender inclusion is a business imperative, not a nice to have. But what is incomprehensible is the lack of serious strategic action. Real progress in inclusion requires assessment, training, goal-setting, and action. Leaders need better skills. Processes need to change. Allies need to step up. If this were any other business problem with this level of competitive threat, organizations would invest serious money and put their best people on it as a priority. Why is this not happening with inclusion? What are we afraid of? It makes no sense!
Enough with the talk! CEOs and executives: We’re talking to you. Don’t believe the hype? Think it’s too hard? Is there resistance in your organization? Where is the resistance happening? Why is the resistance happening? Explore this. Think deeply. Debate it. Ask your people. Experience what it’s like to feel like the “other”. Ask the token women or token person of color on your executive team what it’s really like. Ask women in various teams how much they are listened to. Investigate the problem in your business, with a strategic, operational approach, not simply a nice-to-have mindset.
Enough with the talk! Enough with asking the women to change! Enough dabbling! It’s time to invest.
Learn how: Join our inclusion webinar Feb 27.
Learn the 21st century competencies of managing and leading with our Inclusive Leadership Training. Leaders will be better equipped to help team members realize their potential, think more strategically and better manage difference. Contact Us to learn more.