On International Women’s Day, March 8th, DHR Global led a conversation on global diversity, hosted by Dwain Celistan, Managing Partner of DHR’s Diversity practice.
The panel featured three People & Culture Leaders sharing their insights on key learnings, perspective and best practices for getting the most from a diverse, global workforce:
- Andrez Carberry, Head of Global Human Resources at John Deere.
- Derek Gordon, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Colgate-Palmolive
- Elena Richards, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at KPMG US
Thank you to Elena, Andrez and Derek for sharing their ideas and wisdom. You can view the full replay below, or scroll down to read the top 5 key areas of focus for DE&I leaders, in the words of our panelists.
One: DE&I Is Not An Initiative, It’s Who You Are As a Company
“…this has got to start top down and the belief has got to start top down because at a team level, if you do not believe that your boss has skin in the game around diversity and inclusion or their boss has skin in the game, then ultimately nothing happens.
We talk about the frozen middle. It’s like you can’t unfreeze the middle if you do not have real belief being delivered from the top part of the organization.
Related to that, I’d say it’s really important that the organization understands that this is not an initiative, that this is simply who we are as a company.”Derek Gordon, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Colgate-Palmolive
Two: DEI Is Front and Center When It Comes To People
“At every gate in the process, DE&I is going to be front and center of decisions that you have to make when it comes to people. When we’re talking about promotions, a critical aspect of our promotional framework is we’ve built out success profiles for the respective roles.
Now what many companies do is they talk about a passion for DE&I, or a commitment to DE&I. What we’ve instead done is to incorporate language that says the person has to demonstrate it, demonstrable evidence that they have leveraged and developed diverse people and teams across the diversity spectrum. What that specific language forces us to do is actually give concrete examples of how they’ve demonstrated that versus the amorphous, ‘they’re committed to DE&I.’”Andrez Carberry, Head of Global Human Resources at John Deere
Three: Diversity Is Putting the Best Team On the Field
“I find sometimes that where organizations and leaders sometime fall undermine the efforts of talent development and its diversity as an aspect of that is oftentimes when you hear a leader say something to the effect of, ‘Well we needed to do this,’ or, ‘We needed to do that,’ rather than saying, ‘She was the right person for the job, the best person for the job and as a result, she was promoted or she was put in that position.’
Oftentimes I think I’ve seen leaders, and I’m not speaking to DHR, but just broadly when I’ve had this conversation with leaders, when they aren’t willing to engage in those difficult conversations and give the direct feedback and speak with a certain amount of conviction with respect to their decisions, that’s when you see this narrative of distrust and what DE&I is bringing versus what it really is bringing is the best talent to bear and putting the best team on the field in order to succeed.’”Derek Gordon, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Colgate-Palmolive
Four: Talent Planning Must Include Accountability
“…we have got to look at the talent pools. We have got to look at what are we doing to actually create those profiles, so that there’s more transparency about what it means to be successful. That is the ‘leadership way and approach’ to getting more people ready.
So looking at, who’s ready now? Who’s ready soon? What are the steps? Who are we looking at?
Then asking, ‘what are we actually doing?’ Because that’s the part sometimes where people fall down. What are the actual steps we’re going to take to credential someone – and who’s accountable for that?”Elena Richards, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at KPMG US
Five: Be Cautious About – and Consider Eradicating – the Phrase ‘ Culture Fit’
“…’What do you mean by [culture] fit?’ is always the question I next ask. Do you mean, ‘do they fit the homogeneous nature of how you’ve historically done the job and what you view as talent,’ or could we benefit from disruption?”
So fit actually is not what we should be looking for. We should be looking for disruption. We should be looking for someone who can help us think and behave differently, someone who brings a different perspective to the table.
Fit is about, ‘how do they fit in helping us to drive the strategy?’ It should not be about how do they fit with respect to the team or the dynamics of how you have become accustomed to functioning and working.”Andrez Carberry, Head of Global Human Resources at John Deere
“We want you to value the diversity and background experience style, but seek commonality in values. So at the end of the day, if you want to use ‘fit,’ and I also have a discomfort with that, but what’s key is you’re looking for people that have the same value system that as a company we want to be able to stand for.”Derek Gordon, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Colgate-Palmolive