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Moving the Needle

Article published by The HR Agenda, October, 2012
Available in English and in Japanese

By Suzanne Price

In order to improve diversity and inclusion, organizations must strive to create conditions for non-dominant groups to enter the leadership pipeline. In this article Suzanne Price argues that real change can only be brought about by addressing employees’ mindsets. She talks us through a threefold approach involving awareness-raising, behavioral and attitudinal training with examples based on gender balance and successfully increasing the pool of female leadership talent.

To move the needle on diversity and inclusion, companies cannot simply disseminate new information. Even when there is a strong business case for diversity, simply informing employees of the benefits will not achieve any significant change.

Rather, true change in organizations starts when employees are aware of the way their attitudes and behaviors can affect themselves and others around them. In other words, diversity programs must tackle employee mindsets and the psychological aspects of change by focusing on awareness-raising, behavioral and attitudinal training. This threefold approach gets beyond the intellectual level of understanding to address the emotional aspects of perception that can cause unfair categorization, prejudice and stereotyping. HR professionals can demonstrate their commitment to leveraging the business benefits of diversity by combining these three critical factors in their training programs: