Research published this month by Gartner reveals just  12% of HR leaders believe their organisation has been effective at increasing diversity representation.

Drawing conclusions from a survey of 113 HR leaders  – heads of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion – in April 2020, Gartner identified three key organisational barriers to the advancement of underrepresented talent. These barriers are:

  • Unclear career paths and steps to advancement;
  • too little exposure to senior leaders;
  • and lack of mentors or career support.

“An April survey of heads of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) found that 69% are prioritizing advancing underrepresented talent especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lauren Romansky, managing vice president in the Gartner HR practice. “While the intent is there, there is no two-hour training remedy for this challenge. Organizations need to assess their current systems and processes to mitigate bias and address organizational factors that prohibit equal opportunity for advancement.”

In response to these barriers, Gartner has identified three solutions which they believe can help harness better diversity:

1. Fix the manager-employee relationship

To make progress on increasing diversity representation, organisations need to build healthy manager-employee relationships that set the right foundation for advocacy and advancement.  This includes ensuring appropriate levels of training are in place. Organisations that fostered training programmes aimed specifically at underrepresented talent, had better success in solving their diversity problems.

2. Enable growth-focused networks

Growth-focused networks are intentional and self-sustaining, providing an array of diverse individuals in role, skills, level and experience. They also offer exposure to senior leaders who are positioned to support growth and advancement.

3. Redesign the talent process to mitigate bias

While DEI does not own the talent process, redesigning the process to ensure its inclusion is an effective way to put the spotlight on diversity and offer more opportunities. Lauren Romansky said: “In the wake of COVID-19 and the ensuing economic crisis, HR leaders are reconsidering a variety of talent processes to accommodate changing objectives and workforces. This creates an opportunity to consider where in those talent processes such as performance management, rewards, succession and high potential selection, there is bias.”

Read the full release here.

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