We still haven’t really made a dent in this diversity/inclusion thing have we? The numbers don’t lie. 81% of healthcare workers are female, less than 18% of leadership positions in healthcare are filled by females. The same is true in the service industry, the restaurant industry, etc. Similar numbers can be said about African Americans and Hispanics in almost every industry.
The world is changing and we keep doing the same thing.
HR shops are trying to change our behaviors and how we think, but they are working against thousands of years of ingrained behaviors. A few training courses aren’t going to change this level of programming.
People hate quotas in hiring. They view the word ‘quota’ in the same vane as they view other words that lead to hate speech.
No one wants quotas.
That’s the problem. Quotas work. Quotas are a measure that organizations can see and do something about. Oh, we need five more females. We better go hire them. It’s straightforward. It’s simple to understand.
I get what’s wrong with them, we talk about that all the time. Rarely, do we ever talk about what’s right with quotas. When I was in HR at Applebee’s I had a ‘diversity quota’ on my leadership staffing. It was measured as a percent of the overall staff and our diversity in leadership was measured as females, African American, Asian, Hispanic, etc. Basically, the only thing that didn’t count was white guys.
It was frustrating to me because I had very high diversity within my leadership team, but to continue to get high ratings I had to keep hiring diversity, even if it meant that one day I would have 100% diverse leadership. This rating was important to me because I got bonused on this rating. Having a diverse leadership team was very important to Applebees.
What Applebee’s leadership knew was that I was never going to get to 100% diversity. It wasn’t their goal. But, they knew to move the needle on diversity we needed to start measuring the color and kinds of faces we were hiring. Quotas.
It worked. It showed those working for our organization that we were serious about hiring diversity, so much so, that we were going to ensure this number moved.
Quotas are bad when they are used for bad purposes and good people get hurt by this. I wasn’t passing over better white guys when hiring leadership at Applebees. I was searching for better diverse candidates overall and hiring them. Our leadership makeup needs to reflect our employee makeup. That is better hiring.
Don’t discount quotas in 2015. If you truly want to move the needle in your organization, measure it.