How can we use people analytics to unlock the benefits of a gender diverse workforce?
A "behind the scenes" talk on our latest work with LEAD, producing webinars on powerful data-driven diversity and inclusion practices.
Gender diversity and inclusion is a high-profile topic in modern organizations . The goal of having gender parity in a workforce is not an arbitrary key performance indicator, but can have a positive and measurable business impact.
In 2018 the WISE report "Why gender diversity makes business sense" stated:
“Organisations that lead the way on gender diversity so often also lead on performance and even profitability. Those that ignore diversity risk losing out to the competition.”
Increasing evidence suggests that a well-managed and diverse team will be more innovative and have more common experiences with an end user. More diverse workforce's gain a competitive edge in the fight for talent, as a diverse labor force signals an attractive work environment.
For example the Harvard Business Review reports on a survey in the U.S. and Western Europe:
“Of 1,000 respondents, the job site Glassdoor found that 67% of job seekers overall look at workforce diversity when evaluating an offer.”
Yet despite progress towards gender equality, the majority of organizations still have a long way to go before they reach parity.
Expanding the pink talent pool
Humdex has been working hard to bring its brand of data driven analysis to the D&I issue. Partnering with LEAD, Leading Executives Advancing Diversity, to construct and conduct online webinars on how internal and market data can be used to unlock a powerful, diverse workforce, or as we coin it; “expanding the pink pool”. Our speakers, Founder Caroline Brent & Senior Consultant Thea Roberts, have already met with much success for part 1 of their 2-part webinar series, which you can listen to for free here, so we take this opportunity, before part 2 go live, to get some “behind the scenes” information on the topic.
Just a few questions
1. What was your reasoning/motivation to tackle the hot topic of D&I?
C- We know from research that a diverse workforce delivers better results both in terms of financial performance and innovation. We are particularly interested in gender diversity as we have researched data that shows that the more gender balanced the workforce the smaller the pay gap between men and women, that is a good thing.
T- Having experienced being the only female leader in many leadership teams, and having seen the data that shows the financial benefits of a diverse workforce, I'm passionate about changing the thinking and actions that businesses take now and in the future towards a balanced and inclusive workforce.
2. How important, in your opinion, is it to use data effectively in the execution of D & I strategy/planning?
C- D&I strategy and subsequent targets should be data based and not emotionally led. We feel this gives the best chance of success, allows real market comparisons and, when well communicated to all stakeholders, drives positive engagement.
T- Whilst we all inherently know that having a workforce that represents the population mix is the "right thing to do" data gives this idea power, reach and structure to make and measure lasting change.
3. In the current ‘lock down ‘environment in many countries. How can people do to start to use data like this in planning for when their world restarts?
C- Even though change is challenging to enact in the present circumstances, the way some of us are working currently might give the time for thought and reflection. A more gender balanced world needs planning and commitment. Now can a be a good time for analysing your own data and linking this with relevant external influences that can help you plan that change. The world will be a different place, but gender imbalance will still exist. Now could be the perfect time to plan how to work to redress that balance.
T- Depending on your circumstances and the workload you are currently experiencing through the Covid-19 situation, now actually might be an appropriate time to review your business' D&I picture. The first step is to gather internal data to understand your D&I shape by country, business group, function and level. Could this be done NOW so you have a foundation to build your plans on?
4. What were the unique challenges and benefits of presenting in an online webinar format?
C- We are so enthusiastic about what we do, and we also like to really involve people in our thinking and approach so that it answers their questions. We are also happy to be side-tracked and move to those areas that are interesting for those that we work with. In a webinar, delivering that style is a little more difficult. However, we hope people hear enough to want to contact us so that we can understand the questions they have and help to find the right answer for their organization.
T- As a strong extrovert I do get my energy from being with other people. Whilst a webinar is not quite the same as interacting face to face, it is still a great way to connect with others. A webinar has so many benefits as it allows us to cover this important subject matter with hundreds of people, from across several continents, in a time and cost-effective way.
5. By participating in events like this, what are you finding the reception to sophisticated data driven D&I analytics is?
C- I think that many people have some internal data on D&I but find the added dimension of how external data can influence their plans new, exciting and sometimes a bit concerning. We love to show how to bring those two elements together so that we can give that 'ah ha' moment and encourage broad based thinking and a very fact based, measurable and deliverable D&I plan. It positions HR people professionals as data competent and fact led – perfect.
T- We know that registrations for our webinar were in excess of 230 people, the feedback rate was high at almost 25% and the webinar recording is one of the most visited pages on the LEAD network website - which is really exciting!! It tells us that the interest and reception are really strong for this topic and that people want to learn about producing sophisticated, data driven D&I plans for their businesses.
6. How else does Humdex help companies with their people analytics?
C- This is only one aspect of how people analytics can help companies plan and grow. We have a major interest in helping companies develop data driven SWFP as we believe this is the root of a sophisticated people strategy. We can also help with data analysis, planning and strategy during acquisition divestment and in culture and technological change strategy - in essence good data is never wasted in any people process, and we are here to help.
T- D&I is an important part of sophisticated human capital strategic planning, and should be a part of a businesses' overall strategic workforce plan, which Humdex can support businesses in analysing, developing and finessing. Humdex are experts in supporting businesses to deliver against their business plans by ensuring that they have a sophisticated people strategy that combines their internal data with the external market place.
7. When can we expect part 2 of your webinar on D & I to take place, and how can people sign up to hear it live?
C & T- Recruiting for D&I is an important step in the delivery of a business' D&I strategy. How you "Go to market" with a sophisticated plan will determine your speed, impact and success. Join Caroline and I on May 15th to hear more about the value that a sophisticated gender diversity plan will drive in a business and how you might take such a plan to market.
Sign up to the webinar here.
We work hard at keeping up to date and informed on the latest trends and news affecting the world of people analytics & strategic workforce planning. If you would like to know more about the work we do, then please contact us.
Author -Scott Brent
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