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What Causes A Lack of Workplace Diversity? (The Top 4 Factors)

Glassdoor’s 2020 Job & Hiring Trends Report predicted that diversity and inclusion would continue to become an increasing priority for employers. The death of George Floyd in May 2020, along with the protests that followed, served to bring even more attention to this topic.

As a result of the increased scrutiny on the makeup of corporate America, most companies made statements about their intentions to make diversity a bigger priority in the future. For that to actually happen though, companies will need to analyze why their organizations lacked diversity in the first place.

In this article, you will learn the four biggest factors that lead to poor workplace diversity. You have to fix these problems first if you want to build a more diverse, inclusive company in the future.

1. Failure to recognize and communicate that diversity is good for business.

If a company lacks diversity, the number one reason is that its leaders have failed to recognize and communicate that diversity is good for business. Some leaders inaccurately see workplace diversity as nothing more than “charity” or as something that is “nice” to focus on. In reality, research has found that workplace diversity is linked to more innovation, higher employee engagement, and greater profitability.

Diversity must be recognized and communicated throughout the company as being good for business. In addition, lack of diversity must be recognized and communicated throughout the company as being bad for business. Otherwise, it is unlikely that an organization will ever make diversity a true priority.

2. Thinking one person or department is responsible for workplace diversity.

Based on data from Glassdoor, job postings for diversity and inclusion roles increased more than 50% in the three months following George Floyd’s death on in May 2020. While it is positive that more companies are hiring for D&I roles, many companies make the mistake of thinking that one person or one department (HR) is responsible for workplace diversity.

In reality, every leader in a company must buy-in to the importance of workplace diversity and be held accountable for building a diverse, inclusive culture. Unless that happens, it’s unlikely that any real, lasting changes will occur.

3. Failure to measure and track diversity.

When a company fails to measure and track diversity, it is much more likely to become homogenous. However, many companies make this mistake. For example, research by McKinsey & Co. has found that less than 40% of companies actually establish gender diversity goals for their employee base.

Start with diversity goals for recruiting, and require hiring teams and search firms to identify, contact, and interview a diverse slate of candidates for each open role. In addition, establish and track diversity goals for hiring and promotions as well.

4. Biased recruiting processes.

When a workforce lacks diversity, the company’s recruiting processes also play a large role. For example, maybe the company is using arbitrary job requirements that unfairly disqualify diverse candidates from consideration. Or, maybe the company’s career pages, job descriptions, or interview processes are somehow turning off diverse candidates. Or, maybe the company is only searching for candidates through referral networks and talent pools that are very homogenous.

A desire to build a more diverse workforce is a good start. However, your company also has to ensure that its recruiting processes are unbiased and set up to attract a diverse group of candidates.

P.S. Looking for more help with your company’s executive recruiting efforts?

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About the author: As the Founder of Stronger Talent, Pete Leibman recruits exceptional leaders for innovative sports, fitness, and wellness companies. Throughout his career, Pete has helped clients recruit exceptional leaders at the Board, C-Suite, Senior Vice President, Vice President, General Manager, Managing Director, and Director levels. Pete’s work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and, and he is the author of two books and over 250 articles on career management, peak performance, and executive recruiting.

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