The increased focus on remote work prompted many organizations to make sure employees didn’t feel marginalized during physical isolation — or by being in a segment of the workforce still entering a physical workplace. Many organizations worked to identify behaviors such as racism and ageism that can make people feel marginalized. Some worked to help employees educate themselves on conscious and unconscious bias to better recognize and reduce both.
But the spotlight on diversity, equity and inclusion was intensified by anti-racism protests in the U.S. and around the world, which sparked unprecedented social discourse about race, equity and justice. That prompted many organizations to make public commitments to diversity and equitable treatment for all employees.
Employees may have appreciated these initial statements and conversations, but many are skeptical about or wary of what will come. It has never been more important for organizations to clearly and loudly commit anew to their DEI strategies, but that commitment must be sustained.
The mandate for HR leaders now is to build more inclusive leadership, embed DEI values in talent and business processes, and commit to driving systemic change. But to date, few DEI leaders claim real success in building a diverse workforce or diverse and inclusive leadership bench.
HR leaders will have to assess candidly what the organizational and employee challenges are so as to enable the design of a relevant DEI strategy.
Talent management processes — succession planning, recruiting, performance management — are the most susceptible to bias, and should be the starting point for embedding DEI.
At Gartner ReimagineHR Conference, we dedicate an entire agenda track to diversity, equity and inclusion. We address today’s environment and sustainable recommendations for HR leaders and HR professionals to bring back to their organizations.