I’ve come to the conclusion that, when it comes to workplace diversity (for the most part), white males think we’ve improved more than we have. Consequently, when it comes to under represented people (again for the most part), women, people of color, LGBTQs, veterans, and disabled believe that diversity efforts have not improved as much as they actually have. The grass will forever be greener on the other side of the fence.
While most can admit that diversity is necessary on some levels (with statistics to back it up), but the question of what the amount of “necessary” is will always be an issue. According to Fortune, “A new PwC survey of nearly 900 directors found that a majority of them—73%—recognize that diversity is beneficial. Of that segment, 94% said gender and racial diversity brings unique perspectives to the boardroom, 82% agreed that it enhances board performance, and 59% tied it to better company performance. Yet a small but startling share—16%—said that gender and racial diversity has no benefits at all.”
In addition “More than half of directors—58%—said that their board has achieved racial diversity, but outside research from executive search firm Spencer Stuart shows that just 15% of board seats at the top 200 S&P 500 companies belonged to racial minorities. ” Green Grass anyone?
So what to do with those people who do not believe what you believe in terms of diversity? Well…nothing. There will always be people who believe what they believe completely ignoring facts especially if the fact does not affect them at all (a good example is racial discrimination in the justice system). The key here is to push those who do in some way support your issue and see how to improve their organizations. If facts are correct then those 16% will suffer and ultimately fail in the long run anyway unless they switch their view point.
Not every situation will meet what you deem as “perfect diversity” but that does not mean every situation cannot improve. For now let us focus on improving and sustaining diversity and then expanding its success.