The Impact of Workplace DEI – Part II – Promoting Diverse Employees

In part 1 of our series on the impact of workplace DEI, we looked at how biased hiring practices create barriers to the job market for certain demographics and keep organizations from accessing top talent.

In this post, we’ll look at the impact of workplace DEI when it comes to promotion. Because bias, unconscious or otherwise, doesn’t stop at the job application and interview stage. It can extend into every aspect of an organization, determining who rises to the top and who hits the “glass ceiling.”

Some startling statistics on promotion

To get a sense of how promotional opportunities are offered across the workforce, let’s consider some statistics.

·        68% of C-suite executives are white men.

A McKinsey report finds that, at the upper echelons of leadership, most organizations are still heavily male-dominated and racially homogenous, in favor of whiteness. The same report assessed the number of C-suite executives who are women of color at just 4%.

The glass ceiling isn’t the only barrier.

The glass ceiling continues to be a major obstacle in the path of advancement, where women and other minority groups advance to a point, but not into the highest levels of leadership. But so is something called the “broken rung.”

This term refers to a point much earlier in the corporate ladder, where many women can’t take that crucial first step from an entry level position into a managerial role. This early setback permanently slows or stops their growth, and ensures a dwindling number of women who qualify for promotion to higher levels of management. The McKinsey report notes that “for every 100 men promoted and hired to manager, only 72 women are promoted and hired.”

LGBTQ people are promoted less frequently than their peers.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation made similar findings regarding promotions for LGBTQ people. They found that 22% of LGBTQ Americans “have not been paid equally or promoted at the same rate as their peers.”

How training solutions can improve promotion opportunities

One of the most effective ways to promote equitable advancement is to offer training and professional development and to make those offerings accessible.  This training should include a two-fold approach.  First, training those who are hiring or promoting on the need to evaluate the quality, character, strength, knowledge, and commitment of the applicant and not look at their gender, race or other physical qualities.  The second approach is to ensure everyone in the organization has access to training, so they improve their knowledge, skill and understanding of their positions along with the company’s expectations for internal professional growth.

Virtual training solutions like Jigsaw can empower your workforce in various ways, from getting up to speed on the latest software to leadership training. Jigsaw’s immersive learning approach is designed to foster engagement and provide valuable skills and experience that can start closing the promotion gap and ensure that every level of your organization is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Schedule a demo to see how it works.

Incorporating DEI into hiring and promotion practices helps remove barriers to the job market and provides opportunities for advancement. But what about salary? In part 3 of this blog series, we’ll look at the importance of workplace DEI as it relates to compensation.