Four Concrete Ways to Prioritize POC Advancement

Estimated reading time ~ 2 min
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When diversity initiatives treat gender and race as paradoxical entities, different cultural groups can get left out. It's important that companies are educated on the nuances of POC identity and both support and acknowledge their employees from various backgrounds.

At Jopwell, we believe that it's important for our community to understand the dichotomy of diversity, inclusion, and equity—understanding that although they have been packaged together as a group, there needs to be distinctive goals that separate these workforce challenges. Here's four ways to identify issues within DEI structures and how to prioritize POC advancement.

1. Take both gender and race into account when setting representation targets.

Only 7 percent of companies set representation targets for gender and race combined, which means too many companies aren’t setting specific goals around advancing POCs, specifically, Black and Latinx. In addition to setting targets, companies should track hiring and promotion outcomes for people of color to make sure they’re getting equal opportunities to advance. This is especially important at the first step up to manager—where many POCs, specifically women, are left behind.

2. Look at metrics beyond just representation.

Mentorship, sponsorship, and professional development opportunities also have a big impact on POC advancement and experiences at work. If POCs aren’t getting access to those things, figure out why, and take steps to make these programs more inclusive.

3. Share metrics.

Giving employees visibility into how the company is performing against diversity goals can help everyone understand why proactive efforts to advance Black women are so important. Sharing key metrics on a regular basis can also foster a valuable sense of organization-wide accountability. But right now, fewer than half of companies share at least some diversity metrics with their employees.

4. Reward progress.

Currently, fewer than 1 in 5 companies offer financial incentives for senior leaders who meet diversity targets. This is a signal that many companies aren’t as committed as they could be; what gets rewarded is typically what gets done. Companies need to hold leaders and managers accountable for meeting diversity goals, which means incorporating those goals into management expectations and performance reviews.

Statistical information sourced from LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, Women/POC in the Workplace 2019 (October 2019), https://womenintheworkplace.com/.

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