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A collection of articles on diversity, inclusion, and workforce and talent strategy brought to you by Exponential Talent LLC.
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January 20, 2017

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Diversity & Inclusion
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Harvard Business Review: Research: How Subtle Class Cues Can Backfire on Your Resume

Professors at the Kellogg School of Management researched how class and gender affect hiring choices at top law firms. Using the resume audit method (identical resumes except for the first names and the activities and interests), they confirmed that the firms preferred male applicants from the higher, more wealthy echelons of society as indicated by extracurricular activities, i.e., polo versus country music. Among women, lower class women were preferred to hire. In subsequent interviews, the researchers learned that upper class women are passed over because of being perceived as the labor pool least committed to their careers and subject to “flight risk” to raise families. Their conclusion: employers should “ditch” the extracurricular activities and accept only first name initials on resumes.

Stanford BusinessA Better Way to Diffuse Racial Discrimination

In a paper published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers introduced and studied the efficacy of applying the “perceived intentionality of racial discrimination” to the two distinct approaches to mitigating racial hostility. They found that when intentional racism is involved, encouraging people to be “colorblind,” focusing instead on common purpose and unity was effective. For those who see discrimination having as its basis ignorance, the “multicultural” approach of embracing differences was found to be better. They conclude that understanding the basis of bias and applying the correct approach is most effective is diffusing racial discrimination. 

Focus on Gender
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McKinsey & Company: Study - Women Matter 2016: Reinventing the Workplace to Unlock the Potential of Gender Diversity

McKinsey & Company identifies three critical factors to making progress on gender equity: persistence; CEO commitment informing all management levels; and, “... comprehensive transformation programs.” The study finds little progress toward gender equity – women in US companies make up 17% of executive committees and sit in less than 18% of board seats. In Western Europe, women hold the same percent of executive positions and are 32% of board members. Combining the findings of both the US and Western Europe, it finds only 7% of companies consider gender parity a top priority and an overwhelming majority of employees (88%) think their companies are not doing enough.

Talent and Workforce Strategy
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Fast Company: How Paid Leave Changed in 2016

The US ranks last of all developed countries in requiring paid family leave, leaving 100 million-plus employees without that benefit, and resulting in 25% of new mothers returning to work 10 days after having a child. An advocacy group reports that 60 of the nation’s companies having the most employees either do not have or would not disclose their parental leave policy. In 2016, the trend to expand parental leave was led by individual cities and states as well as individual private sector companies. Research continues to find that the expense of such policies is more than offset by increasing the ability to attract and keep talent, reducing the costs of turnover, and increasing diversity. 

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