A collection of articles on diversity, inclusion, and workforce and talent strategy brought to you by Exponential Talent LLC.
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August 13, 2015

To advance our knowledge of diversity, inclusion, and workforce and talent strategy, we gather and share relevant articles on a regular basis. For this edition, we have identified the following articles of interest. 

Please tell us what content you most want to see in our Article of Interest Roundup. We invite you to share these articles via e-mail, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Diversity & Inclusion
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Intel puts its workers to work creating diversity by doubling the employee referral bonus to $4000 for new hires that are women, minorities, or veterans. Its 106,000 workforce is 75% male and 87% white or Asian/Pacific Islander. Announcing in January its intention to spend $300 million to diversify all levels of the company, Intel has long prioritized hiring veterans and is on track to meet its diversity goals for the year:
  • 41% of 2015 hires have come from underrepresented groups, up from 32% last year
  • 17% of senior executives hired in the first quarter were from minority groups and 33% were women, up from 6% and 19% in 2014
Intel will also establish more programs to promote science and technology education in communities that are underrepresented in the tech industry.

FastCompany: The State of the American Entrepreneur in 2015

Findings in the 2015 Kauffman Index show that 310 out of 100,000 adults, or 0.31%, started new businesses each month last year, an increase compared to last year's 0.28% new startup companies. That translates to 530,000 new business owners a month. The preponderance (63.2%) of newly minted entrepreneurs is men, while only 36.8% of women started their own venture in the most recent year.
Key findings about diversity in the entrepreneur pool for 2015:
  • The number of female entrepreneurs is close to the 20-year low of 36.3% from the 2008 Index
  • The Hispanic share of all new entrepreneurs rose from 10% in 1996 to 22.1% in 2014
  • Asian entrepreneurs also increased their share during this recent year
  • Blacks only saw incremental gains in entrepreneurial activity

Focus on Gender
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New York Times: How Millennial Women are Planning Career Pauses

Women in the Millennial age group (18 to early 30s) define their career success differently and less linearly than previous generations of women. Their expectations have declined: 66% of Millennial women said they expected their careers to be equal to those of their spouses, compared with 79% of Baby Boomers. Where 86% of Baby Boomer women expected to succeed in combining their careers and family life, only 75% of Millennial woman say the same. 

Highlights of various studies of Millennial women’s attitudes: 
  • The Center for Talent Innovation found that young people said they saw their parents struggle while working full time, or leave the work force altogether, and wanted a different option.
  • A Harvard Business School study found that 37% of Millennial women and 42% of those already married planned to interrupt their career for family. That compared with 28% of Gen X women and 17% of Baby Boomers.
  • The Wharton School found from graduating women students that, while 78% of the business school graduates in 1992 said they planned to have children, 42% said the same by 2012.
  • A Pew Research Center study found that 58% of working Millennial mothers said being a working mother made it harder for them to get ahead in their careers, compared with 38% of older women.
Fortune: Changing Genders at Work: Inside the Fortune 500's Quiet Transgender Revolution
Spurred by lawsuits in the 80's and 90's, the largest companies in the U.S. have provided non-discrimination protections, health care benefits and transition guidelines for transgender people. Two-thirds of the Fortune 500 companies do so today. The article relates personal and corporate experiences with transgender exclusion, and how more and more businesses score higher on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.
Criiteria for the Corporate Equality Index include:
  • Equal employment opportunity policy includes: sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
  • Tenets of EEO Policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity extend to: the global workforce; EEO Policy or Global Code of Conduct includes Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity; contractors; parity in supplier standards; and corporate giving standards.
  • To secure full credit for benefits criteria, each benefit must be available to all benefits-eligible U.S. employees
Lean In: Getting to 50/50: What’s in It for Men?

Current co-presidents of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Women in Management (WIM) believed that their organization missed a critical voice in its membership – the voice of men. In 2013, male engagement began to increase when Jeff Barnes joined WIM and shortly thereafter formed WIMmen for men who wholeheartedly support the goals of WIM. The consensus of WIMmen members is that the motivating factors for equality at work and home are: I want to be better at my job; I want to be a better husband/partner; and it’s the right thing to do.
A few of 9 specific recommendations for engaging in conversations about diversity from WIM and WIMmen:
  • Listen. Learn the facts, but also learn individuals’ stories. Accepting that there is inequality is the first step towards change.
  • Recognize unconscious bias and resist the urge to “call people out.” Acknowledge your own biases and learn techniques to reduce them.
  • Expect that you will sometimes “say the wrong thing.” Don’t be afraid to engage in genuine conversation.

Workforce and Talent Strategy
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Stanford Graduate School of Business: Ivan Marinovic on Why Honest Appraisals Can be Bad for Business 

Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Iván Marinovic applied game theory to explore the impact of honest versus less-than-honest performance reviews on employee motivation. His conclusion: Honest appraisals ultimately increase costs and reduce profits because they increase the volatility of the effort that people put into their jobs, putting the value of performance reviews into question. 
  • Employees know that companies have an incentive to be less than accurate in the appraisals. If employees see the appraisals as window dressing — less than accurate — they will discount the reviews and react very little.
  • The more that people believe their job reviews, the more likely they are to react with substantial changes in their work effort — and not always for the good. An honest appraisal could prompt star performers to relax because they don’t feel any competition or persuade laggards to give up hope and stop trying.
  • Volatility in employee effort doesn’t increase the total amount of work that gets done. Instead, it can create a cost for a company because most people don’t like volatile workloads and will instinctively demand higher pay upfront to compensate.
AON Hewitt: 2015 Trends in Global Employee Engagement

Aon Hewitt released this comprehensive, data-driven report on the state of employee engagement in the global economy. It concludes that there is a consistent, statistically significant relationship between higher levels of employee engagement and financial performance - a 5% increase in employee engagement results in a 3% increase in revenue growth.

Characteristics of the companies with the highest employee engagement:
  • They have intimately connected business and talent strategies, realizing that leadership and employee engagement are essential to their success.
  • They also have strong leadership, reputation and a performance orientation.
  • They drive an incremental 8 points of return to shareholders, resulting in 57% higher returns.

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