A collection of articles on diversity, inclusion, and workforce and talent strategy brought to you by Exponential Talent LLC.
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September 1, 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
Photo of two businesswomen

Anne Weisberg, senior vice president at the Families and Work Institute, writes in a New York Times op-ed about how the 21st century workplace must evolve new views of the "ideal" worker if they want to win and keep the best talent. She writes that businesses are “falling over themselves” to devise perks for mothers and women who want to be mothers, from freezing human eggs to nannies flying along with mother and infant on business trips. She asserts, “But this new raft of ‘perks’ shows how trapped we still are in a work culture that prizes total availability at the office at all times and how blind we are to the impact that norms at work have on roles at home.” The difficulty of changing work culture, she posits, lies in unconscious assumptions about gender norms at home.

Highlights of gender studies:
Weisberg concludes, “We need to reimagine leadership so that the ideal workers are not the ones who stay at work the latest, but the ones who get all their work done and leave at a reasonable hour; they are not the ones who get on a plane on a moment’s notice, even with a nanny in tow, but the ones who figure out how to conduct the meeting without having to travel.”
Quoted at length in the article, Deborah L. Rhode is the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law as well as the director of its Center on the Legal Profession and Program in Law and Social Entrepreneurship. She is a former director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research. She partially attributes the dearth of African American men and women in law to unconscious bias. She cites 2014 research by consulting firm Nextions which found that a group of law firm partners gave a much higher grade to an associate’s written legal memorandum when they thought he was white. But the partners gave the same memo, when they believed it to have been written by a black associate, a lower evaluation and predictions of less potential as a lawyer.

Statistics about the legal profession:
  • 88% of lawyers are white 
  • 5.6% of lawyers who hold top leadership positions at law firms are non-white
  • Fewer than 2% of law firm partners are black and black women are even more uncommon 
  • Black associates accounted for 4% of all firm associates in 2014 
USA TodayIntel's Results Prove Diversity Strategy is Not Just a Pipeline Issue

Having set a goal of full representation in diversity by 2020, Intel's aggressive effort to recruit women and minorities has doubled the number of such hires this year, from 20% to 43.3%. In seeking to achieve parity with the actual numbers of people in those groups having the technical skills, CEO Brian Krzanich said, "There's actually a pretty good pipeline going." Their approach was to focus on going to the right colleges and having people who look like who they want to hire go in as recruiters.

Highlights of Intel's diversity numbers:
  • 23% women (19.4% in technical jobs and 15.4% in leadership)
  • 8.3% Hispanics (8% in technical jobs)
  • 3.4% African Americans (3.3% in technical jobs) 
  • 0.5% Native Americans (and as many in technical jobs)
  • 4.8% minorities in leadership 
Focus on Gender
Photo of two businesswomen
Washington PostGender Gap in Federal Salaries? Let’s Not Go There Anymore, New Personnel Chief Says
A 2014 internal pay gap study by the Office of Personnel Management found that women made 12.7% less than men, and that hiring officials used special authorities to hire above minimum more often for men than they did for women. Acting Director Beth Cobert issued a memo with directives and recommendations to correct that situation.

Highlights of the memo:
  • Agencies are not to consider current or prior salaries in making employee hires because it hurts candidates returning to work after an absence and because the salary may not reflect the person's qualifications.
  • In setting a candidate's salary, hiring managers will consider the person's qualifications, whether the agency has special needs for their services, and the "full range" of factors to consider except their previous salary.
  • To address the imbalance in hiring in all occupations, agencies are urged to collect employee data by gender, review how jobs are classified for pay settings and publicly post salary rates.
MediumIf You Think Women in Tech is Just a Pipeline Problem, You Haven’t Been Paying Attention

Math Ph.D., software developer and teacher at the all-women Hackbright Academy, Rachel Thomas describes feeling alienated and depressed by tech culture. She describes studies showing that discriminatory or unwelcoming organizational climates cause women to leave their technical and engineering jobs. Thomas concludes, “This is a huge, unnecessary, and expensive loss of talent in a field facing a supposed talent shortage. Given that tech is currently one of the major drivers of the US economy, this impacts everyone." Citing studies confirming the role of unconscious bias from the Harvard Business School, Wharton, MIT Sloan, Yale, and Carnegie Mellon, Thomas offers recommendations on what companies could do to improve their cultures.

Highlights of the recommendations:
  • Train managers in the research about motivation, human psychology and bias
  • Formalize hiring and promotion because “gut feeling” can carry with it unconscious bias
  • Ensure that leaders speak up and act in concrete ways to make it clear they value diversity
  • Formally audit and make public employee data, including making sure that gendered criticism (i.e., calling a woman strident or abrasive) is not used in performance reviews
Washington Post: A Gender-Equality Club, Run by Men

Only 38 percent of MBA students in North America are women. Men at business schools are stepping up to talk about gender and pay equity. Many attribute their involvement in gender equality efforts to witnessing what their mothers and other women in their lives have faced.

Highlights of the male gender equity groups:
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business's WIMmen, formed as an arm of its Women in Management (WIM) group 
  • Harvard Business School's Women's Student Association began a "Manbassadors" program
  • Duke University's Fuqua School of Business launched its Male Ambassador Program as part of its women's association
  • The University of Pennsylvania's graduate business school Wharton formed a club known as the 22s, after the percentage gap that persists between men's and women's pay
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