Cultivating and Retaining a Diverse Workforce

By Josefina Bonilla


It is not lost on most companies that diversity is important. The Diversity Matters study published by MicKinsey & Company in 2015 acknowledges that companies that are ethnically diverse permeate significantly, showing profits of 35% more than companies that do not.

A noteworthy step in the right direction is where companies are showing up in their quest to find talent to create a more diverse workforce. I tell many of our clients and partners that while it is important to cultivate relationships with organizations that have a pulse in diversity, it is equally advantageous to engage in events that are specifically created for professionals of color.

In the 2016 Color Magazine “State of Professionals of Color Survey,” results indicated that networking is one of the most important levers in securing a new position. Additionally, satisfaction results of attendees at our Women of Color Leadership & Empowerment Conference showed that one of the top reasons they attend is to network with other women of color.

While participating at events and developing relations with key organizations is a proven way to connect with potential employees of color, it is essential to simultaneously create an environment that welcomes and engages your new, diverse workforce.

Best case scenarios include introductions by top executives to the rest of the staff. Dr. Karen Stephenson, Corporate Anthropologist, often talks about Gatekeepers, Pulse Takers, and Hubs of Influence and their powerful impact on the success of an organization, which might add credence to how effective assigning of these newly-minted employees to sponsors within the company can help shepherd them to success.

Finally, creating Employee Resource Groups to recognize and commend employee contributions can be powerful in sustaining and expanding a diverse and productive employee base.

If you are a leader interested in learning more about how to measure the success of diversity and how it impacts your bottom line, please join us at our Chief Diversity Officer Summit on Thursday, July 27, 2017.