Good article here on how the hot new HR buzzword is “belonging,” including this section to give it some heft:
LinkedIn, Nordstrom, HubSpot, DoorDash and other companies all now have executives with job titles such as manager of “diversity, inclusion and belonging” or vice president of “global culture, belonging, and people growth.”
Earlier this year, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School hosted its first lecture panel focused on the topic. Harvard and Yale have also been getting in on the idea, hiring faculty or staff with “belonging” in their titles after launching related task forces or campus-wide initiatives.
Those are some big-name hitters getting into the “belonging” game. If you read down the article, you’ll see quotes about how senior leadership “doesn’t understand” what “belonging” means; in the same quote, the person tries to claim that senior leaders do care — and understand — what words like “diversity” and “inclusion” mean. OK then.
Caring vs. doing something
Wall Street has claimed for over a decade that it cares about diversity. Do most big banks share complete workforce data? Nope.
Tech companies share diversity reports more, but there isn’t much progress.
The reality is that diversity and inclusion falls into the biggest workforce bucket of them all: “I shall claim to care about this thing because it sounds like something I should claim to care about, but really I want to be over here doing what I actually value, which is making money and fleecing rivals on deals.”
That’s all it is.
And honestly, the vocabulary around diversity initiatives has become muddled. Words like “diversity” and “inclusion” and “belonging” are fluffy words to an executive. They do not represent a certain amount of money, a product launch, etc. They don’t really know what these words mean and they cannot translate them back into things they understand.
Plus, these things typically reside in HR. That’s a department usually near the bottom of the list of people you want in front of you.
And plus: most executives, honestly, want to be surrounded by like-minded people. I mean same gender, same skin color, same background, same way of thinking about that sector/industry. Usually someone running D&I doesn’t look like you, doesn’t think like you, etc. Who wants that person around?
And what about when we “train” for diversity?
What about hiring for diversity?
Ever heard of the myth of team diversity?
In reality, what we need is…
- A few executives who give a shit.
- A way to tie these initiatives more directly to revenue/growth.
- An increased focus on cognitive diversity.
- Use more words that senior leaders “get” and can process.
Those four steps would be a start, at least.
What you got?