Great point, Kanako! Something I experienced in a previous company was their counting of female workers as a whole company versus identifying where in the organization chart their roles were. The company claimed to have a significant female participation but I was only 1 of 2 women in the entire executive management team and most of the women were in the more available assistant level positions. This lead to most internships or junior hires for the higher paying roles going to mostly men without any true effect to the tracked gender balance. By being more transparent about what their metrics actually measured would have helped uncover (although it wasn’t a secret to management) the gender imbalance, pay gap and opportunity gap that existed.
Excellent point, Aliya! Thank you for bringing this point up. It’s a constant struggle in my multicultural home communications. For instance, the way my husband and I describe dates in the future (this Saturday or next Saturday) mean very different things and even after 21 years of being together those epistemological models are difficult to overcome. The way different cultures address others or how straight-forward they are can confuse the message, and having tools created with a truly multicultural ethos would help so much.
Let’s do it, Aliya! 🙂
Thank you for bringing up the very important topic of DE&I and the challenges around metrics. I absolutely agree that there should be an agreed business standard that allows all companies to share and compare their results, and by making the information visible, to allow for more company-wide initiatives to promote diversity.
As a proponent of women / Latina representation in corporate America, I’m always faced with the question of what should be our markers in the DE&I work. Is having the population of employees perceptually representative to the country’s population the goal? This would mean that based on the 2010 census (while we wait for the 2020 census report) and despite being quite far from this goal, Hispanic women should constitute 8-9% of the employees and that should be enough. Or for African American women, 6-7%, and so forth. What happens once we reach that figure? And what considerations need to be made for different industries or disciplines, i.e. engineering vs. HR, project management vs. marketing, each of which tend to have greater male vs. female representation (depending on the industry as well). Either way, having access to these metrics can help guide education and employment initiatives to push forward a fairer playing field.
I’m a big fan of Iris and her behavioral science insights, and hope more companies take these recommendations to heart.