News

Five Ways CEOs Can Lead Inclusively From The Top

 


Chief Executive | October 29, 2018



Chief Executive published a bylined article, “Five Ways CEOs Can Lead Inclusively From The Top,” authored by Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant David Mills on five ways that senior leaders can set an example by fully embracing diversity and inclusion. The article is excerpted below.

Inclusive organizations rest on the shoulders of inclusive leaders. Our research shows that when senior leaders champion diversity and inclusion (D&I), employees report feeling 25 percent more engaged, 47 percent more creative, 43 percent more likely to stay in their jobs, and 41 percent more empowered to bring their whole selves to work.

To find out more, Russell Reynolds Associates spoke with nearly 60 directors and senior executives at large global companies across 10 countries who are driving the D&I agenda at their organizations. Their message was clear—the board chair and the CEO are critical to the success of D&I strategy, both in their individual roles and in their joint work. If you are a board chair or a CEO, here are five things to do when embarking on the D&I journey:

Get uncomfortable

Addressing D&I issues often involves asking difficult questions regarding employee demographics and organizational practices, cultures or biases. Some examples: Why is there consistently low racial diversity on the executive committee? Do we have pay parity between male and female employees? What is the main reason female executives are leaving our organization?

Leaders who ask these questions need to be prepared for some candid answers, and then have the courage to take action; be it hiring talent from unconventional backgrounds, investing in pay parity, or conducting detailed exit interviews with diverse employees in order to uncover potential issues.

Set diversity goals (and stay accountable to meeting them)

CEOs who are committed to D&I set clear goals and communicate them both internally and externally. They also hold themselves and other executives accountable to meeting D&I goals and are transparent about the success or failure in doing so.

When the CEO commits to D&I, the board chair can set the tone by raising important questions with management and by making sure D&I remains an agenda item at board meetings. When the chair regularly probes for details regarding D&I goals and how the organization is meeting them, he or she empowers the CEO to advocate more strongly for it.

To read the full article, click here.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get the newsletter that prepares you for what's next with valuable insights across industries and geographies.
Five Ways CEOs Can Lead Inclusively From The Top