How Do You Decipher The Company With True Inclusive Values?


Forbes | April 27, 2021

The Forbes article, "How Do You Decipher The Company With True Inclusive Values?" quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Tina Shah Paikeday on the the markers of real commitment to DE&I in organizations. The article is excerpted below.

Many companies have issued bold public statements to promote diversity and inclusion in their workplace since the George Floyd tragedy and AAPI hate crimes. Are these actionable initiatives, genuine corporate culture change, or just “woke-washing” marketing efforts? A recent headline from The Telegraph of UK - "Corporate woke-washing is a minefield of hypocrisy." Is this true?​
How do you spot a D&I knockoff?
As a job seeker, you have the power to ask the hiring manager the right questions and decipher which company is truly diverse and values inclusion. You can help make an impact by joining a company that genuinely values your participation and contributions. Otherwise, you might end up joining a company so they can fulfill a diversity quota to satisfy their shareholders and investors. You will bear the risk of feeling excluded and uncomfortable when you are the minority at the table with no real sense of belonging.

With so much woke-washing, how do you decipher the real thing? I asked four top DE&I experts for their advice. Tiffany Pham, CEO & Founder of Mogul, Tina Shah Paikeday, Global Head of DE&I Advisory Service of Russell Reynolds Associates, Rose Chan Siow, Founder & Partner of Scout and Serena Fong, Vice President, Strategic Engagement - Catalyst.

Tina Shah Paikeday, Global Head of DE&I Advisory Services - Russell Reynolds Associates

“Any good Chief Diversity Officer candidate will ask astute questions about why a company is setting up a diversity function now – is the work supported from the top, or is it just a check the box or lip service exercise? Therefore, I spend much of my time assessing the DE&I intentions of my clients given my specialty area and have developed a rather accurate monitor for what is real commitment vs. well-crafted messaging.”

The following are clear markers of real commitment:
  1. Board governance on DE&I metrics.
  2. A clear linkage of the DE&I strategy to that specific company’s business strategy.
  3. Investment in staff and programming resources to support a DE&I function.
  4. Clear delineation of responsibility and accountability.
  5. Tying leader DE&I goals to performance management.
​“Job seekers for board or executive roles are well-advised to ask questions which will uncover these markers. It is unlikely that most companies have yet made actual measurable progress. Still, those who have been at this for a long time will run DE&I like a business if they are serious.”

Access the full article here.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get the newsletter that prepares you for what's next with valuable insights across industries and geographies.
How Do You Decipher The Company With True Inclusive Values?