Heidrick & Struggles: The CHRO's Critical Role in Promoting Ethnic Diversity
Billy Dexter, Managing Partner of Heidrick & Struggles, faces the facts:
- In the UK, just 4% of CEOs and 6% of board members in the FTSE are black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME), despite members of this community making up 14% of the working-age population.
- In the US, 37% of private-sector workforce is nonwhite, but just 13% of executives are minorities.
So what is the role of the CHRO to help their company reach a more diverse population of customers, suppliers, and partners? Here are three areas they need to focus on:
- 1. Are we meaningfully involved?: Forming genuine relationships with these communities helps move companies past “tick the box” behaviors that stymie some diversity efforts.
- If you don’t already participate in your target communities, determine where they are and what organizations matter to them. If these organizations don’t exist, are you in a position to create one?
- 2. Who's in our pipeline, and do we have one?: To fill your pipeline with BAME talent, start with an understanding that the journeys of these employees will be different from those of white employees.
- Your company also needs to demonstrate that it is a destination for BAME talent. You also need to role-model diversity at the right level.
- 3. Do our diverse colleagues want to stay?: The key to retaining BAME talent is mentorship and sponsorship.
- By providing its up-and-coming diverse executives with access to networking events, structured career plans, and meaningful relationships and face time with more senior colleagues, the company maintains a retention rate among diverse leaders that is markedly higher than that of its peers.
Thought leadership category