Achieving corporate diversity is not simply something companies should reach to attain because it is the “right” thing to do. Diversity is a competitive edge. Old schools of thought that once dominated business boardrooms are being disproven by modern research. Gender and ethnic diversity among corporate leaders is no longer viewed as something only mandated through laws, regulations, or by the customer base. Emerging evidence indicates increased diversity in corporate leadership roles, and in the boardroom, has a positive impact on the ROI, can increase the financial returns above national industry averages, and can shift market share toward more diverse companies. In today’s deeply connected, globalized world it should not be surprising that more diverse companies and organizations are attaining a higher level of financial performance.
At the intersection of business and industry, community thrives. This timeless reality has continuously impacted how business gets done. Today, there is a disconnect between businesses and diversity in American society. In the pursuit of premier talent many of the most qualified, diverse candidate are overlooked by traditional executive search firms. Diverse candidates want to be hired because they are the most qualified candidate and happen to be diverse, not because they are diverse. Corporate Social Responsibility has progressed beyond ensuring corporate actions that only produce positive financial returns. CSR in the 21st century must account for all stakeholders in the community, not just shareholders. Creating truly diverse and inclusive candidate slates is one of the next steps corporations must take to more accurately reflect their diverse customer base: the communities they serve.
Corporate senior leaders are ever adapting and evolving individuals with the vision to lead through not just the good and the bad times, but new and uncertain times as well. As the American economy has become increasingly globalized, new standards of social responsibility have been demanded by consumers and members of the workforce, alike. Today’s socially responsible leader must now pay attention to the effects of their actions on more than just maximizing revenue generation for their shareholders. Socially responsible senior leaders share an equal responsibility to the health and well-being of the community and the planet.
While strides have been made toward gender and ethnic equality in businesses, equal opportunity for talented individuals of all backgrounds is still a far cry. In today’s global marketplace, companies continue to drive toward maximum efficiency. However, internal, unrecognized biases can negatively constrain the personal and professional networks of the most seasoned, senior business and hiring leaders. Expanding and equalizing opportunity for all individuals, regardless of gender, race and ethnicity ensures businesses can cultivate and develop the best talent for their executive teams. This sort of equality in succession planning is the most effective way to develop a diverse and inclusive executive talent pipeline and pave the way for long-term vitality and sustainability of businesses in the 21st Century.