Diversity: Does HR Have A Voice?

Sonya Clark

At a recent HR executive workshop held in Brisbane, diversity was one of four key areas of focus. Does HR have a voice when it comes to diversity? We certainly know it’s on the agenda; however, it is a real challenge to execute a diversity strategy. While overcoming unconscious bias, how do we define diversity and ensure that we understand the business benefits?

Driving diversity in the workplace is no longer a “nice to have;” it’s an economic and business imperative. Every leader needs powerful tools embedded at every decision point to detect, prevent, and eliminate bias in the most critical areas across the entire HCM landscape.

How does diversity relate to digital transformation?

A great study by Oxford Economics offers insights from more than 4000 executives across multiple industries. Companies that are digital leaders value diversity and inclusion and demonstrate the following results:

  • 36% of digital leaders are more likely to link financial performance to diversity and inclusion
  • 50% of the workforce are women (varies by country)
  • 23% more likely to value diversity and inclusion as key to success (demonstrates increased awareness)
  • 92% of organisations identify nontraditional labor as key to their future

Detect, prevent, and eliminate bias across your organisation

The major reasons why inequity is so difficult to eliminate is that bias is often unintentional and inequity tends to be a result of many small biases adding up over time.

  • According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality.
  • McKinsey research also shows that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry peers.
  • According to Oxford Economics Leaders 2020 research, organisations reporting higher revenue and profitability growth are more likely to say diversity has a positive impact on financial performance, and that leadership recognises its value in leading digital transformation.

More than just analytics are needed, however. Analytics are important to know the current state—what’s working and what isn’t—but analytics alone won’t move the needle.

It doesn’t shift a culture. Your workforce needs tools that enable a new way of working. They need the best of machine learning and best-practice capabilities to proactively detect and prevent bias during the organisational decision-making processes in six key areas:

  1. Who applies
  2. Who we hire
  3. How we manage
  4. Who we develop
  5. Who we reward
  6. Who we promote

Align your recruitment strategy with diversity, consider different ways to write your job ads to attract diversity to your organisation, and seek endorsement from your executive team…“walk the talk.”

Diversity and inclusion are critical to competitiveness in a market characterized by increased competition and a shortage of skilled labor in many roles.

Diversity is a key strategic pillar for SAP. In an upcoming webinar with SAP SuccessFactors, we will share some of SAP’s global and local diversity initiatives and the learnings along the way. Register for the upcoming webinar with SAP SuccessFactors on 2nd November.


Sonya Clark

About Sonya Clark

Sonya Clark is a HR Specialist with SAP SuccessFactors. For close to 15 years, she has partnered with HR and Business leaders to align their people strategies to their business strategies, delivering people initiatives that increase employee engagement and productivity. Using a combination of both best practise, and leading edge technologies offering her clients a design approach to intelligent HR management to ensure a return on investment. Based in Brisbane, she is regularly hosting HR thought leadership events, whilst partnering with HR experts to deliver strategic solution advice.