âTis the season when technology companiesÂ publish their diversity numbers. And, despite a concerted effort to increase diversity, women and people of color are stillÂ underrepresentedÂ across all levels and particularly in senior leadership.
How does this happen? All organizations have three inflection points that can make or break diversity: recruiting and hiring, team dynamics, and career advancement. WhenÂ unconscious bias kicks in and leaders give opportunities to people they feel âare the best fit for the team,â diverse candidatesâlike women and people of colorâare less likely to get those opportunities
When diverse talent starts falling out of the corporate talent pipeline, we call it âThe Leaky Funnelâ.
Unconscious biasÂ is alive and well when decisions are made about individuals and their career opportunities.
Whether itâs hiring the person who will âwork best in our cultureâ despite the fact that another candidate more clearly meets the stated criteria, or promoting the person who âlooks like a leaderâ despite equally strong resumes across a more diverse candidate pool, senior managers continue to hire and promote people who look likeâand think likeâthemselves.
Despite more awareness around diversity initiatives, these decisions get made again and again. Many managers know theyâre deciding against the diverse hire, but they trust their gut and let it override the companyâs initiative, hiring the candidate that âfeels rightâ just this once.
The Leaky Funnel and the Corporate Pipeline
All of these little decisions add up. Itâs why we see homogeneous engineering teams. Why thereâs little improvement in diversity numbers for individual firms. And why thereâs still such underrepresentation for women and people of color across all industries.
According to aÂ comprehensive studyÂ conducted by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org of over 222 companies employing 70,000 people, by the senior vice president (SVP) level, 70% of positions are held by white men.
If your company is working on diversity as an internal initiative or if your CEO has taken a publicÂ pledge, perhaps your organization would benefit from a more focused approach to help prevent the Leaky Funnel.Â Contact usÂ to learn more about our Managing Unconscious Bias Program and how it supports opportunities for diverse talent to thrive, orÂ sign up for a free course trialÂ and see for yourself.