Diversity & Inclusion Report 2018—IIC Partners

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A recent IIC Partners study of 461 global business leaders reveals that an overwhelming number of senior executives—87 percent—believe that diversity and inclusion contribute to a stronger workforce. Yet, the same research reveals something surprising: Even companies that strongly value diversity are finding it difficult to find enough diverse talent, and many aren’t making diversity a priority in their talent searches.

The research was compiled from surveys that were sent to clients and contacts of IIC Partners’ member executive search firms, including Pearson Partners International. IIC’s network of 43 independently owned and operated executive search firms represents offices in countries.

Overcoming Barriers to Diversity

Having exhausted traditional talent pipelines, today’s organizations have to get creative to overcome the barriers to sourcing diversity candidates. The study reveals that the top three barriers to recruiting diverse candidates are unconscious bias, finding diverse talent and the limited pool of diverse talent in their industries.

Executive search firms can help overcome these barriers, bringing greater objectivity to a search as well as a larger pool of diverse candidates for companies to consider. However, companies must first commit to putting their preferences for diversity into action. The statistics revealed in the study show most are not doing so.

Just under half of respondent companies don’t specify a request for a diverse slate of candidates for senior executive roles, while more than half have no established goals for hiring diversity candidates or will fail to meet their set goals by their target dates. In fact, 74 percent of senior executives say that less than half of their senior leadership team has diversity representation, and just about half of senior executives consider their industries to be diverse. Of the executives surveyed, 63 percent say the diversity of their own workforce is either average or below average, while 43 percent say they are dissatisfied with their company’s diversity and inclusion programs.

By championing diversity in hiring, organizations can tap into the three top benefits of a more diverse workforce cited by survey respondents: better decision making, stronger corporate culture and better collaboration across teams.

Read the complete white paper on the IIC Partners website.

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