Doing Away with Checkbox DiversityBy Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Thu, 09/15/2022 - 11:39
Companies will not meet their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) objectives following a “Checkbox Diversity” model without first attempting to understand and embrace people’s differences internally, according to the Stanford Social Innovation Review. To support the development of impactful DEI initiatives in Mexico’s business community, Mexico Talent Form invited executive leaders to expand on their approach, implementation and insights.
“[W]hen the social sector employs checkboxes to increase representation of the underrepresented, it ultimately misses the point of deeply understanding differences for genuine, impactful collaboration. It also causes unintended and lasting harm, and ignites frustration and disappointment when a ‘diversity hire’ ends up not working out failures that get explained away in a number of ways that reveal the inadequacy of checkbox diversity,” reads the review.
The rise of social movements like Mexico’s Glitter Movement and the US’ Blacks Lives Matter movement have successfully forced companies to come to terms with their social responsibility in advancing DEI, in and outside the workplace. Following these movements, companies have rushed to advertise their solidarity and commitments to advancing gender and racial justice, but upon review these efforts have fallen dramatically short of their intended purpose. Failure that has proven to be demonstrably unacceptable to talent that is increasingly selective of the companies they choose to work for.
In Mexico, the alignment of personal values on diversity, transparency and sustainability with their prospective employers was an important deciding factor before accepting a job, according to Randstand’s Workmonitor 2022. Eclipsing a global average of 41 percent, over half of Mexico’s survey respondents indicated that they would turn down a job opportunity at a company that was not making an effort to improve its diversity and equity. In other words, stale and superficial DEI initiatives will not go unnoticed by new talent, an important differentiator as the war for specialized talent becomes increasingly competitive.
Ultimately, diversity, equity and inclusion is not something that can be prescribed through performative checkbox initiatives, as this approach fails to truly understand the biases and behaviors that contribute to the entrenchment of institutional barriers. Once established that DEI initiatives cannot be achieved without internal introspection and education, it serves to shift their emphasis on accomplishing a quota and towards “understanding the challenge.” This relieves organizations from pursuing immediate results and towards observable benefits and results that come from substantive DEI initiatives.
Mexico Talent Forum 2022 ECHO, now a hybrid event, will break geographical barriers and welcome global industry leaders to discuss the most pressing labor trends, while simultaneously minimizing COVID-19 related risks or possible outbreaks. The event is organized by Mexico Business, which hosts conferences on Mexico’s most important industries and in 2021 welcomed 2,136 industry-shaping companies and 758 speakers to 13 industry-leading conferences.
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