Strategies to Offset the Silo Risk for Diversity & Inclusion

MeasuringDiversityIn a followup to my post last month about the risk of having diversity & inclusion efforts be too easy siloed within organizations, I found a number of articles to help both prevent the silo effect from happening in the first place and deconstruct the silo once it has begun to take effect.

Marjorie Derven uses Jay Galbraith’s STAR model as conceptual framework for ensuring that D & I work does not become siloed: http://www.astd.org/Publications/Blogs/Human-Capital-Blog/2013/06/Obtaining-Star-Results-from-Diversity-Inclusion

Jeffrey Cufaude writes about the need to shift entire systems within organizations, systems based on mental models and belief systems. http://www.asaecenter.org/Resources/ANowDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=46320

This blog at the Harvard Business Review talks about how to bring down all kinds of silos within an organization.  In the article, Vijay Govindaranjan recommends two strategies for de-silo-ing departments, both of which could easily apply to diversity and inclusion work: http://blogs.hbr.org/govindarajan/2011/08/the-first-two-steps-toward-breaking-down-silos.html

In my experience, the key is organizational culture change.  At its basic level, this means that those in leadership who model the way and set the standard must be in alignment with core diversity and inclusion values.  Full commitment is one of the key ingredients that leads to the kind of transformative work many D & I practitioners and consultants strive for.

‘Geography of Hate’ Maps out Racism on Twitter

A group of researchers from the Floating Sheep project – who also mapped racist tweets surrounding President Barack Obama’s re-election – have geotagged racist and homophobic tweets in the United States and plotted them on an interactive map.

Students at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., looked at 150,000 geotagged tweets that contained slurs and were in North America between June 2012 and April 2013. The students read each individual tweet and manually coded the sentiment of each tweet to determine if the given word was used in a positive, negative or neutral way in a project called the “Geography of Hate.”

“The prominence of debates around online bullying and the censorship of hate speech prompted us to examine how social media has become an important conduit for hate speech, and how particular terminology used to degrade a given minority group is expressed geographically,” wrote Monica Stephens, a geographer at Humboldt State, wrote in an introduction to the map on the blog Floating Sheep. “As we’ve documented in a variety of cases, the virtual spaces of social media are intensely tied to particular socio-spatial contexts in the offline world, and as this work shows, the geography of online hate speech is no different.”

“Ultimately, some of the slurs included in our analysis might not have particularly revealing spatial distributions. But, unfortunately, they show the significant persistence of hatred in the United States and the ways that the open platforms of social media have been adopted and appropriated to allow for these ideas to be propagated,” Stephens went on to say.

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New report finds less absenteeism, higher performance and greater innovation in diverse workplaces

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A new report conducted in conjunction with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) and audit, financial advisory and risk management services company, Deloitte, reveals diverse workplaces create more happy workers.

The research, which was conducted by interviewing 1,550 employees, shows that employees who feel their workplace is more committed to diversity and inclusion also feel that their workplace is a successful one.

Further research revealed that not only was a more diverse and inclusive workplace perceived as being more successful, it actually was. The report reads, “Analysing the relationship between inclusion and ‘hard’ data on absenteeism and employee performance ratings, we found that the more included an employee feels, the more likely they are to be at work (i.e. reducing the cost of absenteeism) and to receive a higher performance rating. Making this a little more specific, the data from one organisation demonstrated that if just 10 percent more employees feel included, the company will increase work attendance by almost one day per year (6.5 hours) per employee.”  Read more.