Diversity in Practice: Understanding The Real Reason Diversity is Lacking at the Top
MoFo Perspectives Podcast
Diversity in Practice: Understanding The Real Reason Diversity is Lacking at the Top
MoFo Perspectives Podcast
Our Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Natalie Kernisant, welcomes Justin Dean, Managing Director at BCG Consulting, and Tina Gilbert, Managing Director at MLT, to the podcast to discuss two of the root causes of the lack of diversity in leadership within the legal and consulting industries. They explore how organizations have, for far too long, overemphasized activity and energy without rigorously examining whether that activity is driving toward desired diversity and inclusion outcomes. More specifically, they discuss how organizations ought to not only focus on the goal of increasing belonging and inclusion, but also ensure those efforts are directly - and measurably - raising efficacy and confidence within an organization’s diverse professional communities. To do so, organizations must tie these efforts to a rigorous examination of outcomes like utilization and assignments. They also encourage organizations to focus on equipping managers with the tools needed to help diverse professionals understand the unspoken rules of success, how to create internal networks that drive access and opportunity, and how to become comfortable tapping into those networks.
Read the original article.
Speaker: Welcome to MoFo Perspectives, a podcast by Morrison & Foerster, where we share the perspectives of our clients, colleagues, subject matter experts, and lawyers.
Natalie Kernisant: Welcome to the Diversity and Practice podcast, a part of MoFo Perspectives. My name is Natalie Kernisant, and I am the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Morrison & Foerster. This podcast series is designed to provide a space to discuss a wide variety of issues related to diversity in the law and to introduce you to some of our talented, diverse attorneys, their areas of legal expertise, and the work that they and their MoFo allies do in furtherance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It’s also our hope that by sharing D & I best practices, wherever possible, we can help make the legal industry a more inclusive place for those who are, in the words of MoFo’s former chair, Bob Raven, just a little bit different. We have with us today Justin Dean, Managing Director and Partner at Boston Consulting Group, and Tina Gilbert, Managing Director at Management Leadership for Tomorrow, or MLT. Their organizations authored a fantastic study called The Real Reason Diversity is Lacking at the Top. That study discusses some of the causes of what we refer to as the advancement gap. Justin, Tina, welcome to the podcast.
Tina Gilbert: Thank you.
Justin Dean: Thank you for having us.
Natalie Kernisant: So, before we jump into the substance of the study, which I’m fascinated by, I was hoping to learn a little bit about your personal backgrounds, what led you to your current roles and your respective organizations, and what sparked your personal interest in diversity and inclusion? If you don’t mind, Justin, I’d love to start with you.
Justin Dean: Thanks Natalie. So my background, I grew up, I grew up in Virginia, so I grew up in the south. My dad was in the military. My mom was a teacher. Both of them were first generation college students and kind of instilled in me kind of the importance of education. But I also recognized as I got older in my career that I didn’t have the same amount exposure that I did to some of the other—some of my other colleagues when I started college at the University of Virginia. But through that, I was the recipient and participant in a number of great diversity and inclusion programs which gave me greater exposure and actually allowed me to graduate with the degree in engineering, have a successful career working in utilities before kind of getting exposed to business school and heading to this Kellogg School of Management before I came to BCG. And I think during my time at BCG, that has been where, you know, it has been my opportunity to help give back in those great programs that I was a participant in to help support them and their students.
Natalie Kernisant: Tina.
Tina Gilbert: Yes, so I’ll kind of work the opposite way. So I landed at MLT after kind of two careers. I spent 15 years in management consulting, working on strategic issues, mostly in the pharmaceutical space, but really around organization transformation associated with capabilities. Through my time at Accenture, I was involved with many of the DE and I activities that the organization was promoting for all of its employees. And through that exposure, I got kind of the DEI bug bit me in terms of really seeing the impact that creating welcoming environments could do for individuals. And so after 15 years, I did a career pivot to becoming a DE and I leader, both at a global organization and also with a startup that was on its path to IPO. So, I had a chance to see DE and I in action at both scale and innovation. And so for me, coming to MLT was an opportunity to bring that 15 years of management consulting, 10 years of D and I, together with the goal of supporting MLT’s vision of not only creating environments where individuals could thrive, but creating organizations where productivity, innovation, and the realm of possibilities was not limited by how someone looked or the biases that people might have.
Natalie Kernisant: Lucky for us, the two of you landed where you landed, because now we have this awesome study that I’m excited to talk to you guys about. As both of you know, over the last year, organizations have become increasingly interested in diversity and inclusion, which has been particularly exciting for folks like me and you guys who do this for a living, at least in part yet, I found that at times, some are almost exclusively focused on quick fixes to a superficial analysis of the challenges within the D and I space. For example, in the legal space, I’ve seen an increased focus on looking at how many people of color are staffed on particular matters and what percentage of the time those people of color are billing to a client’s matter, which I must acknowledge is a vast improvement from just looking at recruiting and retention numbers like we used to do. But the real challenges, I think, around diversity and inclusion involve our ability to retain and promote a substantial number of diverse associates so that there is ample diverse talent at every level of an organization. Now don’t get me wrong, how an associate is utilized and what they’re working on makes a tremendous amount of difference in their professional development. But I do fear that without a deeper, more holistic look at diversity within a given organization and how allies in particular are themselves engaging in inclusion efforts, these inquiries will inevitably lead to increased burnout among people of color and women. I also worry it sometimes invites those who aren’t normally engaged in diversity and inclusion to engage in a very transactional way and only in so far as they need to respond to an immediate demand from a client. Personally, I’m of the opinion that this type of transactional participation and diversity and inclusion can be far more detrimental to an organization’s goals than one might think… ultimately leading diverse folks to feel like interchangeable cogs in a machine rather than a whole person. And as you both so eloquently detail in your study, the success or failure of our diversity and inclusion efforts is driven, in large part, by the everyday lived experiences of diverse professionals navigating our organizations. Do they feel a sense of belonging? How well are they supported professionally through mentorship or sponsorship? And what I love about your study is that it takes a hard look at what we’ve been doing to address D and I for the last decade or more, and rather than continuing to assume we know how to tackle the issues, the challenges, with respect to diversity and inclusion, or even that we fully understand the nature of those challenges, it instead asks why hasn’t any of it worked? In the end, not only do you shed light on the root causes of some of our challenges, but you take it a step further to explain that an organization’s underinvestment in combating certain root causes really exacerbates the advancement gap we see today. Justin, just to level us up for our listeners, do you mind telling us a little bit about the methodology used in your study and how the study was conducted?
Justin Dean: Sure thing, Natalie, thank you. Thanks for that opportunity. So, I think in terms of just the background and context of this as an MLP alum, John and I had a regular across consulting as it is in many other services industries and or other industries more broadly. We were seeing a lot of increased intake of black and Latinx talent, but we weren’t seeing that pipeline result in successful advancement of those new starters, and we really wanted to know why. And I think it came back to the methodology that we wanted to take a look at was the same methodology that we use for a lot of our efforts at BCG and companies use elsewhere, just a rigorous root cause based approach, looking at what have we tried, why hasn’t it worked, and really understanding and leverage data to dispel myths and fallacies that oftentimes drive the incorrect initiatives and or activities to solve the DNI gap.
Natalie Kernisant: Great, and can you expand a little bit on what you mean by root cause analysis for those of us who may not fully get what that entails?
Justin Dean: Sure thing. So oftentimes within the work that we’ve done in studies that companies have looked at in terms of D and I, there’s often an overemphasis on energy and activity without actually understanding, you know, are these activities driving the outcomes that you want. And often, when you start to look and see the activities aren’t driving the outcomes that you want, there isn’t that feedback loop to reevaluate why didn’t this activity or initiative work the way that we thought it would, and how do we change that? You know, this work went to start and debunk a lot of observable challenges that you often or heard companies identify with why they aren’t able to advance diverse individuals in their company, whether that’s things like inability to demonstrate analytical problem solving skills, or they wait too late to ask for help, or there aren’t enough mentors. And they don’t address feedback in a timely manner. Each of those are observable challenges that we felt kind of rooted themselves in five root causes. One is having a growth mindset towards development. Second is a sense of belonging. Third is understanding how to navigate professional environments. And then the fourth and the fifth were just having the appropriate skillset to succeed and then understanding how to leverage the appropriate tools to succeed. And when you start looking at those root causes for the black and Latinx employees within our skillset, we actually saw kind of a pretty significant difference relative to their white colleagues.
Natalie Kernisant: In terms of the differences that you saw, how can we be sure that what you really didn’t uncover is a difference in sort of experience between folks of color, underrepresented groups, and their white counterparts or, you know, differences and the preparation or the preparedness of those diverse professionals as compared to their white counterparts?
Justin Dean: Yeah. So one of the things, this is where we leveraged all the great data that MLT had access to. So, MLT as a pipeline to basically 70% of all black and Latinx talent, that’s heading into top business programs. You had data in statistics around the backgrounds and profiles academically, and from an employer perspective, job experience perspective of this top talent that ultimately landed in a variety of careers, consulting and otherwise. And from that, we were able to compare the starting points from the diverse population to the majority population. And we didn’t see a difference with respect to job experience prior to business school. We didn’t see a major with respect to SAT scores or GPA. So if you assume that those things are the same, what we actually started to see through many of the one-on-one interviews and ethnographic research that we saw was, you know, a more, a larger gap, more around mindset towards development and sense of belonging and ability to navigate professional environments of those. The two that really stood out for the black and Latinx were the sense of belonging and navigation of professional environment.
Natalie Kernisant: Yeah, I mean, as you alluded to, I found it really interesting that anyone who slid off that promotion track really failed to meet one or more of the eight observable challenges that you summarize, and that they were all based in sort of five root causes. And like you mentioned, two of those root causes were disproportionately affecting folks of color. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about that dynamic. And when you say consultants from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds were more affected by sort of the navigating the professional environment and belonging root causes, who does that include, right? Is that the black population and Latinx population? Is it also inclusive of Asians and women? And if not, did you look at those other groups: women, Asians, whatever group may not be included in that?
Justin Dean: Yeah, that’s a really good question. So the focus of our research was really on the black and Latinx population at various top consulting firms, because that’s where we saw some of the most stark differences between aspirational and actual outcomes. As we got into the work and we started circulating it within BCG and sharing it with some of the other consulting partners that did it, we started to use this framework as a new way to think about different archetypes of other diverse profiles, whether that could be Asian or gender diversity. And we thought a lot of the findings and framing holds true. And some of those instances there was a greater emphasis around sense of belonging or navigation of professional environments, depending on which community you’re actually looking at, but we found the framework holds true across all diverse communities and really understanding for the individual, how do those root causes apply? Therefore, how do you start to develop more of a customized program based on an individual’s experience instead of trying to treat things as a mass.
Natalie Kernisant: And I know the study focuses on the consulting industry, but there are obviously many similarities between consulting and the legal industry. Both industries have struggled to make meaningful progress in this space for quite some time. And so, Tina, I was wondering if you might tell us a bit more about the two root causes that seem to disproportionately affect diverse professionals. What’s meant by weak sense of belonging, if we get down to the details and difficulty navigating the professional space?
Tina Gilbert: Yeah. So when we define belonging, we’re looking at both it from an individual and an organizational standpoint. And so a sense of belonging at the individual level is feeling socially connected, supported, appreciated as that individual and through that are able to perform well and thrive. Organizationally, it’s an organization that engages the full potential of the individual where not only do the individuals thrive, but innovation thrive where beliefs and values and views are integrated in a way of elevating the performance of everyone working there. And so when you lose that sense of belonging, the impact, especially in the groups that we were looking at, erodes individuals’ confidence and their ability to advance, and it’s that correlation of not feeling valued and the impact that then that has to your performance that really is causing the [inaudible] between that particular root cause and the broader category. In the professional space and navigating that, it’s really about the know-how, right? How to create networks, networks that drive access and opportunity and being comfortable tapping in to those networks, not only for you to add value to, but for you to extract value from. It also speaks to exposure, and it’s a term that many people think about as the unwritten or unspoken rules of success. And so when you have difficulty navigating that professional space, you’re not having the access to the networks or the exposure to those rules to really be able to progress and advance your career.
Natalie Kernisant: We’ve dedicated—you guys may not know this—but our podcast has dedicated entire episode to exploring the concept of imposter syndrome and how that affects diverse professionals as they navigate their professional spaces. And it appears that many diverse professionals come into our organizations already doubting whether they belong. So under-investing in belonging would only exacerbate the effects of this root cause, I would imagine. Your research shows that a weak sense of belonging is an even greater barrier to success in highly challenging and demanding environments. In fact, I think you mentioned that 45% of survey respondents from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups report feeling a weak sense of belonging. Can you elaborate on this, how this is exacerbated by the challenging and demanding work environment that we’re in?
Tina Gilbert: Yes. And it really boils down to the stronger correlation of feeling that when you face a challenge or when things are not kind of initially going your way, it has to do with if you belong or not, versus kind of more of a rights of passage. And what we saw was those individuals that were part of that MLT community felt that the challenge that they faced was a signal that they did not belong versus a signal of them getting to the point where they needed to activate the network, or they needed to find out more about and ask questions and engage in different ways. And so that confidence in their value begins to kind of decrease as you think about how they are managing those day-to-day activities. And so where the white individuals through the study were identified as yes, acknowledging challenges, they didn’t correlate it to do they belong. And so therefore the hurdle to overcome was a lower hurdle. The other piece that it’s not only the interpretation of the individuals, but it also begins the window of potential other biases, where you might have an example of a confirmation bias that a manager kind of seeing an initial stumble, where in some populations is seeing just that in the moment of time as the stumble, what does that look like when it’s looked upon from a black or Latinx employee? Is that challenge being connected to that moment of time, or is it being part of them starting to question and therefore treat that person in a way that might not bring that sense of belonging? So it’s not only how they’re feeling, but then how others are receiving them in that environment.
Natalie Kernisant: Yeah, I mean, we’ve talked about that on the podcast too, and it starts a cycle of expectation and then living up to that expectation, whether it’s a positive expectation or a negative expectation, which can be a horrible feedback loop. It’s interesting. You talk about how, particularly for black professionals, as they increase more and more adversity, it’s just more confirmation that they don’t belong. And I thought that was very interesting because as you advance in your career, adversity is sort of inherent in growth and development.
Tina Gilbert: Yes. So the study was done by Stanford University professors, and in the study, they found that black students were likely to interpret challenges and adversities as what I was referring to those signals that they did not belong in that environment. And so, as a result of their sense of belonging declined as adversity increased, what they saw was an increase in their reactions to their day-to-day challenges. And they didn’t see that in the white students, right? They didn’t have the impact directly tied to their sense of belonging. And what it really showed that when you can create programs or intervention that focus on that sense of belonging and it improving the ability to overcome those academic challenges, then they’re likely to succeed and graduate and thrive.
Natalie Kernisant: So wondering if that’s an element of what organizations should focus on as they try to help folks of color navigate the professional space. How can they tie that learning, right? The fact that black folks, in particular, interpret adversity as additional indication that they don’t belong in an environment, how can they help those professionals flip that on its head and really begin to understand that adversity is just sort of natural and part of the development process. I don’t know if you have comments or thoughts on that.
Tina Gilbert: Yeah. To me that leads into—you lead with resilience, right? And so you talk about the resiliency that individuals are building as they progress through their careers and how those overcoming of obstacles, real, perceived, placed upon them, are actually opportunities for them to build their brand, build their confidence, and really excel. We often, when we talk to companies about what are ways that as you get,—as you’re developing leaders in the organization, what are some of the skill sets that you need to reinforce? And there’s almost a notion, right, that confidence as you get to those levels are kind of untethered, but in the reality of these experiences, what are things that as a part of leadership development are the reaffirming are the opportunities to really demonstrate the experiences as strength opportunities. And so I think the acknowledgement of the hurdles and the barriers that often come with being one of few should be recognized. And while you don’t want to celebrate it as an ongoing environment, you do want to acknowledge those who have been able to successfully navigate and allow them to share their stories with others.
Natalie Kernisant: Another thing I found interesting in the study was that you drew a connection between diverse professionals and first generation college graduates, I, as a first generation sort of American, my parents are from Haiti, found that particularly interesting. And in my experience, working with our law school partners, many law schools have resources dedicated to first generation folks in order to help support them as they integrate into law school and as they move into the legal profession. So I was wondering if you could explain the connection as you guys saw it and how that might affect one’s ability to navigate firm culture.
Justin Dean: The one thing we want to highlight is for first generation college students, oftentimes their exposure to the business world is oftentimes much different because they didn’t have an executive parent that, like, goes by the mall and says, oh, you know, JC Penney’s is going out of business, let me tell you why. Right? And so oftentimes when they end up in a corporate environment, they’re focused on doing the work and doing the work very well, but oftentimes don’t understand, like, is it actually important that I go to the corporate baseball game and actually kind of talk to people about things outside of work, which is just, I think sometimes not understanding what the bar is for success is a hindrance that impacts them more.
Natalie Kernisant: So I was also struck by an observation you uncovered that rings very true to me, that organizations tend to rely heavily on their affinity groups or their ERGs to provide a sense of belonging and guidance on navigating the firm. This tends to put the lion’s share of the onus to address the inequity inherent in an organization’s culture on the marginalized communities that those organizations seek to support. And especially in the last year, I don’t think that that dynamic goes unnoticed by diverse professionals. I was wondering if there are things that an organization can do to improve a sense of belonging amongst diverse professionals and support employees as they navigate the firms, particularly the allies in our community, like how do they actively engage?
Tina Gilbert: So you’re right. This is a big one that we talk to organizations about. And it’s interesting, right? Cause a lot of times the ERGs want to be involved, right? They want to drive it. They want to ensure that things are being done in a way that is aligned with their values, appreciates their culture, and really allows individuals and opportunity to succeed. But then as you said, what then happens is both the combination of those most impacted are solving a problem, and the solving of that problem in and of itself isn’t recognized for the amount of work and effort that goes into those initiatives. So a couple things: one is, as you’re looking at truly your approach to steer away from what we call an MLT random acts of diversity, and this is where you’re focused on a lot of the programmatic actions without tying it to specific goals and outcomes that you’re looking to achieve. It’s where you’re more interested in having a lot of, quote, attendance opportunities versus needle moving changes. And so one of the things that organizations need to do, even those who are already well into ERGs and a lot of activities, is just take a step back and ensure that you’re putting the same rigor associated with your goals and your planning that you do with other components of your business. And as Justin mentioned, it’s tied to the root causes that you’re really trying to solve. So not only the ones that we identified through the study, but the true root causes that are unique to your culture and your environment. Once you’ve established that platform in terms of the true goals and the levers that you’re trying to move to make systemic changes, then it is about really understanding kind of how those initiatives fit in. And so when you think about sense of belonging, it’s not just building the community, but tying sense of belonging to the true aspects of performance, advancement, reward, and recognition, right? It’s not just doing the things and saying the things to create an inclusive environment, but it’s not forgetting about equitable processes and diverse workforces. And so when we think of belonging and that connectiveness, right, where you’re building programs to enable that, but more importantly, where those programs are directly connected to the feedback and the outcomes that are a little bit harder to manifest in a work environment around the actual success, right? So you can tie very directly to a grade. You need to kind of align it to outcomes. It’s like promotion and advancement, but even what are the assignments when you think about law firms, consulting forms. What’s the project that I’m being put on? What’s the case that I have an opportunity? Is there is this a high profile case, right? Am really getting to not only belong, but be in those spaces that have already been declared as the most important ones within an organization. So therefore, I must be valued. And so that tie to creating the sense of belonging but allowing it to be demonstrated through how people are getting assignments, how they’re being rewarded and recognized, and that’s simply where many end on, just building the sense of community. While that’s important, it’s not completely tied to the confidence that individuals are building within their tenure there. And so when you take that holistic approach, and it’s not about any particular kind of event or activity, you see a lot of progress that organizations are able to make because they’re managing it the same way they manage other strategic areas of their business. The second piece around allies, this is a big one because there are different roles that leaders need to play within an organization. And typically when people think about allyship, it’s really about what you’re doing in the moment, right? It’s in a moment and how you’re reflecting and engaging for your personal kind of advocacy and awareness. Where we challenge organizations is think about what you are building and enabling from an organization standpoint as a leader. And so therefore, are you creating the systems and processes that help remove institutional biases and minimizes individual biases, or are you simply focused on ensuring that you manage your own biases? And so that swing between individual actions to really removing systemic and organizational barriers is how you get change at the organizational level versus individual allyship, which adds a lot to a culture in the environment, but it can change as the dynamics of a team and an organization shifts.
Natalie Kernisant: Another thing that you mentioned in the study is proximity training, which I thought was fascinating. I know that in the educational space, educators talk a lot about proximity training, but I hadn’t seen it applied to sort of professional organizations. So I didn’t know if you might be able to expand a little bit on that, and Justin, feel free to comment as well, if you have thoughts on it, but for our audience, it’d be great to understand a little bit more or what’s meant by proximity training and what that looks like.
Tina Gilbert: Yeah. So it goes all the way back to something Justin mentioned in the beginning of the podcast around understanding the lived experiences, and so to better evaluate those root causes and to better to develop interventions that actually address those root causes, creating opportunity for proximity training for managers. So managers really understand the realities of black, Latinx employees, what their lived experiences are, really have a chance to explore and understand not only the lived experiences of others, but how they have responded, reacted, and adjusted based on their personal interpretation of lived experience versus kind of a fuller understanding. And so when we talk about proximity training, for many, many years around diversity training, there was a focus on, and I call it kind of the fish in the fishbowl. For many years, there was this focus of we’re going to make sure initially right, that women know what to do so that they can be successful in the environment. We’re going to make sure that, quote, when our minority employees come in, they will be set up for success. But we have always kind of focused on the fish, proximity training gives us the opportunity to focus on the fish bowl, right? Are we putting these individuals in an environment where they can actually succeed? And so how do we define that environment? We define that environment by the most important relationship that’s been proven over and over again, and that’s with individuals’ direct managers. And so, by preparing the environment, we’re doing proximity training with managers so that they can be prepared and understand the lived experiences so that they can actually help remove barriers and really understand where those points of support are as it relates to growth mindset, tools, capabilities, and then the obvious two root causes that we’re focused on, around sense of belonging and the ability to navigate.
Natalie Kernisant: When we try to conceptualize what proximity training might look like, is that training around unconscious biases? Is it more actually reverse mentoring, quote unquote, where a diverse professional might have really in depth conversations with someone from the majority population around what it’s like to be a person of color? Have you seen organizations execute proximity training in a way that really lived up to all that it could do for an organization?
Tina Gilbert: Yes, their organization is beginning to build this out and we are working with them. And there’s really three principles that we are—our focus on. One is to understand those root causes. And that’s the key, right? Really helping them understand the root causes and how those root causes are impacting the experiences. I once saw a quote that said, yes, we’re in the same room, but the price that we pay to get into this room was very different. And so where proximity training is doing well is where they’re providing opportunities to share those experiences and really enable people to understand where the differences are. The second part is to then quickly move to what do we need to do going forward? And so what are the specific behaviors, both at the individual level, and what are the barriers at the organization that will allow us to address? And so looking very tactically from a recruiting process, looking very tactically at a performance management discussion, how feedback is given, right? Understanding those points of engagement and really dissect those and talk about where those biases can slip in and where those opportunities to casually marginalize individuals can have huge impact. And so that’s kind of that second space is quickly moving to actions so that people know what they need to do. Because at the end of the day, people will be like, well, just give me the checklist, right? Just give me the checklist. And we want to give them, quote, the checklist, but not in a way that is removing the responsibility and the accountability from them, but really tying it to how they manage their work currently, and what are the adjustments they need to make. The third piece is to then engage, right? So this is not being in this bubble of isolation, right? This isn’t, you go over to this place by yourself, but you’re actually engaging at individuals and it brings out the humanity in all of this. And so that is the third and most important piece is you then allow that sense of belonging to really thrive because now it’s not only am I learning about your lived experience, I’m understanding how I can help you through it, but now I’m taking the time to engage and talk to you. And so that brings that piece of allyship into the concept of proximity training.
Natalie Kernisant: One of the things I was struck by as you were answering the question was you talked a lot about not only sort of educating folks, raising awareness around these things, but really taking a hard look at our talent management processes and the organizational structures that we have in place that might enable, or hide or conceal barriers to success, particularly inequitable barriers to success that disproportionately affect black and brown associates or professionals. And in your article, you make mention of the fact that organizations need to have sufficient capacity built into the organization to tackle these issues. And so our firm, MoFo, spends a tremendous amount of time looking at our talent management processes and trying to think of where bias may be able to creep in, or where we can help raise awareness on sort of the diverse experience as they go through these processes. But it does take a huge amount of time and effort. And you talk about having the right leadership and talent within the organization to set strategy on how to address the root causes that you mentioned. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you mean by that and why it’s so important for not only organizations to be aware of these root causes and the disparities and inequities, but also to support the effort to overcome those challenges with the right team in place?
Tina Gilbert: When I think of organization capacity to summarize some of the key points, one is strategic clarity, and that is tied directly to the root causes. The second is the rigorous journey or rigorous strategy, and that’s tied to a specific plan with goals for addressing the key challenges and opportunities and really focusing on what is needed over time. That third component is articulated roles and structures from the executives, middle management, direct people leaders, the supporting groups, such as the ERGs, the diversity councils, being clear of kind of what everyone’s role is and how does it fit together. And then the final piece is kind of this concept of impact and urgency. And so really being able to build positive momentum based on some real-time outcomes. And so when I think about kind of capacity, it is that piece of why are we doing this? Why are we doing it now? Who do we hope to impact, and how do we hope to impact them? And then how are we going to measure and share the outcomes so that we can see ourselves moving in the right direction? And so these are the things that when you talk about organization capacity, these are the things that come to mind. And then when you translate that to individual capacity, it’s understanding your role in making that come true.
Natalie Kernisant: Thank you both. I, again, just want to reiterate, I thought that this study that you guys published recently around this topic was really, really eye-opening, even for organizations who may understand that belonging and navigating the environment for folks of color do propose disparate sort of challenges for those groups. I think it’s still so helpful to have the framework and a common language and really articulate in a way that’s clear and concise as you have done in the study. I think that’s really powerful in terms of moving the conversation forward, even for organizations who may have recognized that those things are at the root of some of the advancement gap that we see. So I thank you both for engaging in this conversation and for sharing your insights on identifying and combating the real reasons why diversity is lacking at the top.
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