Executive Development Blog

How to Foster Diversity in the Workforce and the Marketplace

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Feb 23, 2017 12:00:37 PM

There is no single “one-size-fits-all” approach to diversity. Corporate leaders should be aware of each group’s similarities, differences, wants, and needs. If diversity has not been a high priority for the organization, there are a few steps, however, that CEOs can ask for and HR and talent management professionals can take to begin to improve diversity in their workplaces and in their investor and customer bases.

  1. Workplace-Diversity.jpgConduct a diversity needs assessment to ensure the workforce, board, and leadership reflects the communities and customers it serves. If it doesn’t, target recruiting efforts to include local organizations with connections to minority groups the organization is seeking, such as the Urban League and LaRaza.
  2. Obtain CEO support. Each of the top three organizations topping DiversityInc’s 2014 list note the importance of senior-level support. The information found in this white paper can be used to make the business case for diversity in organizations.
  3. Develop a diverse leadership pipeline now. HR professionals should review their organization’s talent development and succession plans to include diversity. If there is a lack of diversity in these plans, consider adding mentorships, sponsorships, and other targeted programs that simultaneously accelerate diversity and bench strength. Organizations may want to consider tying significant bonus compensation to progress at the management and senior levels.
  4. To bring out the best and to capitalize on the benefits a diverse workforce brings to an organization, develop a corporate culture that allows everyone to be who they are while working together to achieve organizational strategies and plans. Foster an organizational attitude of open thinking and encourage employees to express their ideas and opinions in their own cultural context.

Read More

Topics: diversity

New Research Project Explores Diversity, Inclusion & Culture

Posted by Kip Kelly on Feb 25, 2016 11:38:33 AM

2016 Diversity Competencies for Leadership Development Survey

How are organizations redefining the competencies their leaders need to manage a more diverse, globally distributed workforce? What qualities are they focusing on? How are leaders asked to support diversity and inclusion goals, and how is success measured?logo.png

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, in partnership with Chief Learning Officer, Talent Management and Workforce magazines are very pleased to invite you to participate in a survey that strives to answer these questions.

We appreciate any and all information you share with us. As a token of our appreciation, every respondent who completes the survey will receive a white paper summarizing the results of this unique research report.

Launch Survey

Thanks in advance for helping us to understand how organizations are preparing their leaders to meet the challenges of a more diverse workplace.

Read More

Topics: leadership, leadership development, learning and development, diversity

Accelerating Diversity for a Better Bottom Line

Posted by Kip Kelly on Dec 9, 2014 10:43:00 AM

Below is an excerpt from a recent white paper written by Horace McCormick, a program director here at UNC Executive Development.  The paper explores the value of diversity and offers tips to help organizations leverage diversity to boost the bottom line.


Organizations rich in ethnic, gender, and sexual orientation diversity are more innovative, creative, and demonstrate better decision making and problem solving, all of which leads to an improved bottom line (Philips, 2014). Josh Greenberg from The Multicultural Advantage website also notes that diversity boosts an organization’s adaptability because it helps employees generate a better variety of solutions to problems and allocation of resources than more homogeneous workforces. Diversity also helps employers more effectively offer a broader range of services because they retain employees with a deeper set of skills and experiences (like language and cultural understanding) that can give their organizations a competitive advantage by providing more effective services on a global basis (Greenberg, n.d.). Diverse organizations also foster a variety of viewpoints, and when CEOs and leaders really take heed, can generate better ideas that lead to improved creativity and innovation (Blanchard, 2014).

There have been a number of studies that demonstrate the benefits of workforce diversity. A 2012 study by business professors Cristian Deszo from the University of Maryland and David Ross from Columbia University found that having women at the top management levels led to an increase of $42 million in firm value. The study also examined “innovation intensity” and found that organizations which promoted innovation intensity experienced more financial gains when women were part of the top leadership team (Philips, 2014).

Diversity white paper from UNC Executive Development

Read More

Topics: leadership, Gen Y, UNC, talent management, talent development, high-potential talent, leadership development, multigenerational workforces, learning and development, diversity