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An Inside Look at Workplace Diversity

November 30, 2017 //

The national workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is becoming more diverse than ever. This shift will impact employers, who must prepare and plan for this changing landscape. “Appreciating the many different backgrounds and perspectives people have and can bring to the workplace will make companies better for their shareholders and clients,” says Lynda Risser, chief talent and inclusion officer at Vanguard, the investment management company and Fox School corporate partner that currently employs over 550 alumni. We spoke with Risser to learn more about the future of workplace diversity.

What are some best practices HR managers use to ensure workplace diversity?

“For employers that are global, multinational organizations with customers from different parts of the country and different parts of the world, it’s necessary to make sure your workforce’s perspectives are as diverse as those of your customers and shareholders in order to serve them effectively. You need to expand your horizons so you have the ability as an employer to get the best possible talent that comes with different thinking and styles of interacting with customers. This will ultimately produce better outcomes for your customers and shareholders.”

How is this practiced during the hiring process?

“To ensure diversity in hiring, you have to strategically ask yourself questions such as: Do your advertisements and recruiting strategies feel too narrow towards any certain audience type? Do they appear slanted towards a certain gender? When a candidate comes in for an interview, do you have a good representation of leaders that can understand the unique talents of this person? We’re constantly asking ourselves these questions.”

How is the intersectionality of diversity impacting HR practices?

“Employment practices regarding employee identity in the workplace need to change as we look at the different intersections where people might see themselves as broader than a gender or broader than an ethnicity type. We need to respect and honor how they bring that identity into the workplace and how we as an employer can amplify all of the experiences and ideas they can bring as part of that identity.”

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