Diversity in the workplace: research on what works

Anthony Haynes writes: As our regular readers will know, two consistent themes on this blog have been:

1. how can we increase diversity?

2. what can we learn from research?

These two concerns explain our interest in an article by Boris Groysberg and Katherine Connolly in the Harvard Business Review magazine (September 2013).

The article, Great Leaders Who Make the Mix Work, reports on interviews with 24 CEOs “who ran companies and corporate divisions that had earned reputations for embracing people from all kinds of backgrounds”.

From the interview data, Groysberg and Connolly distil several aspects of good practice. They include:

1. measuring diversity and inclusion;

2. holding managers accountable;

3. supporting flexible working;

4. recruiting from diverse pools;

5. providing leadership education.

The article is rich in examples. For example, Groysberg and Connolly quote from the CEO of Ikea: ” “We have a grandfathering/grandmothering principle at IKEA—that is to say that a hiring boss has to have another manager say yes to a candidate before that person can be hired. Two people then share the responsibility for the development of that individual.”

The full text of the article is available here.

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