Who Is Responsible for Diversity and Inclusion?

It isn’t reserved for HR.

Summary
Transcript

In this behind-the-scenes interview from Leadercast 2020—Positive Disruption, Bozoma Saint John, chief marketing officer of Endeavor, discusses who is really responsible for establishing a diverse and inclusive workplace. Is it the hiring manager? The CEO?

“I have some news for you: It's everybody's job,” she shares. “Diversity and inclusion is not about the hiring manager and what they decide. It's about all of us—when we're sitting in our cubicles or our offices, and we look around and we say, ‘Gosh, there are a lot of the same type of people around here.’ Even if you are part of that majority, it's something that we should strive for to change.”

Watch the video to hear from Bozoma about diversity and inclusion and tips for hiring for it. 

TAKEAWAYS
- Diversity and inclusion is everyone’s job, not just the hiring manager’s. 
- Leaders who make hiring decisions should bring on those who are different from them. 
- Once someone different than you is hired, put effort into connecting with that person.

I get this question all the time about how companies should be more diverse and inclusive. You know, it's amazing to me that we think that companies are just these perfect entities that are made up of rule books and HR departments when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Or maybe it's only the CEO's job.

Well, I have some news for you: It's everybody's job. You know, diversity and inclusion is not about the hiring manager and what they decide. It's about all of us, you know, when we're sitting in our cubicles or our offices, and we look around and we say, "Gosh, you know, there are a lot of the same type of people around here." Even if you are part of that majority, you know, it's something that we should strive for, to change.

And so why not start writing an email? You know, send it to your leader, send it to HR, send it to your boss, send it to your cubemate. You know, send it to somebody and say, "You know what? I think we should get some different people in here. Wouldn't it be great if we could have some different perspectives?"

And by the way, if you are the CEO, or you are the hiring manager, I would challenge this, that you ask the people who are making the decisions on hiring to actually look at people who are different from them. And I'm talking about really different.

Now, what often happens is that, you know, we'll get the recruiting email or the resumes, right? And you'll have candidates. Maybe they are two very different people, but they have the same qualifications. And when it comes down to it, what do we say? We say, "Well, who would I rather go have a beer with? Or who would I get along with better?" And usually, we pick the person who is most like us in that situation. That tiebreak goes to the one who is more like us.

I would challenge that we not do that. The only reason we do that is because, you know, they share a similar religion or background, sometimes race, you know, the inside joke that we got during the interview. That's what leads us to want to be with them. But I challenge us not to do that. Go with the person that you didn't connect with. It's not going to harm you. You know, you will find ways to connect with that person as you get to know them. But the reason why you didn't connect with them in the first place is because they're so different from you.

So let's be brave. Let's hire the people that are different from us, truly different, that you did not connect with. I guarantee you, if you actually put the effort into connecting with that person, once they are in the job, you will find it.

Bozoma Saint John

Bozoma Saint John earned a reputation as a trailblazing executive after leading marketing efforts for Uber, Apple, and Pepsi-Cola North America. She served as the CMO for Endeavor, where she drove marketing campaigns across its global...

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