Initiatives that work

The eight initiatives most effective at increasing diversity have one thing in common: They make managers take responsibility for change. This can happen in a variety of ways, like providing a venue for employees to look good in the eyes of others, by encouraging employees to think of themselves as “diversity champions,” and by exposing employees to people in the company who are demographically different from them.

Voluntary training
When managers decide to take training on their own, instead of being required to, the returns are much greater.
Average change in management demographics after five years

Only showing groups with statistically significant changes.

Self-managed teams
Allowing people in different roles to work together encourages contact across different groups and, ultimately, increases representation of minority groups.
Average change in management demographics after five years

Only showing groups with statistically significant changes.

Cross training
Allowing employees to experience other jobs in a company increases their exposure to a more diverse group of people within an organization.
Average change in management demographics after five years

Only showing groups with statistically significant changes.

College recruitment of women
When companies actively recruit women, the ranks of other marginalized groups grow.
Average change in management demographics after five years

Only showing groups with statistically significant changes.

College recruitment of racial minorities
Minority recruitment at universities increases the number of Black managers in particular. This is because many programs focus on historically Black schools.
Average change in management demographics after five years

Only showing groups with statistically significant changes.

Mentoring
Mentoring programs cause managers to take ownership of their mentee's success.
Average change in management demographics after five years

Only showing groups with statistically significant changes.

Diversity managers
Having an employee to develop and monitor the success of diversity initiatives can cause managers to make staffing decisions more carefully.
Average change in management demographics after five years

Only showing groups with statistically significant changes.

Diversity task forces
Diversity task forces promote social accountability, looking good in the eyes of others, and increase employees’ exposure to a more diverse group of people within a company. These task forces should include members of groups underrepresented in the organization.
Average change in management demographics after five years

Only showing groups with statistically significant changes.