I recently saw the movie Black Panther along with millions of other people, and I came to the conclusion that many of them did: Women, and in this case, black women, are strong, wise and not to be messed with. So why does it seem like Corporate America is missing the memo?
Misguided and culturally insensitive blunders such as the racially insensitive Pepsi commercial with Kendall Jenner, Google’s disgruntled engineer intensifying male tech industry bias, the egregious casting decision in the movie Ghost in the Shell with whites playing Asians, and the complexity of L’Oréal firing a transgender black woman after her comments about race—all of these highlight the need for companies to incorporate diversity into their conversations at work.
A recent financial study of 1,000 large companies by McKinsey & Co. found that the more diverse the management, the higher the profits, compared with companies composed of less diversity. Companies in the top 25% with the most ethnic executives outperformed other firms with profits 33% higher than those in the bottom 25% with fewer ethnic workers. Firms more inclusive of women in management showed 21% more revenue than those with fewer women in executive roles.
Microsoft announced they are working to accelerate a “skills-based labor market” and immediately I wondered what companies have been hiring for previously, if not for skills. I’m sure those of you who have applied for a job again and again, only to be rejected or ignored, have wondered the same thing.
The New York Times reporting of the subject clarifies that in this ‘new’ way of looking at job applicants, “skills can be emphasized over traditional hiring filters like college degrees, work history and personal references.” From a recruiting perspective, I still believe in personal references because hearing first-hand from someone who has witnessed or benefited from your skills is extremely valuable when evaluating a candidate.