Diversity and Inclusion are Key to Authentic Sustainability Leadership

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Diversity and Inclusion are Key to Authentic Sustainability Leadership

By Shannon Houde
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#Diversity and #inclusion are crucial components of #sustainability http://bit.ly/1U61lRq via @CSRwire @walkoflifecoach

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Thursday, June 9, 2016 - 12:30pm


As our talent pool ages, Millennials will comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025. They want to work for organizations that make a positive contribution to society by addressing global challenges of resource scarcity, climate change, and income equality. Millennials also want to work for companies on the forefront of change, yet a lack of diversity and inclusion remains one of the largest barriers to innovation.

In short – as sustainability professionals we need to get better at practicing what we preach. It’s crucial to success and growth for leaders to ramp up diversity and inclusion tactics. In my work as a talent advisor and executive coach, I have noticed three simple steps to overcome this barrier and start building a more diversified workforce:

1) Set clear, transparent hiring goals
Fostering a diverse workforce starts with hiring practices. Attracting, recruiting, and hiring diverse talent should be an easy challenge to tackle. To help increase diversity I recommend stating specific hiring challenges and goals like Campbell’s and LinkedIn are doing. Clarify your company’s diversity and inclusion strategies and be transparent with rolling them out to the wider organization. One example of this is the creation of the “Rooney Rule” by the NFL. The Rooney Rule is simple: vow to interview one minority for every executive and management position available. This practice has directly correlated to an increase of diversity and effectiveness among NFL management.

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Shannon Houde, MBA, is founder of Walk of Life Consulting Limited, an international career advisory business focused solely on the sustainability, social impact, international development and Corporate Responsibility (CR) fields.  For more than 15 years she has mentored and trained 700+ professionals and Masters graduates to maximise their personal brands to advance their impact careers.