As the CEO of a shoe company, it is important to deploy a strategy based on diversity in order to effectively market and sell our product. Much of that strategy is about growing a diverse team and recruiting based on diversity. In order to deploy a strategy that is rooted in diversity, the shoe company must develop values and culture around diversity. Diversity needs to become a part of who the company is at its core.
Identifying the Benefits of Diversity
Building a diverse and inclusive team opens the door to creativity and innovation that is impossible with a narrower talent pool. In addition, problem solving is accelerated due to different perspectives. Employee performance, wider range of skills, reduced employee turnover are benefits of diversity (6Q Blog, n.d.). Most of all, diversity will increase shoe sales by giving us a window into the designs, marketing method, and the voice that we need to have in various cultures, giving us a competitive advantage against marketing which may be not be culturally tuned to the audience.
Creating a Diversity Scorecard
A diversity scorecard will be created for the company that performs a quarterly measure around a ratio of women’s pay to men’s pay, a ratio of female managers to male managers, a ratio of female executives to male executives, and similar ratios for minority groups against the majority groups. The diversity scorecard will also contain ratios of incoming talent, interns, and scholarships given to women and minorities against men and the majority. In addition, the diversity scorecard will assess our corporate social responsibility programs for diversity and inclusion, as well as our promotion and advancement programs and the diversity of our supply chain. Annually, goal targets and planning will be set. Quarterly, these scorecard numbers and plans will be reviewed. When it is time for executive bonuses, bonuses will be tied not only to corporate, individual, and team financial performance, but performance on diversity goals.
Developing Core Values Based on Diversity
In order to make diversity a priority in recruiting, sales, and marketing, it needs to become a core value of the company. The company should bring in outside consultancy for a fresh brain and revise the values to make commitments to inclusion and diversity. The company should revise values to something like “We commit to diversity and inclusion in all staff, suppliers, and customers without boundary or exception: our shoes are made by everyone and they are sold to everyone.” Examples of similar diversity values commitments can be found in The Denver Foundation’s list of mission, vision, and values focused on diversity (The Denver Foundation, n.d.).
Developing Diversity & Inclusion Into CSR
Once the corporate values have been updated to reflect the company’s commitment to inclusion and diversity, the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs need to include and prioritize diversity as well. For instance, leadership programs and management tracks should be created to train and promote minorities, LGBTQ+, women, and people from underrepresented populations. Minority scholarships and internships should also be offered and built into the program to focus on creating opportunities for diverse populations within the organization. Company events and community events should be scheduled around celebrating diversity in the community and within the company, and there should be social media, blog, and public relations campaigns about these efforts. It needs to be obvious that the corporation is inclusive to all.
Global design competitions should be made to bring in designers from underrepresented countries. For instance, a “Designing Women from Afghanistan” design competition should be set up for a shoe design competition for women from that country. A “Sell My Seoul” (assuming that term would be regionally acceptable and non-offensive) competition could be created that would encourage women in South Korea to come up with marketing plans for their region in a competition. Winners and runner ups should be actively recruited.
Supply Chain Diversity
As a global company, we purposely and actively seek out diversity in our vendors, contractors, logistics, marketing firms, and advertisement sources. We will seek out partnerships with minority-owned and culturally global partners, and always give preference to the most underrepresented partner. There will be a supplier and vendor review done as a part of our diversity scorecard, which will assess the diversity programs of our partners and suppliers, and rate our suppliers according to diversity and inclusion.
Recruiting efforts need to target hiring from underrepresented groups, other cultures, other countries, people speaking other languages, women, and people from the LGBTQ+ community. All active recruiting and talent searching should focus on these categories, not at American white men. Job ads will be focused at minorities and underrepresented cultures, and postings will be posted in other cultural areas around the world. As CEO of this shoe company, I will create a diversity scorecard for our company and make sure that new talent is mostly sourced from minority populations. All incoming opportunities and pay will be scaled against the white men in the company to give equitable pay.
As Mary Baker from Gartner writes, in order to effectively advance underrepresented talent, a company needs to fix the biases in the employee-manager relationship, provide mentorship, company-wide training, and create growth-focused networks and support mechanisms for employees (Baker, 2020). In other words, women and minorities may not advance in most companies because of a lack of mentorship, support system, and because of the bias of their managers. In order to grow and diversity the talent at our company, I will create a mentorship program for all employees as well as networking opportunities and executive access, meaning that they will not be held back by a manager, when they can access a network of support, including the executive team. Mentors and leaders in the support system will be instrumental in building out a career path for the employees and associated goals, in addition to sponsoring them in employee reviews.
Our shoe company is committed to inclusion and diversity, in hiring, supply chain, and advancement. We sell globally to diverse people, so our company needs to be equally diverse. We are tuning our values, CSR programs, scorecards and bonus programs, promotion and advancement, and supplier relations to embrace inclusion and diversity with the goals of representing the global community and culture that is our market.
6Q Blog. (n.d.). 8 Amazing Benefits to Cultural Diversity in the Workplace. Retrieved from https://inside.6q.io/benefits-of-cultural-diversity-in-the-workplace/
Baker, Mary. (2020). 3 Actions to More Effectively Advance Underrepresented Talent. Retrieved from https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/3-actions-to-more-effectively-advance-underrepresented-talent/
The Denver Foundation. (n.d.). Examples of Values Statements with Commitments to Diversity/Inclusiveness. Retrieved from http://www.nonprofitinclusiveness.org/examples-values-statements-commitments-diversityinclusiveness