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How do you enable diverse talent to achieve their full potential?

Diverse and inclusive organizations outperform their peers. That’s a fact. But then, why do so many organizations still fail to advance diverse talent through every level of their organization?

Owning Success, proposes a differentiated approach to development that recognizes the unique challenges faced by under-represented groups and identifies six choices that empower talent to achieve.

Study after study proves that diverse and inclusive organizations outperform their peers. They are 70% more likely to capture new markets1 , 75% more likely to see ideas become productized2 and 35% more likely to have financial returns above industry average3. They are also more likely to be stronger at decision-making, with recent research showing that diverse and inclusive teams make better decisions 87% of the time.

But despite the overwhelming business case for embracing difference at work, women still hold less than 29% of senior leadership positions globally5.There are only three black CEOs in the Fortune 5006—none of whom are women—and only 6% of management jobs in the UK are held by ethnic minorities7 . What is preventing organizations from achieving the levels of diversity that would bring demonstrable benefits to their business?

There are two fundamental issues at play here, and any successful solution will therefore require a two-pronged approach. The first issue is structural: it is incumbent upon organizations to revisit practices and processes that may be holding underrepresented employees back and preventing them from being the best they can be. This is by no means an easy feat and will often involve undoing barriers and biases that have stood for generations.

The second is behavioral: it is necessary to create a culture of belonging where employees in the organization have a more inclusive mindset, make more inclusive decisions and take more inclusive actions. It is also true, as our research has proven time and again, that there are actions people from underrepresented groups themselves can take that will increase their chances of overcoming barriers in organizations and empower them to enhance their contribution and advance their careers.

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