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Why making one-off hires won’t help you achieve diversity

When it comes to increasing DEI, many organizations are beginning to hire diverse talent into the executive and C-suite levels. In fact, diversity in the Fortune 250 C-suite has increased over the past few years.  

Many companies seem to be tackling their DEI goals through making one-off diverse hires into their organizations as they exist today. And while any increase in diversity is good news, these strategies may not be enough to sustainably and consistently diversify leadership in these organizations.  

Odgers Berndtson’s data indicates that, regardless of industry and size, most organizations are failing to effectively diversify.  

  • We are hiring diverse leaders, but not retaining them.  
  • We are failing to remove the barriers to leadership that have thwarted diverse talent for decades.  
  • We are failing women when it comes to retention and career development, even though they have an important impact on diversity.  
  • Generally, without prioritizing thoughtful questioning and meaningful candidate data, we are allowing our own biases as leaders to go unchecked.  
Making one-off hires doesn’t work. Without holistic and comprehensive diversity strategies, companies will be no closer to a more diverse organization a year from today.  

So what factors do effectively create a more diverse organization in the long-term?

Our data shows that making meaningful DEI progress requires thoughtfulness and strategy in all areas of an organization. From board makeup, to onboarding new hires and encouraging participation, an organization’s processes, culture, and high-level leadership are what will make or break them when it comes to achieving and maintaining a diverse organization.  

This quarter’s articles poke holes in traditional DEI strategies, while also giving readers the strategy-planning advice, data, questions, and action steps to effectively assess their current DEI efforts, identify areas for improvement, and create an organization that both attracts and retains diverse talent: 

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