The Pro’s and Con’s of Diversity Targets
Michelle King and Kelly Thomson

Diversity is simply good for business. Companies with greater gender diversity in their leadership outperform their less diverse competitors, having higher returns on capital and credited with better employee engagement and retention. These companies have loyal customers, are more relevant to a broader customer base, are more innovative and are better at problem-solving. The same goes for companies that are more ethnically and racially diverse. 

Almost no companies are reflective of the diverse makeup of their country despite a spend of $7 billion a year on DEI efforts.  Part of the problem is that the fixation on diversity numbers dominates the dialogue around diversity and inclusion. While the numbers are incredibly important they provide a needed snapshot of how an organization’s employee base is made up and can measure things like attraction, retention and promotion.

A focus on diversity numbers alone can create dangerous tunnel vision. By only targeting diversity numbers, businesses can end up failing to deal with the underlying causes of how an organization’s diversity makeup came to be and what the culture of the organization is like.

In order to ensure you have the whole picture, we are going to discuss the pro’s and con’s of having diversity targets.  Specifically Kelly is going to share the argument for having diversity targets and Michelle will share why she doesn’t believe that they work and then we will look at how you can try and use them in the right way if you have to have them within your organization.