LHFPIG! Do you suffer from it?
I love the fact that a lot of companies out there are rethinking their DE&I practices, and in some cases hiring officers to lead the charge. What worries me is that this may be another case of LHFPIG syndrome. That is my personal acronym for Low Hanging Fruit Plus Instant Gratification. This is a general “disease” in our society, I know because I am fighting it for myself, but I will focus strictly on some of its impact on DE&I.
Firstly, if you are now just focusing on this issue, at best it was a leadership blind spot. At worst, a failure in leadership. In either case, your leadership team has personal development work to do that cannot be solved by simply hiring someone to fill that role or “educate” them. It is extremely difficult to be passionate about something that you do not have personal experience with. Not impossible, extremely difficult.
Secondly, does your company suffer from LHFPIG when it comes to recruiting and hiring? Would you take a chance on a talented individual that does not tick all your boxes (industry experience, education etc? Do you even have a process to find and identify these people? Hint: do not depend solely on recruiters, some have the most advanced stage of LHFPIG.
Lastly, remember that diversity, sans inclusion, creates more problems than it solves. Also remember that diversity is simply not those inherent differentiators like race, religion, sexual orientation etc. It is critical that we also pay attention to acquired diversity, like experiences, skills-set, education to name a few. Rather than focusing on if they will fit into your culture, turn your attention to how they can contribute to it.