The pandemic has changed many things, but one of the things it changed most for white-collar office workers was disabuse companies of the notion that working from home was an impossibility. We have proven that it is possible for business to get done using only virtual tools. It may not be as efficient, and it may not be as friendly or as warm, but work got done.
There are obvious implications of this change – companies can suddenly consider employees not geographically located for those jobs, save money on commercial real estate, relocate out of large, expensive cities, etc. because they have proof now that work can be done anywhere for many office jobs.
But in the backdrop of the protests in America and around the world for the end of racial injustice, this pandemic change also creates a new opportunity for companies to think about.
When you see a company post about its commitment to diversity, then check that company’s executive leadership page and see an uncomfortable lack of diversity, it’s fair to question whether the company believes in it or not. Prior to the pandemic, the argument was that companies often reflected the communities they were based in; how could you find, for example, qualified African-American executives if you were headquartered in a place where very, very few lived?
You see how the pandemic has changed that argument, right? If we’ve established that office jobs generally don’t need to be colocated together, then your talent pool is now global. The excuse that no one of a specific background is available in your city is now invalid.
This is a golden opportunity for companies. Our talent pool is global. We have the ability to recruit the best of the best and we’ve proven we can work from anywhere. I hope we take advantage of this moment, this time, to change the composition of our leadership teams. Not diversity for diversity’s sake alone, but because we can now hire the best of the best AND achieve our diversity objectives as well, wherever they are, whatever they look like.
There is no excuse for lack of diversity on a leadership team any longer.
Image credit: NVIDIA StyleGAN
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