Capitalizing on Diversity: Leveraging Next-Generation Advantages in Executive Pipelines

Capitalizing on Diversity: Leveraging Next-Generation Advantages in Executive Pipelines was originally published on Ivy Exec.

Financial services company DTCC has developed practices that let it capitalize on diversity.

From its entry-level hiring practices onward, the organization has created a pipeline that effectively prepares non-White, non-male, and non-heterosexual candidates for executive roles.

With this goal in mind, the company has developed D&I initiatives throughout the organization, including recruiting, mentorship, and training. DTCC aims to “fully integrate diversity and inclusion into all aspects of the DTCC community by fostering an environment where every employee is valued, respected, and feels they can play an active part in the company’s success.” 

DTCC has hit its target, receiving accolades as one of the best organizations for women and LGBTQ employees, as well as being added to the 2020 Diversity Best Practices Inclusion Index.

Why does it matter if executive pipelines capitalize on diversity? 

“A diverse workforce is more likely to understand your customers’ needs and come up with ideas to fulfill them. Diversity in the workplace will also increase employee morale and instill a desire to be more effective and work more efficiently,” said Prince Perelson and Associates.

Other benefits include increased innovation, less employee turnover, and a broader client base. 

How can you implement similar initiatives that capitalize on diversity in your executive pipeline?


✅ Implement diverse recruitment practices.

If you’re creating an executive pipeline, you want to start early.

How can you bring in diverse candidates who you can train for leadership roles?

The place to start is overhauling your recruitment. You might want to hire more diverse candidates, but if you haven’t mapped specific outcomes, you might not achieve this objective.

Effective D&I recruitment is more than just hiring more diverse candidates. It’s also modifying your job descriptions to be more inclusive and educating your workforce to recognize their biases. 

According to the hiring platform Lever, some D&I recruitment goals might be: 

  • “Proactively source ten candidates from underrepresented groups for every role.”
  • “Rewrite five evergreen job descriptions each month in Q1.”
  • “Get 30 percent of the company to attend unconscious bias training benefits of a diverse workforce.”


✅ Proactively recruit diverse candidates.

Even with these goals in place, you can’t meet your quotas if you don’t have diverse candidates applying for your open roles.

That’s why you want to actively recruit from programs and organizations that care about diversity.

“The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, Ascend (for Pan-Asian professionals), Catalyst (for women), and the Executive Leadership Council (for Black professionals) are some examples of strong national organizations that focus on diverse communities with powerful networks, programs, and resources,” said Annie Chow for Fortune.


✅ Use a structured interview process.

Bias can come into play during the interview process, despite your best intentions.

To keep bias from creeping in, make sure you’re asking all candidates the same questions. 

You should also consider adding a skills assessment that’s relevant to the role to assess candidates’ skills. Afterward, you could even evaluate the assessment blind, ensuring your neutrality. 

“A structured interview is a systematic approach to interviewing where you ask the same predetermined questions to all candidates in the same order, and you rate them with a standardized scoring system. This method is almost twice as effective as the traditional interview, reducing the likelihood of a bad hire,” said Nikoletta Bika for Workable.


✅ Develop a mentorship program.

One of the reasons that diverse candidates may not have been prepared for executive roles was that they didn’t receive mentorships. Historically, professionals would (often unintentionally) choose mentees who were like them – and if a company’s leaders were mostly White men, they would mentor younger White men. 

Research shows that mentors play an important role in ensuring diverse talents’ career development. But if companies don’t have intentional mentorship programs, diverse early- or mid-career professionals may not find senior-level mentors who can help them grow. 

Dr. Elisee (Eli) Joseph, a Black professor who earned his doctorate in business administration at 24, attributes his success to his mentors. Now, he emphasizes the importance of mentorships for other people of color. 

“I think companies frequently fail to create a structured plan for the professionals to accomplish their short-term and long-term goals…within the fast-paced corporate environment, many companies fail to take adequate time to understand the professional and plan for their success…” he explained in an interview with Forbes.


Capitalizing on Diversity in Your Executive Pipeline


Diverse companies reap considerable benefits. But building a more diverse leadership team takes time and energy.

Start by developing diverse recruitment practices and connections with diverse organizations. Then, ensure retention of your diverse candidates through structured interviews and mentorships. 

Only by starting at the pipeline’s entry point can you ensure that you have the dedicated and well-prepared diverse workforce to fill executive roles. 

“What other biases are potentially creeping into your processes and funneling people out? What differentiates your organization so that top, diverse talent wants to join your team?” asked Chow.

By Ivy Exec
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