A loss of diversity hires – Orange County Register

Diversity in the workplace has taken a hit as businesses struggle to retain employees and fill openings amid the Great Resignation, an industry expert said.

Derrick Coleman, who heads the search and staffing division for GHJ, a Los Angeles accounting and advisory firm, said many companies are failing to hang on to their diverse hires amid a wave of employee turnover.

Coleman provides executive search services for accounting and financial positions for companies in need of interim staffing, ranging from entry-level accountants to CFOs.

“A lot of businesses are slow to realize that job candidates are now in the driver’s seat,” he said. “Diversity, equity and inclusion is coming up more and more in the selection process of who these people want to work for.”

Diversity in the workplace took a hit in April when a Los Angeles Superior Court held that Assembly Bill 979 — which required publicly-held corporations headquartered in California to diversify by adding “underrepresented communities” to their board of directors — was unconstitutional.

The court found that the statute treated similarly situated people differently based on their race, sexual orientation and gender-identity groups.

In May, a second Los Angeles Superior Court found Senate Bill 826 — which required gender diversity on the boards of directors of publicly-held corporations — was also unconstitutional for similar reasons.

Coleman said businesses looking to attract and retain a diverse workforce — which could include women, people of color and others within any of the LGTBQ categories — need to create programs that make workers feel connected and valued.

That could be accomplished, he said, through the creation of employee resource groups or by creating sponsor and mentor programs.

“Efforts must be measured to guarantee that progress is tracked,” he said. “The resource groups could include cohorts of folks from the same nationality, or it could be women or blacks, for example. It gives employees to chance to share their stories.”

Kaiser Permanente – ahead of the curve

Maintaining an all-inclusive workforce hasn’t been a problem for Kaiser Permanente, as that philosophy is embedded in its culture.

Rachel Sandoval, director of equity, inclusion and diversity at Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Hawaii, said the Oakland-based healthcare provider has long embraced employees of all cultures, ethnicities and genders.

Sandoval said that ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential, while also improving Kaiser’s level of care by eliminating disparate treatment in health care.

“As such, we maintain a work environment that embraces inclusion and reflects the diversity of the communities we serve in Southern California,” she said.

Kaiser has been named to the DiversityInc Top 50 Hall of Fame for its diversity-and-inclusion practices in hiring, retaining and promoting women, people of color, veterans, others with disabilities and members of the LBTQIA+ community.

DiversityInc’s mission is to bring education and clarity to the business benefits of diversity.

Mastercard has also embraced workplace inclusion.

The company is dedicated to equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, and it sponsors Girls4Tech, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum that provides mentorships and career support to girls ages 8 to 12.



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