HR executives aren’t surprised by the virtuous cycle between D&I and workplace digitization.
“Employee-first companies tend to be more innovative and also more diverse,” says Rana Robillard, an executive consultant who served as vice president of HR at New Relic and chief people officer at HackerOne. “They’re the disruptors, the ones who both recognize the need for digital tools and understand how to attract diverse talent. People want innovative, efficient, and data-focused companies.”
Mica Mayo, vice president of operations, digital innovation & transformation at ServiceNow, says early adopters of digital workplace tools are more “in tune with the future of work” than their more digital-averse peers. “They’re more inclined to seek out that D&I data and to have that top of mind as a company, to make that cultural shift.”
Robillard identifies three different categories of digital tools that are boosting D&I: those that give companies access to a wider and more diverse pool of job candidates, those that enable companies to better execute D&I initiatives, and those that allow companies to more easily showcase D&I initiatives.
The first category includes tools like Slack, Zoom, Miro, and Asana, all of which facilitate workplace collaboration outside a physical workspace. The second includes tools for tracking employee engagement, performance management, talent management, and demographics. The third parses and analyzes demographic and psychographic data.
“People want to work for a company where they’re treated well and fairly, and for employees to get insight into whether that’s happening is really important,” Robillard explains. “It’s equally important for HR to have the systems they need to leverage their data and make the case for further D&I initiatives, like pay equity and transparency.”
Teams can then dig into the data to identify areas for improvement—and provide snapshots of their progress to job candidates.
“The way to get diverse talent is the way to get all talent,” says Robillard. “What are people looking for? Great managers? Great programs to support employees? Mental health initiatives and child care? Once you know that, you can provide it, and then you can show job candidates what you’ve accomplished and what they can expect from you as an employer.”