The Grichan Whitestone Partnership are committed to adopting and encouraging diverse workforces, both for ourselves and the organisations we work with.
It is therefore vital that key stakeholders, executive search firms such as ourselves, and the clients we represent, work together in order to achieve greater parity among boards and senior management teams.
What is unconscious bias and why does it matter?
While it is unlikely business leaders and hiring managers deliberately exclude certain people to the benefit of others, this nevertheless happens, albeit on an unconscious level.
Of course, it is prescient and desirable to choose candidates based on:
- Professional values
Unconscious bias is also a very real part of the hiring process and helps to explain why senior management teams and boards in particular, suffer from a lack of diversity, across all organisation types and industries.
We know that seeing a version of yourself reflected back at you, leads to feelings of familiarity and this can unwittingly contribute to a positive feeling about the person, leading to recruiting in one’s own image.
To reverse this mindset you must first understand the issue, why it is, and what practical steps can be taken to overcome it, including unconscious bias training, if needed.
The imperative to drive change and achieve fairer outcomes is not simply a moral one – research showing the positive impact of diversity on business performance is now well-established.
McKinsey & Co. has been examining workplace diversity for several years. Their report; “Diversity Matters” analysed data sets for 366 companies in Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They looked at data on financial results and the composition of top management and boards and found that:
- Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
- Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
- Companies in the bottom quartile both for gender and for ethnicity and race are statistically less likely to achieve above-average financial returns than the average companies in the data set (that is, bottom-quartile companies are lagging rather than merely not leading).
- In the United Kingdom, greater gender diversity on the senior-executive team corresponded to the highest performance uplift in our data set: for every 10 percent increase in gender diversity, earnings before interest and tax rose by 3.5 percent.
- The unequal performance of companies in the same industry and the same country implies that diversity is a competitive differentiator shifting market share toward more diverse companies.
The Grichan Whitestone Partnership will work with you to source talent from the widest possible pool, on merit alone, using open-source intelligence tools and psychometric testing to locate and objectively filter candidates.