Organizations that want to champion diversity can’t be content with appointing just one person to the C-suite from an underrepresented background, say women leaders.
“One of anything is a token,” said Tanya Blackmon, president and founder of Auspen Consulting. “Two is support. Three is a game-changer.”
Research suggests teams with a variety of perspectives can solve problems more effectively. But executives must think critically about how they define and measure diversity, along with putting processes in place to recruit, hire and retain a wide range of leaders.
Often when people hear the word “diversity,” they assume the conversation is about race—and primarily think in terms of Black and white, Blackmon said. But diversity encompasses a range of identities, including gender, sexual orientation, geography and disability, to name a few.
“I’ve really gotten to the point where when someone says, ‘I want more diversity on my team,’ I’ll say, ‘Which dimension?’ ” Blackmon said.