Diversity & Inclusion is critical to your company’s success but it is not a strategy. Here’s why... D&I needs to be built into the DNA of your company instead of being treated with kid gloves. Besides, hiring like-minded people is bad for business!

Today’s Quote:

"Our diversity is our strength. What a dull and pointless life it would be if everyone was the same." - Angelina Jolie

About the Guest

Mike “Batman” Cohen is the Founder of Wayne Technologies, a recruitment training and search firm.  Mike has over a decade of experience placing technologists, recruiters, and business development professionals, and has conducted training for Corporate and Agency Recruiters.

Throughout his career he’s learned several things that he’s committed to paying forward:

  1. We can’t make it on our own - we need community
  2. There is no “secret sauce” - we should be sharing our skills, tips, tricks, etc. openly
  3. Data is extremely important
  4. Being a good human is more important than data

He has worked with a diverse group of clients ranging from GIPHY, Spotify, TripAdvisor, Digital Asset, MacDonald Miller, etc.

He contributes articles to SourceCon, has a chair in the Program Committee with ATAP, helps run SourceHouston, and is a Brand Ambassador for ERE.

Mike has spoken at:

  • Talent42 (June 2019)
  • TechRecruit Los Angeles (July 2019)
  • TechRecruit Chicago (September 2019)
  • HireConf (October 2019)
  • HRTX Dallas
  • RecruitCon
  • ATAP Webinars
  • TalentNet
  • SourceHouston
  • ERE
  • HR Houston
  • Scala Up North
  • Scala.io

Show Highlights:

  • Why Diversity & Inclusion is not a strategy
  • How to embed diversity into your Company's DNA while staying true to your company values


Why is Diversity & Inclusion such a hot topic?

    • Diverse communities are growing and matriculating faster than any other
    • Organizations are realizing that diverse thought doesn’t just come from people who went to different schools or studied different subjects, it comes from background, upbringing, etc.
    • We all want females, minorities & orientations.
  • Candidates are placing a large focus on organizations that put a value on D&I - if you want the best candidates - this is one of the things that’s important to them!

Why is this important to organizations?

  • Are we hiring because of D&I to check off boxes?
  • Shouldn’t we be looking deeper into diversity of thought rather than physical characteristics?
  • Hiring people who are different from you and are included in your culture

Shouldn't we just be concerned with hiring the best person?  

  • Just start hiring people who make you uncomfortable
  • Embrace the differences
  • Hiring like minded people is bad for business

What about the alignment of core corporate values?

  • Define corporate culture.


If Diversity & Inclusion isn’t a strategy, how do we accomplish it?

  • You don't want to hire someone just because they are a certain classification

    • It has to go beyond “skin deep” - this isn’t about the way someone looks, it’s about integrating all different walks of life or trains of thought or images into your brand.  
    • Not to diversify to make things different, but to create a culture where diversity is the norm - that is how you create inclusion
  • The desire to have different people is not a business strategy
    • It is a top-down mind-set as to how the business operates and what it considers important, successful, and a good fit
    • Vetting issue- how does one determine who the best person is. Not the values or mission
  • Grey area- Defining the gray area or you will fail.
  • Focus for cultural alignment vs skills
  • Perks that attract like-minded people, like Ping pong and foosball tables & kegerators, reduce D&I.
  • The Strategies to achieving D&I are merely the execution of a goal.
    • Companies aren’t built on strategies - they are built on vision and mission - Strategy is simply how we get there - is your company built on top of a foundation (mission and vision) that doesn’t celebrate diversity, but instead values it as a competitive advantage?
    • These values and mission themselves should come with a very diverse perspective.
  • The more avenues of thought the quicker and higher quality it will take you to that mission.

Rick’s two cents:

What should be your strategy?

  • Hire People who perform
  • Hire People who bring different perspectives
  • Hire People who will challenge you

Key Takeaways:

  • D&I isn’t a strategy, it’s a business mindset
  • Dissonance is a good thing! Just be respectful
  • Diversity is a mindset, Inclusion is turning that mindset into the norm
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