As we continue our efforts at diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, it has helped a great deal to understand and appreciate theories of personality. I have studied and applied the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® method of assessing personality styles for several years that gives a description of the personality based on several indicators of thoughts, behaviors, and communication styles. I have used these as a guide with counseling and with consultation to businesses in planning programs and in recommending promotions. A recent presentation by John Hackston, the Head of Thought Leadership for the Myers-Briggs Company, summarized some of their findings over the last 35 years. I will combine his data with some of my personal experiences to help plan a path forward for diversity, equality and inclusion.
In Hackston’s findings, women make up less than 7% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. In June of 2020, there were only five black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. The COVID-19 pandemic is making things worse. Women and minority ethnic individuals are less likely to be able to work from home and more likely to be frontline workers. Compared with fathers, mothers are more likely to have quit or lost jobs, spend a third less time on paid work, and are interrupted at work more often. Minority women have been more severely affected than white women. The research finds that female and minority individuals are under-represented at senior levels. Minority women are especially under-represented. Overall representation of women in leadership is improving, but still lags behind.
Research shows that promotions favor qualities that are more common in male bosses. Of course, the older firms were already staffed at the top with males who were making these decisions. The research also showed that the firms with more diverse boards performed better. A Thinker will be more logical in looking at pros and cons. Sensing qualities highlight focus on the here and now and dealing with concrete realistic data. High scores in Feeling identify someone who is considering values and the overall impact on people of the program. When the message coming from the top is that Diversity is Good and all these team members can contribute, organizations thrive.
What are some of the things that we can do to create more diversity in the firms that we are connected to? We can:
- Highlight the findings of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator research that recommends increased diversity on the Boards of companies as a way of identifying new services and finding new client populations
- Reach out to local groups who could benefit by our services even if they are different ages, races, religions, sexual orientation etc. than who we are already working
- Start by canvassing our own staff for suggestions that may come from some of their own community outreach or from the activities of other family members or friends that could broaden our reach for services and clients
Once others know what you do and that you are available to try new things and value diversity, you will find help where you least expect it. After all, periods of major change create new possibilities for service and planning that were not there before. Stay ready. Be open. Help is on the way from new diverse resources you may not normally have considered.
What are you doing to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion? Please share your strategies with us!
With Warm Regards,