I am keen to understand what the average spend is on Diversity programs and how this spend relates to other organisational priorities. From my experience so far, it seems that there is commonly an amount spent on setting up the Diversity Board and then very often the program stalls. I am continually dismayed at the rhetoric that says that organisations are keen to increase gender balance, yet the amount spent on the activity is very low and in some cases equal to the amount an organisation may spend on a day at the football for their clients as a marketing activity.
Many organisations don’t have an ongoing Diversity Budget so after the set up of the Diversity Board stalls, it is difficult to gain approval for any further activity. Clearly if any activity is not set up for success, then it is likely to fail and I constantly hear the same comments from senior managers who just don’t understand why they can’t successfully attract and retain women. These comments are typically; “we have given them (women) leadership training, we have provided them (women) mentoring, and we have done unconscious bias training”. They then look at me puzzled as if they have done everything in their power to fix the problem, yet women just don’t respond. It is so much more complex than this, but that is for another post!
If I can collect some simple $ metrics then I can start to build an argument about the value of gender balance to organisations in relation to their spend on the activity. My guess is that most are spending very little and then wonder why they are not getting any tangible results. Many of the programs that I assess currently are not set up for success in the same way that we would set up and IT program – again this could be due to a lack of commitment and funding or just a lack of experience and knowledge about setting up a program.
PLEASE DO THIS QUICK 5 QUESTION SURVEY
Can you please take part in this simple 5 question survey as part of my ongoing research into the effectiveness of organisational diversity programs and their real importance to organisations. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Diversity-spend