September 30, 2021

Driving Workforce Equity with Internal Marketplace


Episode Highlights

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We were so excited for ???????????? 4???????? ???????????????????????????????????????????? ???????? ???????????? ???????????? ???????????????????????????? ????????????????????????, ???????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????? ???????????????? ???????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????. The panel was moderated by Lisa Alvarado (Holistic) and featured 3 amazing individuals from Deloitte who focus on research and diversity, equity, and inclusion, Diana Kearns-Manolatos (she/her), Manu Rawat, and Marin Heiskell.

The panel discussed how organizations can use internal talent marketplaces to enable greater workforce equity by:

1) Building more transparent access to opportunity

2) Enabling workers to develop and invest in their careers

3) Disrupting traditional approaches to career advancement.

In the last few years, there is a renewed pressure to drive diversity and equity within organizations, and the panel looked at ways to find some more effective models to remove barriers and encourage equal access to opportunities.

Episode Transcript

I wanted to say welcome to everyone who’s joined us today for Hirewell’s DEI committees’ fourth installment in their DEI speaker series, driving workforce equity with the internal talent marketplace. We’re really excited about today’s panel.


It’s an opportunity to really think about the ways that in the last few years, socioeconomic inequities and racial injustice have created a renewed pressure to drive workforce equity in organizations and leaders really you’ve got to spend some time and energy and resources to find some more effective models and mechanisms to remove those types of barriers that usually are hindering an equal and equitable access to opportunity and organizations. That includes doing things like addressing unconscious bias, eliminating any kind of disadvantages and updating any outdated policies that really aren’t serving


the business to create equitable outcomes for all. So in this panel today, I am joined by some fantastic professionals, all of them from Deloitte who have done some research and work around the subject matter. These folks come from industries across diversity, equity and inclusion, talent and technology, and they’re subject matter experts in their fields.


And so I would give a quick Introduction to myself. I’m Lisa Alvarado, director of facilitation and training at Holistic, as well as one of our DEI consultants and client managers on many of our accounts and consistently working with my clients to talk about how DEI impacts the organizations and how they can be at the cutting edge and innovative in the ways that they’re looking to move the needle on DEI and create opportunities for change.


So I am so excited to learn more about the internal talent marketplace myself, and how it can serve us all. So I’m just going to go down the road here with introductions. My background is in human resources as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting over the last 10 years. And I have a historic background in the historic study of race, gender, and ethnicity in my graduate studies.


So these things all come to bear in these conversations that we’re having. I’m going to start this afternoon with Diana Kearns-Manolatos and she can tell you more about her background and what she brings to this awesome conversation. Thanks Lisa and thanks to the Hirewell team for having me.


 So at Deloitte, I am part of our center for integrated research. And what I do is really look at emerging market technology and cultural shifts that are impacting organizations globally. And in my research, I really focus on digital transformation and technology trends that are impacting companies and how they can really think about implementing the latest and greatest developments in technology in a way that supports their strategies.


And one of the areas that I’ve focused on in my research is the future of the workforce. And I’ve had an opportunity to look at issues within the workforce like diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as the talent marketplace, as a way to think differently about the way that we manage people and opportunity in the organization.


So glad to be here. That’s wonderful, thank you for that Diana. Next I have Manu Rawat. She’s joining us here and Manu please feel free to introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background and how it impacts this work. Sure. Thanks Lisa. Hi everyone. I’m a neurologist. I am a senior manager in Deloitte in the human capital practice.


I’ve been in Deloitte for 13 years now and I’ve been focusing on talent strategies, particularly in skills based solution and how skills based solutions creatively unlock human potential and help with our employees career aspirations, whatever they might be.  I’m a talent marketplace leader in Deloitte and we are working with our clients to design and implement solutions so that we can enable this talent marketplace, which is the blind amount of talent through an AI enabled platform.


I’m very excited to be here. Thank you so much. And then our last, but not least is Marin Heiskell. Marin, we’d love to hear more about your background and experience. Hello everyone. My name is Marin Heiskell and I sit in Chicago where I am the consumer industry leader for Deloitte’s diversity equity and inclusion practice.


I’ve been at the firm for just shy of seven years and a lot of what I do is really look at just pretty much holistically how DEI is not just to be a moral imperative but an overall business imperative. So we just see a look at the talent life cycle and by the talent life cycle, we mean from kind of attraction and recruitment all the way through to exit and retirement.


All those processes in between are really just a starting point of where to start having conversations and embedding DEI into processes with a desire to achieve equitable outcomes. So that’s a lot of what I do and really kind of see talent is just a gateway into so many other things when it comes to community, customer, analytics, all these different other ways, but I’m really happy to be here to really talk a lot about the role of DEI and talent and how I can really pave the way for a broader DEI conversation.


Thank you. Thank you all for joining today. As you all can see, we have quite an esteemed panel and I’m really excited to dig into the subject matter.  Diversity equity and inclusion conversations are consistent across industries across businesses, but the more that we can come at them with an innovative lens and more that we can really dig down and get granular and move beyond some of those big overarching tech kind of thought leadership or just touchy, feely conversations into logistically


how can we implement these things? Build infrastructure, create processes and systems to where this is baked in from the beginning. So that was really perfect what you were saying there at the end Marin. I really want to get started and lay a little bit of groundwork with what are some of the most common challenges that are facing organizations regarding diversity, equity and inclusion today?


Yeah, thank you so much Lisa. Happy to really start off by talking about how diversity, equity and inclusion is not new. Right? So many of my clients have had whether it’s a chief diversity officer or VP of diversity and inclusion, they’ve had some sort of role in some sort of strategy for quite a while. But what’s really happened over the last couple of years is the lens has turned into where’s the impact? Really understanding and realizing that we have a lot of processes and strategies and diversity and inclusion initiatives in place but we’re really not seeing the impact both from a numbers perspective and an overall employee sense of belonging and engagement and inclusion feeling.


And so what we’ve done is we’ve really uncovered seven common pitfalls that we’ve seen. And I’ll briefly talk through each one. The first one’s around talent data. Oftentimes talent data can be very limited, only focused on “Hey, when you know that box that you check when you’re filling out your application.” and then capturing that data and little else. And limited data leads to limited or incorrect insights. So really looking for ways to capture important diversity and inclusion data, again from end to end, whether it’s those are using benefits, those who are dealing with kind of HR challenges and issues in terms of investigations, just really paying attention to who’s involved in each and every part of the process, can tell you a lot about how engaged your workforce is, which of course impacts other metrics like attrition.


Then another one is obviously what I call company ambition versus investment or boiling the ocean on a swimming pool budget. I’ve come across some really robust and fantastic DEI strategies. And then, I mean, you look at the overall budget and it almost looks like someone’s personal checking account.


So really making sure that you’re really- I mean, just for any sort of major, I would say technology overhaul or anything like that, you see millions of dollars pumped into it but then when it comes to DEI it’s this really tiny budget. So really making sure that your investment matches your ambition.


Leadership alignment is another one. And I like to say imbalanced leadership alignment. Many times we like to go to the woman or the person of color who’s already in leadership and say sponsor everything. And not only does that kind of overload them and overburden them, but it also sends a message that the other leaders are not as engaged or don’t view it as important because it’s not personally important to them.


A good way to get your workforce engaged is to make sure that all of leadership, whether it is a white male CEO or a black females chief marketing officer, that everyone is aligned on the importance of diversity and inclusion when it comes to the overall business strategy. Then there’s flash versus impact.


We saw this actually a lot over the last year and a half with the social media posting the black box and all of those different kind of flashy displays of diversity and inclusion, but really stopping and saying, what are you doing to address the systemic issues that led your company to this point? You did not develop diversity and inclusion strategies overnight.


You’re not going to solve them overnight through a couple of social media posts and PR statements. Then there’s the HR problem, right? DEI falls into HR. Talk to our chief human resource officer, or only having those who are engaged in diversity and inclusion sit in the HR office. The good way to really embed a DEI into the business strategy is to make sure that it is embedded across each and every function as a strategic priority.


Then there’s mistaking, exploration for action. I do have some clients who they have done assessments left, right, and sideways. They can come to me with all sorts of creative data visualizations, but that’s not impact. Showing me that you’ve done the research has not shown me that you have actually done the work.


So really understanding that assessment. Just like I view that as identifying the problem. That’s just step one, really saying there’s the now what, that you have to begin to answer. And then viewing DEI as a program, I always get really cringy if I hear our DEI program, our DEI initiative, just like you wouldn’t say our finance program or our marketing initiative, it’s a key business function.


And diversity equity inclusion should be viewed as the same way as just, it’s just the way you do business. It’s not this siloed program over here. So, those are just some things that we have really been seeing that all I mean, there’s none of those exist in a vacuum. You’ve probably heard some overlap in what I was saying, but they’re really what is keeping these really just creative strategies that are already sitting on desks of CEOs across the country and across the world from a driving impact and transformation, the way  that they would like.


Thank you so much for that super comprehensive and efficient, deep dive across so many areas of some of these pitfalls that organizations are falling into, even when they’re coming from a place of virtuous saying, “Oh, this matters, we’ve elevated the eye, it’s on the agendas,


it’s top of mind.” But some of the themes that I felt like you said, the overlap that are coming out is the underinvestment, underinvestment of actual capital but also under investment of time and attention paid. Right? So just across the organization whose responsibility is it?


Right? Whose desk does this sit on? Whether that’s that specific officer that’s been hired or they might not even get to the position of officer for DEI and or an expectation or the heaviest lift that burdensome being from the human resources department. So I think it’s something really great to kind of set the tone of the conversation and foundational and to think about as we move in to create something like this mechanism of creating a talent marketplace where


power and buy-in and investment come into that and how that’s going to undergird where we’re going next, right? What’s that so what? What’s next? And how can we make use of some of this work that’s been done, right? This data has been collected. These assessments have been made, but how are we going to


not just stop the buck there and say, well, we checked the box on, we did something with DEI, we spent some money or time or attention on it, but now how are we going to integrate it into the work that we’re doing across each vertical? I love so much of what you said, Lisa. I’m just to kind of bring it home, perhaps for some of our participants here, stopping and saying if you are whatever identity you have, with woman, man, person of color, if someone were to come to you and say, “Oh, you’re responsible for fixing the problems of women at your company” you’d be like, huh? But we do this a lot to women and people of color in leadership all the time.


And so it is a team effort and it needs the buy-in of everyone. And then also from the data capabilities it can sound overwhelming, but I kind of joke I was like, there are companies out there that can predict what I’m going to go and buy at target tomorrow, but they can’t tell me basic demographics of, “Hey, who’s using your wellbeing services?”  How to run in with HR over the last year, but what’s your attrition rate broken down by demographics?


So it’s just the capability is there. It’s just expanding the conversation and expanding the capability. Absolutely and expanding the fluency. So having that buy-in from the top but having an expectation that it’s not just going to live within human resources or a special DEI officer, that there is a role for every individual and organization to play.


Everybody should be an ambassador of DEI and have a particular fluency on where you stand as an organization, what folks hope to do, what goals leadership has set and how we’re going to hold them and each other accountable as an organization. Great start to the conversation. Thank you.


Now I want to really think about, we’ve obviously from the things you just laid out, we’ve talked about at length, there are challenges in DEI across organization and they’re vast but when we really break down DEI and we think about diversity, equity and inclusion, I want to kind of start to hone in a bit more on some on that equity piece.


And I think it’s so important because naturally I feel like when I’m talking about DEI, I’m a DEI consultant, I’m a DEI professional services person in the professional services. A lot of people hear diversity because there’s not as much time attention paid and understanding and knowledge built around equity and inclusion.


And also it’s the feeling of that step one. So we’re spending time and energy and resources of people and capital at the top of our funnel to get more candidates in the door, to make this place more diverse. Like that’s the work that needs to be done because we’ve looked around and we recognize we’re more homogenous that we’d like to be whether it’s by gender or by race or by age, depending upon the industry. But the conversation


and particularly in this last year and a half, as you said, based on a lot of the racial inequity and things that have come to the fore, it’s even become coded- diversity has been coded as race, right? So that equity piece is the part where we’re not spending enough time and attention and without equity, we’re never going to get to that place of inclusion, belonging.


And I mean, really depending on your organization, social justice. And so I want to talk a little bit now about equity, right?  What are the steps that need to be taken to move more toward this workforce equity? I would say one of the things that we’re starting to do is actually dig into an assessment processes, right?


So those processes not only that get people in the door, you talked about the diversity piece, but what are the processes in place to keep people there and help them grow and develop there? And that’s normally where we began to see things fall apart. So there might be these robust, there’s this huge pipeline to get diverse talent in the door, but then when you pay attention to everything from the onboarding, the development opportunities, and these can be formal or informal,


right. The way that special assignments are handed out, the way that investigations are handled or not handled, the way that you get people enrolled in various other wellbeing and benefits and what I call the sticky things that kind of tend to have people engage and stay with their employers longer, the way that exit and retirement is approached, and even the way that you engage people who have left, alumni organizations, et cetera.


I mean, really looking at all of the processes involved and say, where are the vulnerabilities to bias? And those vulnerabilities can be, “Hey, we just have one person making that decision” or the vulnerabilities to bias can be like, “We don’t talk about bias.” I’ve had clients where, when we talked about for example, the investigations process, they thought a way to kind of make everything equitable was to not talk about diversity and inclusion.


So that particularly- the people involved in those processes don’t take any diversity and inclusion training. They don’t ever talk about bias. The HR business partners, or DEI business partners are kind of shielded from that particular group. And they were like, “Oh, well if we put them in a bubble that we know it’s being fair” and saying, how does that really work?


So really looking at from end to end where the ball could be dropped and say, really, how can you mitigate biases there? And a lot of times it’s through collaboration or accountability, Lisa that you talked about earlier saying how can we hold the people involved in this particular process accountable for equitable outcomes and even defining what those equitable outcomes are.


Right. Many times it’s language thrown around but just like you said, we talk about diversity. A lot of people don’t know the difference between diversity, inclusion and equity. So even sitting down and saying, what do we as a company mean when we say diversity?  When we say inclusion? And when we say equity? I know here at Deloitte, we define it as kind of an equation that diversity plus inclusion and that diversity and inclusion are kind of a yin yang because inclusion is how you kind of get everyone engaged and involved in collaborating once they’re in.


And we believe the more inclusion be gets the more diversity, right? Those together equal equity, right? When you are really focused on diversity and inclusion kind of together, then you have those equitable outcomes and the equal access to opportunity and growth and development that’s there. Other companies might define that a little bit differently.


 So it’s even getting everyone speaking the same language, especially if you’re a global organization. I’m really, I’ve been doing a lot of work over the past year across the globe and saying, Hey, diversity and inclusion mean different things in Germany. Especially in South Africa, we’re really starting to do a lot of work in South Africa, which is only 25, not even 30 years into a new democracy.


And they’ve had a historically disadvantaged majority versus minority. And so what does diversity and inclusion mean there? So even just not being afraid of having a conversation and I say putting it on meeting agendas regularly to get clear on these sorts of things. Yeah. Thank you.


So definitely developing a language organizationally, so that folks can engage with this. I know that this is something Diana, that you’d spoken to about as far as equity is an imperative and Deloitte specifically has some spheres of influence that they feel that you need to speak to or think about in making these determinations about what equity looks like at your organization.


Yeah. Thanks Lisa and Marin. I think is absolutely right with the comments that she’s been making that achieving equity, it’s about impact a lot of the barriers that she spoke about relate to having to think about what type of an impact that you want to make. And so within Deloitte’s equity activation model, we really put forward more of a systems based approach to how organizations can think about driving equity.


And so we think about it as really three spheres of influence. First there’s the workforce, and we’ve been talking a lot about that. There is access. What type of access does the workforce have to opportunity. There’s enablement. How are you creating opportunities to really create an inclusive environment that makes people feel engaged and care for it and seen and heard within the organization?


And then there’s advancement. Does everyone have the same opportunity to advance within the organization? And so workforce is really the first sphere of influence. Then outside of that, there’s the marketplace. And there are different levers within the marketplace of how you can think about driving equity as an outcome in a way that changes systems and processes to actually really create impact.


So within the marketplace, you might think about products and services, marketing and sales, ecosystems and alliances, and your supply chain. How are you thinking about putting actionable processes in place to go from the way things are today to the way that you want them to be in the future with clear measures in place that drive equity as an outcome.


And then the third sphere of influence is around society. And so we’ve seen this, especially with the social pressures, socioeconomic inequalities over the past year and a half especially, but for more than several decades, this brewing desire for organizations to be accountable, not just for their employees but for the impact that they make in the community.


And so that pressure, especially in the year- the last year and a half has reached a new level. And so as organizations think about what responsibility they bear for the society that they’re part of, they need to be thinking about community impact and partnership and what standards and policies they are putting in place as a leader in their community that will impact that third sphere of influence.


And so as we start to think about equity within the organization and the workforce, I think that this here especially, I know Manu has a lot of insight to share on this topic, but I think that this is where internal talent marketplaces and our research into them shows that there is a lot of opportunity for internal talent marketplaces to help change processes with a systems-based approach, supported by technology, aligned to those types of equity goals really in the three spheres of influence around workforce.


So again, the first was access. How an organization identifies and matches their talent to roles and positions and doing that in a way that helps develop a talent pipeline that views equity as an outcome. Again, the second is enablement. So helping workers overcome both internal, external and self-imposed limitations on their careers and then advancement.


How are we making sure that we orchestrate experiences, capabilities, and achievements that can position individuals to be able to advance in their careers. And the equity activation model within the workforce sphere of influence those three levers of access, enablement and advancement are really three key areas that organizations can very tangibly and tactically be focused on. Thank you so much for breaking those down. When you were speaking about just overall kind of those spheres of influence and you’re talking about the workforce internally in an organization and what the talent that’s tied into that, and then the marketplace like externally, what’s the availability?


Usually when we were talking about marketplace of your industry, what’s going on. And societal it’s really, like, I kind of saw that inverted pyramid of right, like you’re as an organization you’re going in from inside out. And when we’re talking about DEI that’s also the way and the way that there should be a progression in the work, right.


It really should start internally with that. So self-reflection, self-awareness of where you fit into that model but then organizationally, we were thinking about those goals. What do these things mean internally? We’ve got to get ourselves together internally, whether it’s starting with that, taking a look at assessment, quantitative and qualitative, getting that data that Marin was talking about at the beginning and making a plan, creating goals and things like that.


But something we consistently talk about, I know at Holistic at our organization is you can be doing all this work around DEI, but if you’re not transparent or communicating out about it, what’s really going on? And so that first starts internally with creating that transparency and that fluency of knowledge and that it also kind of, I was thinking about when we’re talking previously, how DEI- what people have an awareness of and where that falls in and how that’s actually, but specifically at an organization defined and kind of thinking through workforce. That’s your diversity. Who makes up your workforce? Who’s a part of your organization and how do they show up? Who’s there? Who’s missing? What voices are heard? Who has access? All of those things, getting to that equity piece.


As we go to move into talking about this marketplace, creating access in that internal marketplace to drive equity so that everyone- does everyone have- you know a lot of times leaders want to focus on equality. We want everybody to have the same experience, but we know that that’s not the case and that’s not what’s needed,


right. We’ve got to meet people where they are and provide the resource support and tools that folks need to get on some of that equal footing and something like an internal marketplace creates some opportunities for that. And then societaly, now is the time. It’s not the other way around, like we talked about those black box campaigns on social media or the PR. After we’ve done all that work internally is the time to now think now how do we engage


societaly to bring more people into our marketplace, go to our clients with, this is what we’re doing. And this is we’re showing up in these ways, and this is why, and this is how we’re leveling up as an organization. So I just thought it was really interesting to see how a organization like Deloitte has kind of identified these spheres of influence and then those specific levels around access, enablement and advancement.


And so we were kind of going a little backwards. We started talking a bit about the talent marketplace but I’d love to bring Manu into the conversation to give us some more understanding of what exactly is the talent marketplace and how do we utilize something like that to help with moving forward and workforce equity.


Sure Lisa. And again, a really interesting dialogue. And I think that I was able to, I was thinking about some of those times with internal talent marketplaces, some of the things we heard from Marin and Diana and you Lisa. So I think I’ll try to, I’ll try to do that. But I’m taking a step back and helping just to provide an overview of what is an internal talent marketplace to go to the participants, to the audience and would love to, you know, if you have any questions please do put it in the chat as well.


At the fundamental level, a talent marketplace is an AI enabled platform that allows companies to connect talent to opportunity. And opportunities could mean full-time roles, part-time roles, short-term assignments, gigs, projects, volunteering opportunities, what you may have, right? You can think about a plethora of those kinds of opportunities and organizations can decide to provide those to their employees.


What we have seen is that COVID accelerated the adoption of talent, internal talent marketplaces, and for some companies, external talent marketplaces as well. And businesses wanted to deploy, redeploy their talent quickly across the organization and through an internal talent marketplace they were able to do that because the fundamental data point that a marketplace works on are skills. The skills enables organizations to see what does workforce have, what is the kind of supply of skills that they have?


And what is the demand, which is the opportunity side of things that the businesses have and how can algorithm kind of match those two to help you shape your businesses, outputs that you’re expecting through the talent marketplace as well as redeploy the talent. When we think about some of the kind of DEI components and Marin and Diana have already mentioned a few things. They first integration or connection point with DEI and talent marketplace and how it enables that is by removing those barriers to opportunity. And Lisa, you alluded to that as well.


How do you provide that equitable access to opportunities is through this platform. What you’re doing is you’re creating a set of opportunities that are only based on skills and perhaps knowledge that is needed to achieve those outcomes in those opportunities. And you’re opening it up across the organization.


If it’s a global organization, you actually, because of the virtual workplace as well you can access talent across the globe. And you’re giving that opportunity to emerging markets, developed markets across geographies, across functions as well. And what it does is that through this transparency, it allows employees and workers across the board to get access to certain aspirations that they might have, that they might not be able to have the ability with the given


current role. It gives them that access and it allows them to have those kinds of experiences that were not possible before talent marketplaces. And also what it does, if you can update the processes and policies, I want to put that caveat as well, is that it can address some of that unconscious bias that you see when you want to give that access of opportunities to employees. There might be certain preferential access or restricted access sometimes to employees but with the business getting a visibility of talent, given their skillsets, there is a dynamic exchange just based on that skills language, that data point that businesses can then help just get access to those kinds of talents.


And I know that Diana has mentioned about equitable access, but I want to focus that skills is that kind of currency of talent that really makes it happen. So if you have your, all of the kind of subjective criteria of likability or who you may know and what kind of access that you might have, that goes out the window because your objective, a data point that you are adding of skills helps you bring that equitable access to the forefront.


Because I’ve heard Marin say about you’re doing a whole lot of sourcing and bringing diverse talent, but what are you doing after they’re in the company? And what are you giving them as an opportunity within the company? And this is one of the ways that you can, this is one of the ways that you can provide that kind of platform.


You hire them and then you continue to provide the kind of DEI, programmatic elements of, this is one of the ways that we provide you with equitable access. And then, I think I also heard Marin mention the one big challenge of the data component and I feel that talent marketplace can actually, perhaps the most relevant output for DEI would be data points that you can gather


and you can analyze because you can see even how your workforce is composed and what are the skills within even the BIPOC communities and underrepresented communities. What are those kind of ways that you are not, they’re possibly not using the talent marketplace and orchestrate very specific programs for them and knowing the skills that they have, you can really create certain opportunities for them and try to remove those biases from the traditional process.


No, thank you for that excellent kind of deep dive into what exactly it is.  I want to talk a little bit about when might an organization know that a talent marketplace is something that would be effective for them and sourcing for positions, for opportunities, and what are some of the examples? Is it project work? Is it always a full taking on a full title change or an actual position? Or is it opportunities to get in front of different groups as some of you all mentioned. What all might be entailed and when might it be effective use of


resources for an organization to put together something like an internal talent marketplace? So we have seen clients come to the conclusion of what is the purpose of the talent marketplace for them from different angles. Some have created opportunities and only short-term project or gig opportunities in talent marketplaces


and they feel that that will not only helps them unlock workforce capacity, but also when we say unleash workforce potential, it’s basically they might have hidden skills and diverse skills that you’re not aware of given or the role that they have been doing, or it’s not relevant to the job, but they have their interest in passions in certain gigs or projects or choose certain kind of short-term assignments that they can really test some of those work that they might be interested in and that can help them see what kind of full-time role that they can take up in the organization. Some clients approach, I would say come to talent marketplace from that kind of talent development kind of angle. So it’s more around providing opportunities, given the career aspirations, different career aspirations that that employees might have today is that angle that some organizations come to it. Versus some other organizations that focus on talent management in the sense they want to see what kind of workforce composition do they have. And they want to be able to redeploy and move talent quickly


and given the disruption that we have seen in the market in the last year and a half, we’re seeing that that’s kind of the angle that organizations and companies and businesses are taking. They’re starting from pilots of maybe, perhaps for one product or one service and they’re reorganizing their workforce so that they can achieve these kinds of new business models, new business outcomes that they’re looking at.


So we have seen both of those. But when I think about the future, and when I think about where’s talent marketplace going, it is all of the connection points that we’ve talked about from DEI but it’s basically, how are you democratising opportunities in the workplace? How are you providing your employees with the- I want to say the idea that employees are looking for different careers.


 We are in the midst of a great resignation and we’re seeing employees are looking to perhaps reset some of their careers, right? Some of them want to do different things and that’s why we have the great resignation. How interesting would it be if they find new careers within the same organization through this kind of data point of skills?


And that would really help companies think about there’s so many different angles that you can come to that for, but that’s what we’re seeing in talent marketplace and the opportunities that talent marketplaces can provide to companies. And this overlap and a lot of what you were discussing and the same issues that we’re seeing across the workforce in general


but when we’re thinking about the AI specifically, attrition is huge for even like we were talking about previously, some of these organizations that spend that time and attention to get- change the complexion of their workforce gets more diverse individuals in the door, but they haven’t really done an auditing of their culture to determine what are the type of things that are going to drive inclusion and eventually create a sense of belongingness.


And so these folks might get in there and not feel like they have support. They don’t have the great networks of communication. And so we see attrition, right? We see these individuals that come in and they feel like they’re on an island. And they particularly, if they didn’t come in as a referral or someone, kind of one of those stored it in as a sponsorship


situation. And one of the biggest ways that you can practice inclusive leadership is really giving opportunities, passing the mic, giving a seat at the table, giving opportunities for folks who are at a lower tenure in the organization or in siloed in a particular department or group that doesn’t get to present their ideas in front of stakeholders.


It doesn’t get these opportunities to show their ability. And I could really see it as being an opportunity to do something like that. Particularly on that, when you’re talking about the talent development and opportunity and it more being on a project basis and we know organizations hire contractors at twice the rate and twice the currency of the people who are there.


And so really being able to tap into that talent and recognize and elevate people for their ability to work on those projects, it for sure will drive employee engagement. It will create longer tenure and less attrition and turnover for everyone but specifically some of these underrepresented groups that we’re trying to reach.


So I think that this is really creative and innovative way to really think about the ways that we can tie some of these DEI goals and integrate them into what the organization is doing already. The time, energy, and resources that are always spent on finding talent are immense.


And then just growing that visibility that’s very interesting. I mean, Lisa I was like, first of all, be careful about outsiders and contractors, but that’s us.


No, but something that you and Many were saying that in terms of the future, that is a conversation I’d like to see evolve is the way that we even define qualified and defined skills. So even just- so many times we think of it in a very binary way, right? Either you have it or you don’t. You have that MBA or you have experience doing this or you don’t.


But as we know, there’s a competency element that even overlaps with our identity, right? Like I stop and say that there’s a different competency that is likely developed if you are the only, let’s say black woman in an engineering program at a University. Then someone who is a legacy, comes from a family of engineers and so on and so forth.


There’s likely different competencies built there. Likewise, there’s different competencies from being that woman at the table in a product development conversation. I sit there and say so many times and I believe that we are seeing the quantitative results of that with the success of Fenty and other businesses like that, where you’re seeing who has not been at the table when products have been developed? Usually I’ve joked in the past and said like, women were clearly not at the table when these marketing campaigns for tampons put together because that’s not what it’s like to be on our periods,


right. But likewise, we’re seeing this with like colorism and how entire demographics and shades of people have been left out of beauty, have been left out of fashion. I mean, I know about dying under garments different colors. I know about buying brown shoes cause a nude shoe doesn’t fit me.


I know about all of those different sorts of things, but look at the billions of dollars now being made because you invited those people into the conversation. So, so many times where you sit there and go, I don’t want to bring someone to the table just because they’re a woman or just because they’re Latino or just because they’re black,


why not? Look at the competency just from their experience and just from their identity that they could bring into the conversation that could be to such a huge business outcome. So I’d really love to see us kind of shape the definition of competency and skills and what it means to be qualified and take the shame away from saying, “We need a woman in here.”


Absolutely. And Marin I think that is so absolutely right. That when we talk about skills, it has to include competency and identity because not everyone has had the same access to opportunity up until this point today to build that skills profile. And that needs to be understood when you talk about a talent marketplace and using skills as currency, to think about alternative journeys and what people actually bring to the table based on their experience, their perspective, and understanding that it’s not just one profile.


And so I think a great example of how you can do this with the talent marketplace is looking at something like succession planning as a use case. If you have a board or a leadership and executive team that all looks the same and everyone had the same journey, whether that’s your organizational culture promotes people who are brand marketing into the CEO role.


And there’s a lot of former CMOs, or if you’re the type of organization that’s very operationally focused and so your leadership team is very operations focused. Understanding that that diversity of experience, perspective, competency, and identity, and creating different paths to leadership and succession so that you bring that depth of experience into the highest levels of your organization, I think is a fantastic way to think about building your skills profile, creating opportunities through the marketplace for people to cultivate new skills to authenticate


how skills actually are valuable competencies that the organization hasn’t thought about. Doing that internally but then also to the point we were making about contractors is actually thinking about not just your internal workforce, but your broader workforce ecosystem. Because Lisa, with what you were talking about before with the spheres of influence, it’s not just your internal workforce.


Yes. You start with here’s our mission, our vision, our values for the organization and the type of culture we want to create, but organizations need to understand that the outside culture has a significant impact on the inside. So thinking about how your contractors or your introduction of technology to automate work is actually impacting your workforce culture in the way that you can access and cultivate opportunity and create equity.


So I think it’s within the internal talent marketplace, thinking about how skills can be part of that larger thinking on competency and then not just looking internally, but also looking at the relationship across the internal and the external. I love so much of what Diana said about diversity of experience


because this is something that clients oftentimes overlook, even when it comes to approaching diversity. Taking a look and, you know, I will say we, Deloitte have even had to grow in this area. When yes, you can look around and see different colors and races and ethnicities in the room, but we all came from the same universities and the same business schools and the same majors.


And then that’s when you get into a, did we really kind of get the point of diversity here? And even for me, I have learned a from my fellow black or African-American peers here at Deloitte who did come from very various different backgrounds about how they don’t always feel included. Because of that various, kind of going to that same pipeline of universities and majors and previous employers, et cetera.


So I love so much that you brought that up Diana.  Recently I’ve been leading training on bias and hiring and around this, talking about that education bias. So it’s different ways that we’re replicating the same folks, that same individuals. And we know naturally, particularly in professional services, folks do have those core schools that they’re interested in going to because they feel that these churn out analytical minds, the type of individuals that we need, great critical thinkers, that’s outstanding but every act of inclusion is act of exclusion.


And so who are we overlooking when we’ve done 75% of our hiring in these places? And so that’s really when I like to bring up the concept of culture fit versus culture add. So we might divert as an organization sometimes might be willing to diversify, but as long as they still maintain XYZ, the pedigree of having worked at big name firms or come from outstanding universities that everybody has that awareness too, but just consistently being innovative and thinking differently and going to fish in a different well.


Who are we missing? And the same idea, that’s really integral and foundational to this internal marketplace. Who are we missing in that we’ve got XYZ project and we’re not just going to look departmentally at the folks who we know can do this work. We’re going to put this out there. This is what we’re looking to do.


And we’re going to see whose hands are raised and we might be missing and not even understand the potential and the capability of the people that we have internally or some of those folks that are doing- you know have some type of a larger web of engagement with us as contractors or whatever that might be.


So really this idea of culture fit versus culture add, being that culture add doesn’t mean that you’re lowering your standards, that you are going to accept less. It’s about- the way I like to describe it is we make business goals year over year about what revenue goals we’re going to have as an organization.


And when we hit those goals, we don’t turn around and go, “Oh great. We’re sending the exact same goal next year because we know we can hit it.” We level up year over year, over year. And so it makes no sense, but that’s what we’re doing in business. But when we’re thinking about diversity equity and inclusion goals, it should be similar in that we know we have great people.


We want to continue to get those great people and cultivate those great relationships we already have with certain other organizations, partnerships, universities, but who are we missing? What voice is not here? What innovation is not here? Who has that perspective? That change of the way that we’re thinking about skillset


so the way that people came to those skills, that they can come in this room and help us innovate and take it to the next level, because we have a little bit of blinders because we were socialized and educated and all of those things, similarly from a lot of our traditional hires. And so it’s not always the conversation of either or.


It’s this plus this and I think that that’s a really important thing, particularly in the beginning when Marin was talking about leadership buy-in because that’s some of that fearfulness around change and how much, so much of our job has changed management and really talking, changing these conversations of who have we been missing?


Right? Like Marin’s talking about some of those consumer industries. These are industries that are a hundred years old. They’ve been selling makeup and this and that. Who was not considered?  And then how much dollars are being left on the floor because of that?


When you want to bring it back to the business goal and the business case and the money. Yeah, exactly. I mean, I have my go-to, whether it’s Fenty, whether it’s the success of films, like black Panther, et cetera, what’s different? Who is involved, that’s usually left out? But something that from a future perspective, that’s going to be interesting


and I’m getting some people to start paying attention to this in the future with talent pipeline is over the last year and a half the attraction of BHCUs to top high school and top undergrad talent is shifting significantly. Just even really- I’m a native Texan and I was just home recently and paying attention to these top black and brown graduates from top high schools and prep schools, and university of Texas who are turning down the Harvards, the Stanfords, et cetera, to go to Howard, to go to Morehouse, et cetera.


And so that is, and not only for the education but for the experience. You’ve seen Melinda Gates now suddenly giving millions of dollars to HBCUs. You’re seeing a lot of young talents say, I want to work for a woman owned firm. I want to work for a black owned business, et cetera. And so we’re really going to have to start changing the conversation about experience and qualification and stop saying you have to have that Harvard MBA. When you’re starting to see the talent pool  really expand where they’re interested in going and working.


Yeah, like we were talking about before, if you’re looking for universities that turn out analytical minds, how much of a problem solver is someone who’s working two jobs and doesn’t have the opportunity to have a college education. So I think that’s where the socioeconomic inequalities really come into play as well to think differently about what it means to be qualified.


Yeah, no, for sure. That’s something that I preach all the time. Let’s diversify diversity, right? We having these conversations and people will talk about race and they’ll talk about gender, but are we talking about ability or neurodivergency or socioeconomics and all of those things that help shape us and bring that different lived experience


that’s going to be integral to our ability, to like you said, time management, project management, analytical thinking, being able to problem-solve all the things that go on in that case interview. What do you do? Like, well, let me tell you about my life. Let’s not- we don’t want to tell you about the case.


Like I lived this, right. So I do definitely want to open this up for questions from any of our attendees. If there’s anyone who has a question, please feel free to drop it in the chat. We’d be happy to acknowledge that. Give some time and energy to that. As well as to my panelists, I asked them specific questions and the conversation flowed.


But are there any things that you wanted to add about the internal talent marketplace or gaining workforce equity in general that we didn’t get to thus far? No, I think very, very interesting conversation. But while we’re waiting for Q&A, I think the way that we look at internal talent marketplaces is a tool, but DEI and conversation around for companies, especially who do you want to be as you look at the past disruption, as you look at the future of where do you want to set your diversity equity, inclusion, belonging goals?


I think the pandemic has really helped everyone think through some of those kinds of important questions of what do they want to be, where do they want to be in? I think it’s on the companies, it’s on the leaders to think through some of those questions as they start thinking about the future goals and future programs and talent marketplaces is a great tool to enable that,


but it’s not the end all. It’s those processes. It’s looking at  those kinds of policies that you have to really come these things through that.  Jack, I’m just looking at some of the questions that we’re seeing as well. Going back to what would be a good first for next steps for companies who want to set up an internal talent marketplace. The way that Deloitte provides our perspective around talent marketplaces is that you look at the four Ps of setting up a talent marketplace: the purpose, the plan, the program, and the platform.


The platform, I think piece is pretty straightforward. It’s an AI enabled platform. There is a large ecosystem of vendors out there. So you have to think about what makes more sense given your technology ecosystem. But when you think about the first aspects as the purpose, and that’s the time that you have to make, what is your intent of setting up a talent marketplace?


Are you looking at the development opportunities and providing them equitable access? Or are you looking at more from workforce management and talent management play? And what we’re seeing is that there’s not one or the other. There could be a combination, but determining that purpose is one of the main kind of starting points for you to do that.


And then comes, how do you plan and program and updates to your talent processes and policies. But that comes in later steps two and three. That would start with setting it up and figuring out what makes sense and why the business case for doing it. I see another question in here on how do you combat people in the workplace who aren’t on the same level of recognizing the importance of DEI? Oh, it’s been a good part of my day doing this. And I would say, first of all, it’s not combating them. It’s inviting them into a conversation because usually that sense of combat is coming from a place of fear or a place of misinformation,


a fear of loss, whether it is loss of opportunities or loss of advancement or feeling as if the company is no longer going to focus on them and it’s only going to focus on certain groups. But it’s really engaging in a conversation to get to the heart and the root of those fears and helping them to understand that it’s okay to express them.


That is a part of inclusion. We’re not leaving out any people in the conversation. And it’s also really introducing key data points to get to a point Lisa was talking about earlier, this is not an either or. This is an and. We’re looking to add people here, not take away. We’re looking to add perspectives, add opportunities, add voices to key collaborations that can lead to capturing some of those business outcomes I was talking about earlier.


Also something that we do from kind of a qualitative standpoint is having conversations about bias and how it’s impacted us, not just in the workplace but outside of the workplace. And I would say everyone, even a straight white man has been on the receiving end of bias at some point, and really inviting you into the conversation because it impacts how people show up.


Right. And we want to be empathetic and sensitive and aware of how people show up so that we know how to bring out the best in them. So I think it’s about just really having those conversations to really kind of get at the root of the misinformation or the few there and looking for ways to talk about it and to address those fears, say, no one is being pushed out.


Just people are being added. Yeah. That’s such an important point. I love that you said empathy. I think leaders embracing empathy and being empathetic to other people’s experiences and perspectives is huge. A lot of organizations treat this issue and there’s a lot of gaslighting that people share their experiences,


you try to encourage these conversations and that fear takes over the resistance to change or not my organization, we don’t have a problem here. We’re talking about it. We have good marketing, but we haven’t actually changed, the way that people are feeling and experiencing the culture. And so I think thinking about leading with empathy and really listening to people’s experiences, if you have employees that are telling this is the culture I’m experiencing and even if it’s just one person, it’s really understanding that that’s a problem.


And that that’s something that everyone needs to work together in the organization to try to address. Yes. And even Diana, even flipping that rooting in what you’re just saying with empathy, that a lot of times people who are combating it, the questions that they’re asking or what they’re feeling has been the way women and people of color have been feeling for a long time.


And so sometimes drawing that out, just kind of saying, “Hey, the way you’ve been feeling about fear of loss of opportunity, or being the only person in the room, et cetera, has been just the way that a lot of marginalized or underrepresented communities have been feeling.” And so it’s not to switch it so that another group feels it, you know? It’s to make sure none of us feel that anymore. Yeah. Letting folks know that to be empathetic, but it takes a bit of vulnerability because that’s the expectation placed on some of these groups to share those experiences, to then try to get better and create a plan and all of those things. So knowing that it takes sometimes it’s a little bit of getting comfortable being a bit uncomfortable.


And then going back to what Marin had said quite early on, like the plan is not the progress. Like you get, the plan is the plan.  You got to work the plan now and working the plan, anytime we’re going through any type of paradigm shift, any type of strategic planning, there’s a lot of time and attention and resources and everything to put together the plan, but then it’s going to be some growing pains and there’s going to be- it’s going to come with change because any good plan, right?


 Like I said, we’re not doing the same thing. We’re not setting the same goals. So consistently having those conversations. Well, I think this has been a fantastic session today. I don’t think that we have any other questions. Thank you Hirewell, the DEI committee, particularly Jack and I’m really working to put this panel together and Robyn and make sure everything runs smoothly.


I think it’s great that we’re making time and space to consistently have these conversations. And I think it says so much about even diversity, equity, inclusion is something that is frequently siloed, as you were saying earlier, Marin and something that’s easy to kind of saw off at an organization. But across the different types of conversations we’ve had in the series, it shows there’s so much work to be done.


And how is this something that impacts every single area of an organization and in every single industry. So I’m so happy that you all joined us here today. I’m very excited. I would say all of you, connect with these individuals, follow them. Diane has written some great- you’ve been a part of as well as Manu, writing some great research around the talent marketplace and how this is consistent


and what part it plays in the future of work. And I think we can recognize whether you have any experience in DEI or anything, we know that work is changing. If nothing else, the organizations that you’ve been a part of in your teams have changed immensely over the last 18 months coming up on two years.


And so we want to always consistently get ahead of that and be innovative and figure out what ways we can change for the better. Well, thank you everyone for joining us. 


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