Spend less time recruiting because according to Glassdoor, 57% of employees want their company to prioritize diversity and are more attracted to companies that do. Less time recruiting can also translate to reduce costs. Jobs aren’t open as long, which means less burnout for current employees and higher productivity.
As a part of our series about “How Diversity Can Increase a Company’s Bottom Line”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stacey Gordon.
Stacey Gordon is Executive Advisor and Diversity Strategist of Rework Work where she and her team coach and counsel executive leaders on DEI strategies for the business, while offering a no-nonsense approach to unconscious bias education for the broader employee population. Stacey’s unconscious bias course has consistently been the second-highest viewed course on the LinkedIn Learning platform and it also been translated into at least four languages. You can find Stacey’s book, UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work, at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and wherever books are sold.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive into the main part of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit more. Can you share a bit of your “backstory” with us?
I started my career in diversity, equity and inclusion as a recruiter and when I realized that I was having to spend more time and work harder getting women and professionals of color hired, it occurred to me that I would need to target the companies that hire rather than spend time on hiring.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? Can you tell us the lesson or take away you took out of that story?
Since I started my career? That’s a long time. I don’t work in an industry that provides for much fun in my stories but I did have a prospective client ask me if I could skip talking about LGBTQ topics in my unconscious bias workshop. I think I might have been speechless.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you tell us a story about how that was relevant in your own life?
I always work off the phrase “luckiest are the prepared”. It was my favorite quote as a recruiter because I would tell candidates they don’t need luck for their job interview, they need to be prepared. But it’s still a mantra I live by because it’s how I was able to get selected as the professional to update the resume course on Lynda.com, which is now LinkedIn’s learning platform. And by doing that, I was then able to pivot to creating the unconscious bias course which is one of the most popular courses on their platform.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
There are so many people. I thanked many of them after publishing my book, Unbias: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work and my reason for that is that they were all women. I looked back at the people who have gone out of their way to help me when they didn’t have to and every single person was female.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I think the name of my company makes me stand out. People like the name. They also like the branding, but the name is what people remember. When I changed the name from The Gordon Group to Rework Work, it was because I was frustrated at the roadblocks not only my candidates were experiencing, but even me as the owner of the company and in a rant, I stated that we need to rework recruiting, rework onboarding, rework hiring, rework advancement and promotions and that we just need to rework work!
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?
Yes, right now I am working on a new course concept that will allow people to take ownership of their education in diversity, equity and inclusion and also keep them accountable to action. My goal is to help leaders avoid the trap of being performative and inauthentic and actually champion and implement change.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
It’s in my mission statement. I’m consistently working to make a difference for all and while I haven’t achieved it yet, I’ve definitely made a difference for some.
Ok. Thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main part of our interview. This may be obvious to you, but it is not intuitive to many people. Can you articulate to our readers five ways that increased diversity can help a company’s bottom line. (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Increased profitability. You want 19% higher revenues? Be more diverse. (According to a Boston Consulting Group study)
- Increased new business opportunity. Who doesn’t want to capture new markets and you’re likelihood of doing so goes up dramatically when your company is more diverse — both gender and with regard to ethnicity.
- Spend less time recruiting because according to Glassdoor, 57% of employees want their company to prioritize diversity and are more attracted to companies that do. Less time recruiting can also translate to reduce costs. Jobs aren’t open as long, which means less burnout for current employees and higher productivity.
- Increased customer retention/reduce rate of customer attrition — Harvard Business Review article cite a major retailer that experimented with diversity and belonging and increased customer retention by 4%.
- Increased employee retention. With more women in leadership a company is 30% more likely to provide fair pay and benefits (according to Pew Research Centre).
What advice would you give to other business leaders to help their employees to thrive?
Actually value your employees and their input and feedback. Why hire them if you aren’t going to listen to them?
What advice would you give to other business leaders about how to manage a large team?
Realize that people are different so you can’t manage them all in the same way. You have to have diversity of leadership skills.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
I’ve already spoken to the CEO of SHRM which is the largest HR association in the world, so I thought I might like to speak with Jeff Bezos, but I realized the largest employer is actually Walmart which means I’d like to speak with Doug McMillon.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
They can stay apprised of what we’re up to by checking out my newsletter at reworkwork.com and by following me at linkedin.com/in/staceygordon, twitter.com/reworkwork or facebook.com/reworkwork. I’m also on IG @ ReworkWork
Thank you for these excellent insights. We wish you continued success in your great work.
Stacey Gordon of Rework Work: How Diversity Can Increase a Company’s Bottom Line was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.