Goldman Sachs has instituted a new diversity program based not on quotas but on hard data trends that uncovered why even progressive recruitment out of college hasn’t solved the problem. Women and minorities, it turned out, even when hired at the same rates as their white male counterparts, kept falling out of the pipeline. Attrition was enormous.
According to the data, both populations were more likely to quit than their white male peers and were simultaneously more likely to be replaced by white men moving laterally from another company. Additionally, they were less likely to be promoted and less likely to even be considered for promotion.
Retention and promotion are as important as hiring, and if you aren’t making workplaces where people feel welcome or are really enabled to succeed, you aren’t going to solve the problem. Companies need to do the work that Goldman Sachs did: get the numbers, look at when you’re losing those players and why, and then take steps to rectify it.
In Goldman’s case, they’ve incentivized hiring and promotion of affected groups by tying performance bonuses to not only hiring but also maintaining a diverse (and gender-balanced) team, as well as changing requirements to include skillsets rather than specific career histories or experience, which encourages hiring managers to actively recruit outside the usual pool.