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Building a Diverse Workforce

By Lori Richards, Partner and President of Mueller Communications


“If you build it, they will come.”

This may have worked for Kevin Costner and his field of dreams, but it’s an outdated attitude to have about building a diverse team.
There is much discussion about workforce being influenced by physical space, and the speculation is that if you have a glassy building, standing desks and can bring your dog to work, “they” — as in the diverse, talented workforce you desire — “will come.”
There is an equal amount written about culture, the speculation being if you offer great benefits, ample flexibility and meaningful work, “they will come.” 
And those things are important factors in building a successful team that supports a successful business.
But we believe the biggest oversight in all of these schools of thought, is that diversity will come to you. Our experience has been that we need to seek it out. 
We now hire differently.  We have updated our recruitment process, strengthened our networks and our pipeline. We’re making progress and we’re better for it, and there is always room for improvement. We have more perspectives around the table, and more meaningful discussion about who we are reaching, who we might be missing, and the nuance and impact of our message.
We believe that if you want to build a diverse workforce, you can’t wait for candidates to come, you need to go out and get them. 
What’s your experience?