When Cyrus and I first started thinking about Working IDEAL, we knew we had a shared vision, a particular perspective on what “diversity consulting” should be and a clear set of clients in mind. While we are excited to work with all kinds of organizations – larger and smaller, across the private, academic, nonprofit and union sectors, drawing from established and emerging companies and industries — we are focused on partnering with employers who want to be leaders. We are seeking clients who view legal compliance as a floor and best practices as a given — and strategic human capital as a core element of everyday business practice.
As we explain in our Mission Statement on “the IDEAL Workplace,” we are now in a moment of challenge but also opportunity:
While we have come a long way, our journey to the IDEAL workplace is far from complete. It will always be a work in progress, but now more than ever we need to publicly embrace these values. Women make up half the workforce, but the glass ceiling remains a barrier to reaching the top in far too many workplaces. Women still cannot count on being paid what they are worth, or being able to work free from harassment or stereotype. The U.S. is rapidly becoming more diverse but workers can still find that race and ethnicity trump talent, initiative, or experience when they pursue opportunities to perform and to lead. We are broadening our understanding of what equal opportunity should mean – like real accessibility for workers with disabilities and meaningful LGBT inclusion. Our national commitment to a level playing field needs to be reflected in every workplace, for every person.
And we know that we need new tools. The rising generation is already expecting work to reflect these IDEAL values, and they will seek out opportunities that align with them. Today’s challenges involve unconscious biases, in-group favoritism and entrenched but often invisible barriers. Meeting them requires hard metrics and data-driven analysis but also engagement strategies and cultural change. Fortunately we have employers who are embracing this challenge, and who are leading the way. We have new research and new analytic strategies that are identifying what works and the true best practices that can drive sustainable change.
Our clients are embracing the challenge, and they are pursuing innovative strategies and solutions that can lead the way for others. They are also gaining the benefits, like more effective and competitive human resources practices and stronger performance. If the IDEAL workplace is how you envision your organization’s culture and practices, let’s talk about how we can support you.