The New Shape of Work interviews series addresses the challenges and uncertainty brought by the coronavirus, and addresses how to transition to a more agile workforce for the future.

The pandemic has magnified the impacts of social inequality. People are dealing with increased racial discrimination. Persistent gender inequalities are becoming more apparent as women shoulder more responsibility for caring for and schooling their children at home. And those who struggle with mental health challenges are experiencing these more acutely do the pandemic. In light of this, the need for strong leadership seems more critical than ever before.

In this interview, Norman Dreger, Partner and CEO of Mercer Germany, consults with Angela Berg, Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consulting Leader at Mercer, and David Jackson, Partner in Mercer’s US Talent and Strategy business, about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and why companies who want to remain relevant and best positioned for the future need leaders committed to DEI. 

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Interesting moments from the interview:

  • Understanding DEI

    "We speak with many leaders globally and one of the really interesting things that we find out quickly is that they may not even be fully aware of all the different kinds of DEI data that's available within their organization. The CEO may be aware, but other leaders will say, “we don't actually know how diverse and inclusive our organization is.” So we would say that the first key piece for leadership is know your numbers and be able to confidently speak about them."
  • Including DEI in executive incentive plans

    "Our research shows that improving workforce diversity and inclusion is high, or very high, on the agenda of over 80% of the organizations we surveyed. And yet, and here comes the paradox, only 15 to 20% of S&P 500 companies actually include DEI metrics in their executive incentive plans.”
  • Building an inclusive workforce

    "It's very important to help people understand that their career success as rising leaders is absolutely correlated to their awareness of, and their ability to skillfully act on, the insights around intercultural competence particularly with reference to racial justice. As a very practical matter, be sure that succession planning is not the place where you fail to apply the insights and the priorities of building inclusive workforces."

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