Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Still Matter in a Pandemic | Boston Consulting Group

Talent Acquisition

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) continue to be a priority for organizations making the shift from aspirational DE&I rhetoric to meaningful actions and accountability. However, times of crisis can lead firms to deprioritize DE&I initiatives. This BCG article provides insights on how organizations can stay focused on DE&I efforts. One take I have is that remote work (RW) offers one opportunity for progressing DE&I. A perennial challenge to recruiting and hiring diverse talent has been geographic proximity requirements–where a firm requires talent to be located at the organization’s physical office location. Now that the pandemic has led many firms to break through the cultural and technological barriers that have prevented or limited RW in the past, RW can be a catalyst for recruiting, hiring, and retaining talent from a widely dispersed and diverse talent pool. Tapping into this opportunity will require firms to first: 1) Reduce proximity bias, an incorrect assumption that workers who are physically present will produce better results than those working remotely. 2) Determine RW potential – by evaluating which roles and types of tasks lend themselves to RW without a resulting decline in productivity and/or where a productivity gain can be achieved. 3) Labor Market Insights – having the capability to know where diverse talent exists so that firms can conduct outreach. Although RW isn’t a panacea to DE&I and is only one lever that impacts a segment of jobs and the workforce, it has the potential to narrow the diversity gap by connecting diverse talent with opportunities in a heightened digital and remote work environment.

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