After years where Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was the wagon everyone was trying to jump upon, 2023 saw a slow, but steady decline in DEI investments

While more organizations have people dedicated to DEI efforts and have set specific goals for their organizations, too little is being done to actively close the many gaps within companies. 

Take the gender gap in leadership pipelines as an example. While very modest gains have been made, it’s still harder for women to rise up the ranks than men. Women represent almost half of employees (48%) at the entry level, but their representation declines the higher up the corporate ladder they go - managers (40%), senior manager/director (36%), vice president (33%), senior vice president (27%) and C-suite (28%).  

This trend has created a “weak middle” in their pipelines to leadership. Responsible organizations know this, and over the last few years, have been doing their part to break down the barriers that hold their women employees back from rising up the ranks. 

Now, many are pulling back. 

It seems initial DEI strategies and initiatives may not be producing the tangible change companies need most. But is that a result of the programs not working? Or could it be that the right measures aren’t being considered? Too often we focus on the big audacious goal and forget about the more subtle markers that tell us we’re on the right track. 

If one of your goals is to develop a diverse roster of future leaders, you won’t be able to do this overnight, let alone within a single fiscal year. But, in that timeframe, it’s very likely you’ll hire more promising individuals and promote others to the first rung of management. Are you seeing future leaders performing well in their current role? Are you providing much-needed sponsorship to rising leaders? 

Monitoring such markers and reporting on them can help assess the true progress being made, while allowing program stakeholders and decision makers to better understand the fuller story unfolding.  

Beyond measurements, having conversations with those driven to enter that pipeline and the team members we see as future leaders can help us identify what may be missing from our programing. What else could they need to feel more supported and more included, while also building up the necessary skills they’ll need in future leadership roles. 

These conversations also help us see the barriers to their success? The only way to create programs and develop a leadership pipeline that works for them is to get their direct input.

Executive coaching can equip leaders with the tools they need to have those conversations clearly and effectively. I can teach you how to critically examine the pipelines and repair that broken rung, ensuring equal opportunities for every team member. I can guide you through the questions to ask, the indicators to look for, and the tools and strategies to implement in order to drive tangible and actionable change.

Book a call today and find out how I can make a difference among your company's future leaders.