White House Summit on Diversity and Inclusion in Government

This week I visited the White House to participate in the Summit on Diversity and Inclusion in Government. It was a great opportunity to meet some amazing leaders; all committed to developing concrete strategies and actions to accelerate workforce and business results.  Leadership from agencies, non-profits and the private sector were in attendance.  This immersion of diversity and inclusion sharing provided an “outside- in view” and valuable insights that will aid my team’s 2017 goals. Panelists at the event spoke about privilege, bias, and how to build a government that represents our country’s growing diversity.


Stereotypes that we all may, in many cases unknowingly, have can create implicit biases.  However, by implementing diversity strategies with “teeth,” businesses can begin to deconstruct these barriers. Studies have shown that implementing job diversity doesn’t “take away,” rather, organizations who diversify their workforce can increase profit, innovation, and revenue.


At the #WHDIGSUMMIT Dr. David R. Williams Harvard Professor of Public Health, discussed candidly the government’s role in truth and dismantling inequality. He provided insights from various research including one study conducted in NY that cited a shocking statistic that a black male applicant with a clean record received a call back or job offer about as often as a white male applicant with a felony conviction.   Michael Murray, chief officer of disability policies for the Obama Administration explained, “every number has a name and every name has a story,” and “when you’re not measuring what you’re doing around diversity, it’s fluff.” Egalitarian hiring practices are imperative to the success of our government and economy.


Establishing a data-driven plan of action for diversity in hiring is an important step towards an equitable future. Intel’s Global Diversity and Inclusion initiative is an excellent example of how analytics can measure success. To ensure progress and innovation in the future, employees must represent that future. The Annual Diversity in Technology report offers insight into progress and shifting demographics, with statistics on gender and ethnicity that show significant gains in employee diversity.


Data-driven analysis will play an important role in effecting change in the future. Training only will not get us to the results we need.  Metrics are the mirror for organizations to hold up and reflect on where progress truly rests. By the year 2042 minority populations within the U.S. will become the majority. Using data to track and identify opportunities for diversity will be imperative to a more inclusive workforce. And, eliminating biased hiring practices will create a more collaborative and innovative future for everyone.

To read more real-time coverage from yesterday’s White House Summit, check out #WHDIGSUMMIT on Twitter.