Inclusion in an age of radical collaboration

May 4, 2021, 8:03 PM UTC

If there is one good thing that sticks as we slowly enter a not-quite post-pandemic world, I hope it will be radical collaboration. 

The vaccine makers have been the most visible example; the Accenture-led collaboration behind the April 2020 launch of People + Work Connect, a platform designed to make it easy for employers to find and hire pandemic-displaced workers was also inspiring, in part because it came together so quickly.

Here’s another to inspire you.

The Alliance for Global Inclusion, is a newly public collaboration between Intel, Snap Inc., Nasdaq, Dell Technologies, and NTT DATA, which began as an attempt to help the tech sector get way smarter about inclusion and equity way faster. 

“What we’re trying to accomplish is — one, to look across the tech industry and see if we can identify issues that we can continue to work on together, but also have a collective set of data where we post the health of the industry as a whole,” Dawn Jones, Intel’s chief diversity and inclusion officer and vice president of social impact, tells raceAhead.

At the heart of the offering is an in-depth and anonymous survey of global tech companies that forms the basis of an index, a tool kit, a best practice learning lab, and a report card.

 “Across tech, we had individual companies that are doing really good work individually, spending billions of dollars trying to diversify their workforce, trying to push this, you know, rock up the hill. What would it look like if we brought the industry together to work on shared goals?” says Jones. The index and outcome data will be used by alliance companies to help inform inclusion investment decisions back at their home companies — delivered as insights directly to the C-Suite. But the learnings are public and available to anyone. “The second part of the structure is to share our resources and toolkits with companies that are in various stages of their DNA and maturity,” she says. “Let’s share what we know.”

I will post a longer interview with the collaborators on Friday — if you have any specific questions for them, let me know — but I think it will be worth your time to dig into what they’ve published already. 

According to their data, the three most successful practices that tech firms contributing to the index have adopted are: 

  • A formal process for inclusive product design;
  • A process for tracking inclusion sentiment across the company; and 
  • Formal programs that encourage dominant culture employees to adopt inclusive behavior. 

You know what doesn’t seem to work? 

  • Programs asking employees participate in “diversity” mentorship programs;
  • Reward systems for inclusive behaviors; and 
  • Training people managers on how to talk about inclusion and diversity.

Hmmm, right? I’ll dig in a bit more and report back. 

Ellen McGirt
@ellmcgirt
Ellen.McGirt@fortune.com

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This edition of raceAhead was edited by Wandy Felicita Ortiz.

Today's mood board

Billie Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Artwork by @chris_trevas on Instagram

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