October 26, 2021

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the workforce should not just be a ‘tick box exercise’. Organisations must take the time and utlise the resources at their disposal to make their workplaces more diverse and inclusive.

This was the message that episode 14’s special guest, Amber Brown, was keen to impart to listeners as well as IYB’s host Daniel Fellows who recalled meeting iCIMS’ Product Leader “on a panel way back in 2020.”

Dan revealed that he had been struck by Amber’s “passion and commitment to DE&I” and how his board of advisors had stressed “‘We have to get Amber on the show’ and who am I to disappoint my board of advisors!’”

By way of introduction, Amber said: “I am a Product Leader at iCIMS – I lead our DE&I efforts. That consists of investments we make and partnerships taken to further extend our DE&I mission. It’s a rewarding role because you get to see something come to life that only a short months ago, was just an idea in someone’s mind.

Host Dan was keen to know how companies can make sure they don’t just check the box when it comes to DE&I efforts but make Diversity & Inclusion interventions that stick. He added: “We are so passionate here at Get-Optimal that people aren’t just adding a sentence saying ‘We are an equal opportunities employer’ at the end of their Job Ads. Well actually no you’re not because all of your Job Ads say differently.”

Amber agreed: “A check box is something you do because you think you should be doing it and if you don’t, you’ll look bad. You’re not really doing it because you want to help people who don’t have access to opportunities etc and that impact is felt on the other side of the screen. The upshot? You don't actually accomplish anything.

“If this is one thing you’re doing to put your best foot forward when it comes to DE&I, we think of that as a compliance-based approach. Compliance is not the same as a diversity strategy. What else are you doing with your efforts to enrich the experience? Don't let that [adding an Equal Opportunity Employer statement] be the one thing you do.”

Elsewhere in the episode, Amber spoke of the findings thrown up by a recent Gen-Z report which showed that “the younger generation want to come into the office after 2020 and see what work life is really like.

“The level of info younger people are willing to share is also significantly higher. Generation Z wants to share information about DE&I and this means a digital transformation. Sharing data is a way they can do good in the world to help improve diversity.”

The digestible 20-minute episode ended with Dan posing the question: “Where are we on the road to DE&I? I have seen a change globally but I still think that we are away from seeing an equitable working environment.”

Amber answered: “I think a lot of folks are making an effort to form a strategy. I recently saw an ad from Facebook promoting FB groups for people with common interests and one for basketball within the deaf community. I am seeing more and more of these ads. We are well on our way and it’s beautiful to see – they didn’t exist two-three years ago. There’s still a long way to go but I am really excited about the progress.”

The founding member of iBelong, a D&I committee at iCIMS, added: “If you are an executive interested in learning how to bring in more diverse talent, get in touch! I want to learn about the challenges that you have so inbox me on LinkedIn. Throw your most challenging diversity question at me and let's have a dialogue and see what I can help you come up with. That’s what it’s all about. I am not an expert. I don’t have a degree in diversity – I have a degree in analytics – but I am passionate and I talk to other people and that’s how you broaden your perspective.”

Catch episode 14 of season two of Inside your Brand over on Get-Optimal’s YouTube channel.

Amber Brown from iCIMS
Amber Brown from iCIMS