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Creating Accountability for Diversity: How Comerica Uses a Diversity Scorecard for Executives

Jeffery Lewis Author Avatar
Jeffery Lewis
on June 07, 2018

Changing a corporate culture takes time and sustained effort. And the best way to ensure efforts are sustained is to assign accountability for those efforts and measure them over time.

But many companies fail to build accountability into Diversity & Inclusion programs, putting their results at risk. Measurement against goals is also a common challenge, leaving leaders at a loss to identify the efforts and initiatives that are driving positive changes.

Earlier this year Indeed released diversity scorecards for employers, strengthening the already growing external drivers for accountability. As job applicants are increasingly able to hold companies accountable for diversity, organizations wanting to attract top talent must find ways to proactively hold themselves accountable.

Comerica Bank successfully uses a Diversity Involvement Scorecard to measure leaders for achievement in their diversity initiatives. Nathan Bennett, chief diversity officer and head of talent acquisition at Comerica, says the CEO and senior leadership must accept accountability for diversity and inclusion.

“If they don’t accept accountability and expect impact for not meeting goals, then it’s very difficult to create a diversity model that moves the needle,” said Bennett.

Accountability isn’t a one-size fits all proposition. Organizations must tailor metrics and accountability to their structure and culture. By using the following four-step roadmap, you can design an accountability system to impact corporate changes.

Accountability systems for diversity don’t look the same for everyone. Organizations must tailor metrics and accountability to their structure and culture to yield desired outcomes.
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Step 1: Create reporting and metrics for the organization and executive leadership to measure and manage diversity.

Comerica tracks metrics and creates accountability through a Diversity Involvement Scorecard for every senior leader, including the CEO. The scorecard measures the following areas under each leader’s control:

  • Workforce diversity
  • Business outreach
  • Volunteerism
  • Supplier diversity.

Within each category, Comerica defined specific metrics for each leader. For example, workforce diversity focuses on hiring, promotions, and retention. Within hiring, the metrics track the application pool for age, gender, and minority/nonminority compared with the employees hired. The same process and metrics applies to promotions and retention to provide an extensive review of D&I in all business units. By using a workforce analytics tool, leaders and the diversity team know exactly where each leader is in relation to the goals.

For example, if the technology department promotes fewer women than men to the senior and manager levels, then the technology leader develops a specific goal to help solve the issue. The goal may be requiring that 50 percent of the applicant pool for all senior officers be female. The hiring decision can’t be made until the application pool meets the criteria.

Step 2: Hold leaders accountable for achieving D&I objectives.

At the beginning of the year, leaders set goals for each area, and HR tracks results against these metrics throughout the year. The diversity team, the leader’s HR business partner, the CEO, and Comerica’s Executive Diversity Council review the goals.

Each leader knows exactly to which metrics he or she will be held accountable and the numbers needed to achieve the goal. The Diversity Involvement Scorecard results determine his or her end-of-the-year compensation.

Step 3: Create benchmarks for realistic and business-focused plans.

Comerica leaders meet with their HR business partner each quarter to review their progress. They discuss the trends based on the metrics, opportunities to improve, and changes to make. Common outcomes from the meetings include organizational changes and training in areas such as unconscious bias. After the meeting, the diversity team also discusses how to support the leader as he or she works to create organizational changes.

Step 4: Evaluate whether D&I initiatives align with organizational strategies, objectives, and culture.

Comerica weaves diversity programs and awareness through all aspects of the organization. Through market segmentation teams, employees focus on understanding the needs of specific multicultural markets and improving both products and sales methods for the community.

Because Nathan Bennett is both chief diversity officer and head of talent acquisition, diversity stays at the forefront of the recruiting and hiring process. Comerica’s Executive Diversity Council also provides guidance and accountability for the organization’s diversity programs.

If you’re wondering why your diversity program isn’t yielding the desired results, take a hard look at accountability. By making senior leaders accountable for diversity metrics, your organization can build the diverse workforce and inclusive culture expected by your employees and your customers.

For more insights on how financial service organizations can create an effective diversity program, download our latest whitepaper: 10 Keys to Achieving Pay Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Financial Services Industry.

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