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DiversityNursing Blog

New Report Finds a ‘Diversity Dividend’ at Work

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Jan 22, 2015 @ 02:29 PM


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Is there such a thing as a diversity dividend?

A new study of 366 public companies in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Brazil, Mexico and Chile by McKinsey & Co., a major management consultancy, found a statistically significant relationship between companies with women and minorities in their upper ranks and better financial performance as measured by earnings before interest and tax, or EBIT.

The findings could further fuel employers’ efforts to increase the ranks of women and people of color for executive suites and boardrooms — an issue where some progress is being made, albeit slowly.

McKinsey researchers examined the gender, ethnic and racial makeup of top management teams and boards for large concerns across a range of industries as of 2014.  Then, they analyzed the firms’ average earnings before interest and taxes between 2010 and 2013. They collected but didn’t analyze other financial measures such as return on equity.

Businesses with the most gender diverse leadership were 15% more likely to report financial returns above their national industry median, the study showed. An even more striking link turned up at concerns with extensive ethnic diversity. Those best performers were 35% more likely to have financial returns that outpace their industry, according to the analysis. The report did not disclose specific companies.

Highly diverse companies appear to excel financially due to their talent recruitment efforts, strong customer orientation, increased employee satisfaction and improved decision making, the report said.  Those possible factors emerged from prior McKinsey research about diversity.

McKinsey cited “measurable progress” among U.S. companies, where women now represent about 16% of executive teams — compared with 12% for U.K. ones and 6% for Brazilian ones.  But American businesses don’t see a financial payoff from gender diversity “until women constitute at least 22% of a senior executive team,’’ the study noted.  (McKinsey tracked 186 U.S. and Canadian firms.)

The study marks the first time “that the impact of ethnic and gender diversity on financial performance has been looked at for an international sample of companies,’’ said Vivian Hunt, a co-author, in an interview.  Yet “no company is a high performer on both ethnic diversity and on gender,’’ she reported.

And “very few U.S. companies yet have a systematic approach to diversity that is able to consistently achieve a diverse global talent pool,” Ms. Hunt added.

McKinsey has long tracked workplace diversity. A 2007 study, for instance, uncovered a positive relationship between corporate performance and the elevated presence of working women in European countries such as the U.K., France and Germany.


Topics: jobs, work, gender, workplace, management, minorities, recruitment, report, companies, employer, employee, gender diversity, ethnic diversity, diversity, ethnic, career, race

Report examines RN work environments

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, May 28, 2014 @ 02:04 PM

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A new "Charting Nursing's Future" brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation details a series of programs designed by and for nurses that have “spurred the creation of work environments that foster healthcare quality and patient safety” 10 years after a landmark Institute of Medicine report.

The November 2003 IOM report, “Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses,” concluded that “the typical work environment of nurses is characterized by many serious threats to patient safety.” The IOM offered a series of specific recommendations about how hospitals and other institutions needed to change to reduce the number of healthcare errors. Taken together, the recommendations constituted a fundamental transformation of nurses’ work environments.

The IOM report found that hospitals and other healthcare organizations did a poor job of managing the high-risk nature of the healthcare enterprise. Accidents were too common, and management practices did little to create a culture of safety. 

“We’ve made important gains in the past decade, but we have a lot more work to do,” Maryjoan D. Ladden, RN, PhD, FAAN, senior program officer at RWJF, said in a news release. “Some of the changes needed are systemic and will require collaboration among nurses, doctors, educators, policymakers, patients and others. 

“But nurses also have a critical responsibility to transform their individual workplaces, asserting leadership at the unit level and beyond to help identify and solve problems that affect patient safety.”

Among the initiatives highlighted in the brief, “Ten Years After Keeping Patients Safe: Have Nurses’ Work Environments Been Transformed?”:

• Transforming Care at the Bedside. The RWJF-backed TCAB initiative, developed in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, seeks to empower frontline nurses to address quality and safety issues on their units, in contrast with more common, top-down efforts. Evaluations of the program point to fewer injuries from patient falls, lower readmission rates and net financial gains. 

• Quality and Safety Education for Nurses. Also backed by RWJF, QSEN seeks to improve patient safety by helping prepare thousands of nursing school faculty to integrate quality and safety competencies into nursing school curricula at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

• Nurse-patient policies. In some jurisdictions, policymakers have addressed patient safety through nurse staffing policies, focusing both on nurse-patient ratios and on the composition of the nursing workforce. To date, California is the only state to establish a limit on the number of patients a nurse may be assigned to care for in acute care hospitals. Other jurisdictions have policies intended to encourage lower ratios. Research on the impact of such efforts on patient safety has been mixed to date. 

In addition, the IOM’s 2010 “Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” report gave new impetus to efforts to increase the share of nurses with baccalaureate degrees or higher, and various institutions have begun to address that recommendation through hiring requirements, tuition-reimbursement policies and more.

• Disruptive behavior on the job. Professional discourtesy and other disruptive behavior in the workplace is another barrier to patient safety, particularly given the growing importance of teamwork and collaboration. Noting the consequences of poor behavior can be “monumental when patients’ lives are at stake,” the brief highlights programs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore designed to deter such problems. 

A blueprint for change

The CNF brief goes on to cite a series of initiatives by government agencies, professional associations, the public service sector and credentialing organizations, all designed to advance patient safety and transform nurses’ work environments toward that end. It concludes with an “emerging blueprint for change” that urges providers, policymakers, and educators to follow through on: 

• Monitoring nurse staffing and ensuring that all healthcare settings are adequately staffed with appropriately educated, licensed and certified personnel;

• Creating institutional cultures that foster professionalism and curb disruptions;

• Harnessing nurse leadership at all levels of administration and governance; and

• Educating the current and future workforce to work in teams and communicate better across the health professions.

The brief also provides policymakers, healthcare organizations, educators and consumers with a listing of available tools to help in their efforts. 

This issue of “Charting Nursing’s Future” is a publication of RWJF created in collaboration with the George Washington University School of Nursing in Washington, D.C.

RWJF report:

2003 IOM report: 

Topics: workplace, RN, nurse, RWJF

How Bayer Creates a Healthy Diversity Strategy

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Jun 03, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

Diana Kamyk discusses the opportunities and challenges of her position as head of the U.S. diversity and inclusion program for Bayer Corp.

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Diana Kamyk has dedicated her career to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment. As the head of the U.S. diversity and inclusion program for Bayer Corp., she makes it her mission to foster and facilitate a spirit of understanding within the workplace. The company has been recognized multiple times by Working Mother as a top company for working mothers while under Kamyk’s leadership. She oversees the diversity program at Bayer, of which the Women’s Leadership Initiative is a part. The Initiative aims to increase the number of female employees in managerial positions within the company. In addition, Kamyk helped found Bayer's Diversity Advisory Council, which facilitates and promotes diversity through various conferences and workshops.

How does Bayer's diverse workforce drive and promote innovation?
Through our U.S. Bayer Diversity Advisory Council, we incorporate diversity and inclusion initiatives — such as the Diversity Conference, Women’s Leadership networks and mentoring/coaching programs — into our business strategies and daily operations as a means to foster professional growth and to help build upon our culture. These efforts collectively help support the company’s belief that the more diverse the workforce, the more creative and innovative the results.

What are the goals of Bayer's various diverse employee networks?
Each network has between 50 and 450 members. Some develop new initiatives for their work locations, others get involved in job-related issues in science or the pharmaceutical industry. Their priorities range from doing voluntary work in schools, to promoting women in leadership positions, to offering a safe and inclusive workplace for homosexual, bisexual and transgender employees.

How does Bayer facilitate a work-life balance for moms?
The ProMoms professional network is a forum that allows working moms to learn from and provide support to each other. It creates awareness and understanding among all Bayer employees of the diverse roles of working moms and the contributions they offer to the workplace.

Bayer HealthCare in Berkeley, Calif., opened a new child care center in 2012 with space for 150 children, ages newborn through kindergarten. The child care center serves both children at Bayer and within the West Berkeley community. Bayer recognizes the importance of early childhood development. Therefore, providing an environment where a child can learn and develop to his or her full potential is critical in the maturation process and something that Bayer highly values.

What's the biggest challenge you face in your diversity role, and how do you overcome it?
With operations touching all corners of the globe, working with employees from varying cultures presents a wide range of challenges. Beliefs and priorities as they relate to diversity vary from country to country, so there is certainly a learning curve that we have to take into account as we work to implement unique programs — ones that are impactful and meaningful to employees — that support the foundation of diversity and inclusion across the globe.

Educating myself about each unique culture and understanding our specific employees, basically learning what works and what doesn’t work, has been invaluable for the creation of such plans. For anyone working at a global company, being able to think outside of your own borders and to understand other cultures is imperative to success.

Source: Diversity Executive

Topics: healthy, workplace, Bayer, strategy, diversity

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