Big Data Is Giving Businesses A Diversity Reality Check

Big Data Is Giving Businesses A Diversity Reality Check

Companies often face a severe reality check when they look at how white and male their workforce remains, in spite of their claims of proper efforts at diversity.
The problem is so bad that one entrepreneur has developed a software tool directly aimed at giving them the lowdown on it, and an exact system for urgently and sustainably doing something about it. Katapult, a tool described as a ‘Salesforce meets LinkedIn LNKD +0.24%, meets diversity’, is the creation of businesswoman Andrea Hoffman, the founder of consultancy Culture Shift Labs. Asked which industries are struggling with employing a diverse workforce, Hoffman says “most” are. She cites the technology industry and banking as two of the most serious examples.

The platform, which is aimed at large companies with an existing diversity strategy, attempts to comprehensively analyze where an organization “really stands” in its efforts, while drawing on predictive analytics to provide a strategic plan for the workplace, workforce and reaching the marketplace, and how to use the correct resources to make it work. “Everyone knows this [diversification] is a huge opportunity but very few understand how to execute it well enough to put a business model in place,” Hoffman says.

Systematizing Diversity Efforts
Hoffman and business partner Skot Welch had been working on a diversity and inclusion project for a Fortune 500 firm, and decided their connections and big data knowledge could be applied more broadly. Hoffman says that businesses often asked why diversity and inclusion in industry “didn’t have a proper business model”.

So many companies struggle to have a workforce that reflects the diversity of their community and customer base. With the opportunities to vastly improve their sales and their breadth of ideas, many are slowly beginning to take it more seriously. Among them, American Express and Wells Fargo are taking action, but there is a long way before many companies make it a proper part of their business model.


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