There’s no single tried-and-true method of increasing diversity in an organization, but having role models at the top provides emerging leaders with examples of success to identify with. To encourage these kinds of great leaders:
Set an example.
Intentionally populate your organization with leaders who embody diversity, especially in the context of your industry. This way, others from diverse backgrounds will think, “If they can, I can too.”
Try “double sponsorship.”
Consider having two people share the responsibility for each candidate’s development, company-wide. This increases the likelihood that talented employees of any background will feel supported and stay with the company.
Make it count.
Don’t put in place someone who fits a certain desired category but lacks the skill set needed to do the job. Hire stars, but know that diverse constellations of those stars are far more effective.
Adapted from “Great Leaders Who Make the Mix Work,” by Boris Groysberg and Katherine Connolly.