HomeEmployee ExperienceDEI&BDiversity & InclusionBold principles for HR to be the game-changer in driving equity and inclusion

Bold principles for HR to be the game-changer in driving equity and inclusion

  • 3 Min Read

Sahana Mukherjee provides 4 guiding principles to move toward impactful progress, with HR as the catalyst for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world.

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As the world moves seemingly at breakneck speed, we know that innovation is a key disruptor and diversity of thought is the differentiator. Ever the pragmatist, I am passionate about new ideas on how to operationalize the best aspects of innovation and diversity, to focus on impact.

Our journey has brought us to a place where we have a lot of positive dialogue around the value of diversity, demonstrating critical behaviors such as leading with emotional intelligence, adaptability, and agility. But how are we operationalizing intent to impact?

If we look at the talent lifecycle, core talent processes still rely largely on concepts that are far from new; processes that did not prevent biases from creeping into outcomes. Yet, foundational transformation of talent practices to systematically design biases out of the processes across the lifecycle is yet to become part of mainstream conversation. This is where HR can be the gamechanger but we need to be unafraid of transforming core practices to build an equitable world.

Bold principles for HR to be the game-changer in driving equity and inclusion


4 guiding principles to move toward impactful progress

FIX the root cause

We need to reconcile our approach with the realization that the same old talent lifecycle processes did not prevent biased outcomes. As they say in software development lifecycle (SDLC), ‘Shift left’ approach emphasizes the need for developers to concentrate on quality from their earliest stage of a software build, rather than waiting for errors and bugs to be found late in the SDLC. It’s about time that HR applied that same approach to trace back to the root cause of the issues in the way processes are set up and fix them as opposed to waiting at the last stage, which primarily relies on people to change behaviors.

INTEGRATE into operating model

The more separate we keep something, the more separate it will remain. The way colors cannot be separated once they combine to create a new color, how we divide the work should not be how we talk about it.

Make DEI efforts EASY to engage and incorporate

As Einstein is famously credited with saying, “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Keep it simple to make it easy for everyone to engage. Think about how we can elevate the entire organization, so the easier we make it for people to engage and translate into their day-to-day, the more inclusive and equitable, and as a result, diverse, our organization will be.

Operate with a mindset of SELF-DISRUPTION

Embark on a transformation journey with passion but don’t get attached to the ideas. Built-in ongoing evaluations should ensure nimble modification or allow pivots to a different direction if needed.

Agility, innovation, testing out new ideas – it’s becoming more and more important not just for the businesses we are in but for HR too. We can play a very critical role in driving the culture, the mindset, and the organization we strive to be.

Due to our ability to have an impact at every stage of the talent lifecycle, if we embrace an agile and transformative mindset, with a focus on addressing the root causes, HR is uniquely positioned to be the gamechanger in operationalizing sustainable long-term solutions that will make the vision of a diverse, equitable and inclusive world a reality.



Sahana Mukherjee, Global HR Advisor for Wealth Technology and Engineering & Architecture Practices at Personal Banking & Wealth Management Technology at Citi.
Views are the author’s own.

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