How to Start a Diversity and Inclusion Program for Your Extended Workforce

Posted: 04/23/2021 - 09:00
How to Start a Diversity and Inclusion Program for Your Extended Workforce

How to Start a Diversity and Inclusion Program for Your Extended Workforce

With a pandemic, a recession and protests over racial injustice, the need for more equity and equality is ever-present. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives have generated increased momentum among contingent workforce program leads.

How Diversity and Inclusion Impact your Organization

Diversity, equity and inclusion are not just industry buzzwords. McKinsey & Company and Harvard Business Review discovered that diverse companies have superior outcomes:

  • 36% have better financial performance
  • 87% have better decision-making
  • 40% have higher revenue

According to the latest SIA research, companies considered leaders in D&I efforts around their extended workforce have a competitive advantage when it comes to total workforce management, higher ROI for contingent labor and the ability to retain talent.

Start Small

Your diversity and inclusion program doesn’t need to be complex. You can start small in one region and replicate where legally permitted, engage other business units, work with HR’s existing D&I initiatives and start collecting data. Once you make progress in one region, you can start to replicate and adjust based on what is required for that area.

Drive Value from Your Systems

Creating reportable D&I data is necessary for both employees and external workers. Several actions may help your organization improve diversity and inclusion among your non-employees, such as:

  • Ensuring most contingent workers are captured in systems to enable understanding of all the ways external talent is utilized.
  • Establishing an exact code of conduct regarding how external workers are treated.
  • Providing D&I training and education to managers responsible for hiring and coaching.

Vendor Management Systems capturing external workforce data are often disconnected from HR and present other weaknesses when integrating D&I. These legacy solutions often don’t have the ability to have a preferred name functionality and can hamper inclusion initiatives for the trans community within your workforce.

Consider your Global Footprint

Contingent workforce program managers with experience building successful D&I programs recommend taking what’s good, seeing what can be translated, and then working within the specific country or region’s parameters. Diversity means different things in each region. For example, religious diversity is more important in Northern Ireland and Israel than it is in the United States

Inclusion is Important

Modern software such as extended workforce systems can obtain worker data via a secure opt-in process. Since workers own their profiles, they can consensually share personal information like gender, education, skills, certification, etc.

Companies dedicated to making consistent change toward D&I integration in contingent workforces typically outperform companies that don’t. Creating a culture where people of all backgrounds thrive will be a key to your organization’s success.  


About The Author

Neha Goel's picture

Neha is the Vice President of Marketing at Utmost, the first Extended Workforce System. With over 15 years of experience in the contingent workforce and HR tech industry, Neha joined Utmost in 2020 to help drive brand awareness and demand for the company's award-winning solution.

Prior to joining Utmost, Neha led marketing and go-to-market efforts for several high-growth VMS and MSP providers, including SimplifyVMS, Workspend, and DCR Workforce. She has consulted with multiple staffing and workforce solution firms in the contingent workforce space. Neha has written several articles for SIA's staffing Stream and SIG's Future of Sourcing, been featured in industry podcasts, events, and webinars, and was named to multiple leadership lists including SIA Global Power 150 - Women in Staffing list for 2019 and SDCE 100 Pros to Know 2019.