What Responsibility Does An Organization Have To Diversity?

I recently read a blog written by Sarah Olbekson, Director of Talent at inDinero.  Her blog post was about inDinero’s commitment to diversity.  inDinero has a clear plan on how to make their workforce more diverse.  They have goals and a clear plan on how to balance their man and woman ratio and increase minority hires. Not too long before I read this blog I had a conversation with an Account Development Manager for a Utah based company.   Before our phone call I researched the company, his role and tried to get a feel for the company culture.  I noticed there were not a lot of people who looked like me so I asked him where most of their hires come from.  He told me “Utah” and the reason why is because the rich tech industry in Utah has provided plenty of good, qualified applicants. If a company lacks diversity what is their responsibility to create a more diverse work force?  Is it the intent or the result?  I believe it is the intent, and here is why.  According to the Census bureau Utah is 91% white.  A Utah company can create diversity by hiring more women, but as for people of color they only have 9% to choose from in state.  No matter how strong or in-depth their diversity focus and policy is, they have a small pool to work with and won’t have the same results as other states with more diverse populations. Think about this, if you are an applicant are you willing to move to a different state for a position? Are you willing to leave friends and family? How big of a raise would you need to consider it?  What states would you or would you not move to? Just imagine you had to move across town next month.  The organizing, packing and cleaning you would have to do. I am tired just thinking about it. If you are an entrepreneur and you are trying to grow a business, would you want somebody (besides investors or stakeholders) telling you how to allocate your resources? Who decides how you spend your money?  Are you going to spend more money to recruit out-of-state?  Are you willing to fly applicants in for interviews?  Are you willing to add moving costs to your recruiting budget for out-of-state hires?  Are you willing to increase your time to hire?  Because finding qualified candidates willing to move takes more time.  Are you willing to pay a higher salary to convince somebody to move?  These are all things that affect your bottom line. If this Utah company has a plan of attack on how to attract the top talent from the 9% of non-whites, I think that is what counts.  If any company is committed to hiring more people from under-represented groups, and has a policy in place to achieve those goals that is what matters.  I don’t believe we can tell an entrepreneur how to allocate his or her resources. What do you think? Make sure you check out “Not Taught” by Jim Keenan, CEO of A Sales Guy Inc. Not Taught Book w. Brogan ReviewChris Brogan called it “RedBull for the brain!” Jill Konrath found it “Irreverent and highly relevant!” Koka Sexton, the LinkedIn King, said it’s “the one #B2BSales book that will catapult your career”.


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.