Insight May 31, 2019 Colin Gillespie

International Ed Tech: “Build It and They Will Come” and other intuitive tips

It should be no surprise that Ed Tech organizations are optimizing for diversity, both for improved performance and to reflect their end-user base.  A 2018 BCG study by Rocio Lorenzo and Martin Reeves indicated that “companies with above-average total diversity…migration, industry, career path, gender, education, age…had both 19% points higher innovation revenues and 9% points higher EBIT margins, on average.”

In my experience in international expansion, location strategy, and hiring new teams across all functions, I have discovered essential but often overlooked tactics to employ when recruiting and sustaining a diverse workforce to support higher performance and evolving customer needs:

A business location optimized for access.

Do not let your address preclude the opportunity for diverse talent to travel to work affordably, comfortably, and safely. Can a broad profile of employees easily find food, shopping, and other life essentials in the immediate area?  Will they see themselves represented by the working population of other companies located nearby?  Does the local community welcome and embrace a wide range of cultures and backgrounds?

An office space designed with respect.

Does your office layout and internal amenities consider the needs of all individuals who may work or partner with you? New parents, people of faith, bicycle commuters, ethnic diets, and physical needs present opportunities for an inclusive space with wellness rooms, convenient lockers, cooking facilities, and flexible desks. An office should feel amenable to a broad population if designed with that intent from the onset.

Give employees the tools to succeed. 

Even your best talent has blind spots, and all employees would benefit from unconscious bias training. Better yet, make the learning environment around diversity experiential and employee-led. Your goal should be a working culture that is recommended to others for its inclusivity through people, systems and processes.  Enabling your team can be a critical first step.

This list is not exhaustive and provides only story starters for supporting high-performance teams. If these approaches on attracting and hiring a diverse and inclusive workforce strike a chord with supporting your strategic workforce planning, please leave a comment or reach out for a conversation.

Avatar photo

Colin Homer Gillespie is a strategic and purpose-driven GM with significant global experience and a record of product innovation and business transformation.

Find Top Talent

Hire Top Education & Technology Executives and Team Members

Leadership Icon

Find Your Role

Help me find my next role with the #1 Education & Technology Job Site

Find Your Role Icon