Hume has four pieces of advice for anyone contemplating a similarly ambitious DEI program:
1. Focus on culture, because a mismatch between your culture and your DEI goals will produce failure.
2. Collect lots of employee feedback. Tech Data, for example, solicits insights regularly from its BRGs and runs employee surveys. “All of these things allow us to have a listening post as to where we might have issues or gaps or opportunities, and also provides insights as to what’s important to the community at large,” Hume says.
3. Start at the top by ensuring managers fully buy into seeking diversity. “I’m a true believer that the organization takes on the personality of the leadership, so making sure that you have a really good DEI program built into your leadership program is important,” Hume says.
4. Take personal responsibility for results. At Tech Data, for example, Hume and his direct reports lead the DEI program, monitor its progress, and drive necessary improvements.
And here’s one final suggestion, Hume adds: Embrace humility. Fostering diversity takes time, patience, and a willingness to accept that you don’t have all the answers and never will.
“This is a journey, and for sure it will always be a journey,” Hume says.