There is an increasing body of evidence that diverse teams of varying racial and ethnic makeup produce better results. They perform better financially, gain a competitive edge when recruiting top talent, experience less employee turnover, and offer greater benefits for those they serve. This is true in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, but is particularly important for nonprofits that serve communities of color, which is overwhelmingly the case in the education sector. Nearly half of the students in the United States are students of color, and that percentage is larger in urban communities struggling with socio-economic inequalities. Without leaders who reflect the diversity of these communities, education organizations are not operating at optimal performance, and they may not be developing solutions that effectively address the needs of the populations they’re working to serve.
Last year, we at Koya Leadership Partners partnered with the nonprofit Education Pioneers on a comprehensive survey of education organizations to determine the state of diversity today and provide a set of recommendations for advancing diversity. Our findings culminated in a recent report titled “From Intention to Action: Building Diverse, Inclusive Teams in Education to Deepen Impact.”
Based on this survey and best-practice organizations, as well as our own experiences, we developed five steps any organization can take, starting today, to begin building more diverse teams. To learn more about these steps from Koya Leadership Partners’ Managing Partner Molly Brennan, read her recent article published in Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR).