In 2018 the Mavs hit a low–and not in their basketball rankings. They found themselves in a media frenzy for what was happening in the corporate office. Fast forward to 2020 and they have set the NBA standard for diversity and inclusion (which is now also being considered by the NFL) and have earned the NBA Inclusion Award.
How’d they do it? Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner, recruited formerly retired diversity and inclusion expert Cynthia Marshall to “save” their culture and ultimately their brand. Marshall created a 100-day plan to turn the organization around. 100 days, that’s it.
Marshall got right down to work and spent her quickly dissipating time interviewing staff and learning the issues at the organization. For Marshall, inclusion is not simply about satisfaction, productivity, retention, or company commitment (which skyrocket when inclusion efforts are made); instead Marshall says, “This is about their lives; this is to make sure they get to have a career that they chose.”
Because one third of your life is spent at work. You would want that time to be a positive experience. Marshall’s work with the Mavs is so vital because she helped set the foundation for inclusivity to prevent toxicity and create a culture where folks sense that they have a right to be their authentic selves at work.
But inclusion is not the same thing as diversity. As Al Smith, iCIMS’ chief technology officer says, “What we need to remember is that diversity is a result of inclusion.” Diversity in hiring means ensuring that you attract and hire unique people who bring fresh perspectives and innovation to your organization regardless of their skin color, age, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
Inclusion is making certain that once you have that stellar staff onboarded, that they feel safe and welcome past the 90-day mark. (Learn more about how to decode diversity in your hiring here).
Follow Marshall’s Lead: Your 5 Step Inclusion Game Plan
Here is what was included in that 100-day plan:
“Diversity is being invited to the party, so you can have representation. You can have all the right people at the table. Inclusion is being asked to dance,” Marshall said, echoing the famous words of diversity leader Verna Myers. Inclusion is being invited, asked to dance, and feeling comfortable doing so. You want to create a work environment where everyone wants to dance.
You can find more of Marshall’s insight on how to bring together a collective group of voices to create a more inclusive culture at iCIMS INSPIRE 2020. The world needs more of what Marshall represents and we can all use some of that magic right now.
With a passion for life-long learning, Danielle McClow got her start in higher education before joining iCIMS as a Content Writer. She holds an advanced degree in classic rhetoric and when not writing she wishes to pet all the dogs.