Thursday Buzz: Diversity Beyond Numbers

Facebook’s head of diversity says that data has value in helping solve diversity issues, but it only goes so far. Also: where one challenged retail chain is still going strong.

Maxine Williams, Facebook’s global head of diversity, wants you to get beyond the numbers.

In an essay for Harvard Business Review, she discusses how diversity issues can’t simply be solved by hitting a data point or analyzing a data sample. In fact, she says, things need to go a bit deeper.

“Statistically significant findings have led to some big changes in organizations,” she writes in her article. “Unfortunately, companies that try to apply analytics to the challenges of underrepresented groups at work often complain that the relevant datasets don’t include enough people to produce reliable insights—the sample size, the n, is too small. Basically they’re saying, ‘If only there were more of you, we could tell you why there are so few of you.’”

So how do you move beyond that? You have to get personal, she says, and get beyond hard data and instead dive into the qualitative analysis—while using the data to help frame the questions that need to be asked.

“Perhaps above all, HR and analytics departments must value both qualitative and quantitative expertise and apply mixed-method approaches everywhere possible,” she adds.

Still Hanging On

Even in the midst of disruption, there’s always room for a niche.

That’s the lesson to be culled from a recent story on the unexpected success of Blockbuster Video in Alaska. Six of the 10 still-active U.S. Blockbuster locations are in the state, according to Vice News. The reason: WiFi is substantially more expensive in the Alaska, making streaming services like Netflix less desirable.

Watch the clip above to get the full scoop.

Other Links of Note

What makes a successful chamber member? At Frank J. Kenny’s blog, Christina R. Green highlights three key mindsets at play.

Rewards are challenging. How do you highlight the success of one person without killing the morale of the rest of your team? Inc. rounds up thoughts from various business leaders on that challenge.

The value of design: Fast Company looks at how Zocdoc is creating new health insurance cards that are easier to read.

(UberImages/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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