Talent vs Opportunity | Indeed's SVP for ESG on why wellbeing focus will boost your bottom line

Indeed's SVP for ESG on why wellbeing focus will boost your bottom line

Deep Dive

LaFawn Davis is a certified boss and a powerhouse of achievement. She talks with HR Grapevine about how Indeed is levelling up its workplace wellbeing and discusses the conundrum of talent vs opportunity.

LaFawn Davis is black, queer and a woman – a trio of attributes that have historically been barriers to entry in the business world. For example, according to Harvard Business Review, despite representing about 18% of the U.S. population, “women of colour represented only four per cent of C-level positions in 2018, falling far below white men (68%) and white women (19%).”

It is certainly not a lack of ambition that prevents black women from achieving – nearly all of the research show that black women have the tenacity it takes to achieve in their field. So what is the problem? All signs point to that old bugbear, unconscious bias in hiring, promoting and managing our black colleagues, as the primary issue.

And Davis is out to change that.

Having worked in DE&I positions at PayPal, Google and Yahoo, the tech-focused businesswoman is now the Senior Vice President of ESG at job search behemoth Indeed, where she focuses her strategic and data-driven efforts on removing bias and barriers to entry. She’s been recently named one of Fast Company’s most influential women and non-binary people in its Queer50 list.

Through her, Indeed has recently signed up to the World Wellbeing Movement, which launched 8 July at the University of Oxford. The movement advocates for stronger wellbeing measurement including metrics that can help measure the social impact of organisations’ ESG reporting.

In a statement, Davis said: “Measuring wellbeing is key to creating happier and more productive organisations… As more and more people prioritise wellbeing at work, employers have an important role to play in creating less stressful environments and in doing so improve people’s lives and society. Policies designed to improve wellbeing for all can also help close the stress deficit that research suggests disproportionately impacts women and minority groups.”

The ESG thought leader chatted with HR Grapevine about Indeed’s measures to improve hiring practices, and how using the job search site can perhaps help candidates to get past hiring decision-makers’ unconscious bias.

Having a homogenous workforce of people who think in the same way, drawing from similar life experiences, will have a negative impact

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