Diversity’s Last Mile Challenge



Be it telecommunications, transportation, public management, government, non-profits, technology services or e-commerce, there is one challenge common to all sectors: the last mile challenge. Simply put –  it is the actions taken that enable the delivery of goods or services to the final destination or to the final consumers/beneficiaries.

When viewed from the lens of Diversity, I believe we are at a stage where organizations are facing “Diversity’s Last Mile Challenge”. While there is an increase in corporate leaders, entrepreneurs , government agencies, fortune 500 corporations  as well as startups who are talking about diversity while also implementing diversity policies-strategy, developing diversity training and so on so forth – yet the diversity gap still remains and is very real. One of the most significant factors is the phenomena of Diversity’s last mile challenge.

Diversity’s last mile challenge is the gap that exists between the broad stroked strategies, policies, thought leadership and conversations taking place amongst the leadership/executive teams versus where the majority of the day to operations and minutiae of organizational work and/or production takes place i.e. the middle and lower rung workers, teams and managers.

To address this gap, here are some common last mile challenges that organizations should consider as they ramp up their diversity initiatives:

  1. Delays in delivery
    • Are the policies and strategies decided by the top rung being communicated in a timely and effective manner amongst all your employees?
  2. Misaligned vision mission and goals
    • Are the overarching vision, mission and goals of the organization in sync with individual employee goals?
  3. Distance between the employees and leadership
    • Are the leadership and executive teams approachable and open to their employees?
  4. Consistent implementation
    • Are organizational policies being implemented in a consistent manner across the all business units and teams?
  5. Bottom up transmission
    • Do you actively encourage employee opinions/insights and allow these insights to inform your diversity initiatives?







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