skip to Main Content

3 Tips for Equitable Development of Young Talent 

As young professionals and emerging leaders from all walks of life, identities, backgrounds, education, cultures, exposure, and many other differences of great value join your ranks – Have you set them up for success?
All young professionals do not have the same starting line; particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds and communities. To your talent, this can often put them at a disadvantage in the workplace, which affects their personal leadership, performance, and psychological safety. All of which trickles down to your bottom line?
How do we know? Because “we are who we serve and have lived the lessons we teach.”
The majority of our Pivotal Impact team has been down the path of diverse young professionals. As the founder, I was one of them. Growing up on the West side of Chicago, my limited exposure and education of the inner workings of the “real-world workplace” made me feel like a minnow in a huge pond.
In the corporate world, I struggled for five years to understand myself and how to lead and succeed. While in a good company, my daily interactions didn’t give me a sense of belonging, provide me with equitable opportunities, or help me to identify my gaps based on my unique challenges. 

No doubt this affected my success and to some extent impacted the company productivity and performance as well.

When entering and navigating the workplace, We believe everyone deserves a level playing field so that they can contribute at their highest levels and thrive at their highest potential.
In some of our work with fast growing start-ups and companies, we’ve seen that there’s often confusion around equality and equity. Many people don’t know the difference when they start this journey. Equality means things are the same on all levels for each person. Organizations need to understand that equity in the workplace is about everyone receiving fair treatment; when equity exists, people have equal access to opportunities. 

When you think about creating a level playing field for everyone,  you have to take into account the fact that people have different gaps based on their background. I came across a quote that said:

Equality is providing the same meal full of meat for everyone, knowing that you have vegans and vegetarians in the group, whereas equity is providing vegan and vegetarian options along with the meat so everyone has something they can eat.”

To have equity, you need to have an understanding of what each person needs in order to be successful in their role. It requires creating multiple pieces of the puzzle. 

The quicker you identify these gaps and help fill them, the quicker they’ll accelerate their performance, engagement, and your company’s results and competitive advantage.


Here are 3 Tips for Equitable Development of Young Talent:

1. Design inclusive onboarding

Consider and value the differences that your young talent bring. Given where they grew up, their family dynamics, education, and many other factors — how is your organization communicating and fostering belonging from the start? What does onboarding look like? Is information broken down in an equitable way to address gaps that may exist due to differences. A hire who is a first generation college graduate may not be familiar with the term 401k or how to participate or leverage its advantages. How does your company display care and support of their their needs? 

2. Ask talent what they need

Sometimes it’s as simple as that. They want to be heard, valued, and understood. Assessments can help to identify their gaps; however, sometimes their gaps are social such as the ability to effectively navigate and  build relationships in homogeneous environments. There are many skill gaps that may exist unique to each person. Training and individual development plans are effective solutions to empower them. 

3. Provide POC leadership programs 

People of Color (POC) navigate unique experiences and challenges in the workplace. POC leadership development programs and workshops teach competencies necessary to help first generation and diverse, young professional talent hit the ground running, navigate and thrive in the workplace. A safe space is created to give voice to situations typically not shared, which minimizes culture shock and barriers to success. 

As a result, diverse talent are more confident in their ability to authentically navigate agile business environments, gain organizational savvy, build winning relationships, contribute at their best, and confidently advocate for their professional growth.

These 3 Tips will enhance the performance, culture, and talent experience within your company.

Back To Top