Power in Diversity is an initiative that aims to change the Start-up ‘ecosystem’ industry-wide in developing organizational cultures, processes, structures and norms to attract, accommodate and retain high-performing minority and female candidates who are currently underrepresented in the industry. The VC firms, NGOs and government stakeholders behind it all share the belief that for Israel to continue to serve as an international model for innovation, it is essential that its Start-up industry reflects the full diversity of the society as a whole.
The Center’s role in the initiative derives from its core competence in intergroup dynamics and attitude change. Working closely with several start-ups, we will work together and in collaboration with the professional team of the initiative to develop a model intervention to entrench the ‘diversity mindset’ needed for such changes to take place. Our team will begin by researching the current impediments within these companies that hinder female and minority applicants (notably Arab-Israelis and ultra-Orthodox Israelis) from joining their workforces. In parallel, it will begin developing a schema which will form the basis for a ‘diversity-mindset index’ on which startup companies will be scored, a key tool for evaluation. Once completed, several companies will be selected on the basis of their scoring for intensive work with the Center. Work with these businesses will proceed from a close organizational study of each company in order to develop tailor-made tools and strategies to attract and retain diversity. The work with these companies will be undertaken through close consultation with key leadership alongside staff-wide training sessions and other interventions tailored to each company’s needs, goals and existing resources. For some companies, the focus may be on identifying exclusionary language, practices and biases in the workspace that alienate minority employees. Alternately, where turnover is more of a problem, emphasis will be placed on promoting messaging that keeps, motivates and rewards high-performing minority employees. Most participating companies will receive tools in all these areas; the specific mix, however, and the personnel worked with will vary.
Throughout the Center will bring its expertise in social psychology (biases, attitudes, stereotypes) to bear in directing each partnering startup to the diversity targets it seeks.