Top Ten Work Trends Quarterly Updates

A diverse group of SIOP members are serving as Trend Champions for the people-related work trends that SIOP members collaboratively predicted to be the most impactful in 2021. Each Trend Champion has expertise in and professional passion for their trend subject. SIOP appreciates their service to the profession in providing quarterly updates on their chosen topics.

Find the full list of topics and links to the other Top 10 Work Trends here

The Latest on Trend #5: Social Justice

2021 3rd Quarter Update

In Q2, I introduced a shift away from Corporate Social Responsibility towards Corporate Social Justice (CSJ): a framework centering on marginalized groups’ experiences and leaning on trust-building between organizations and the people they serve. 

The first CSJ steps I outlined highlighted the importance of measurement and transparency. The next two steps emphasize the (a) global imperative of social justice work, and (b) need to hold business leaders, not only HR leaders, accountable.

Step three: Extend CSJ efforts, like Anti-racism initiatives, globally. The murder of George Floyd ignited a worldwide movement because race-based bias occurs globally. Leaders, especially with multinational presence, should (i) cultivate an understanding of concepts like colorism, enabling local relevance, and (ii) bring in intercultural competence training (a proven component to organizational success). For example, the Intercultural Development Inventory is a well-researched psychometric assessment used in applied and educational settings.

Step four: Identify an executive leader as the owner of a specific Social Justice, DEI, or Anti-racism commitment or goal. To do this successfully, (i) select leaders from across the company, not only in HR, and (ii) tie performance indicators to the goal. This approach has been effective at Uber, extending global anti-racism efforts to customers, drivers, and delivery partners.

2021 2nd Quarter Update

In Q2, we met the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder and breathed in some relief when Derek Chauvin was held accountable. Q2 also provided space for organizations like Upwork and Uber to show continued commitment to Corporate Social Justice (CSJ), amidst many workplaces losing momentum or experiencing fatigue.

Business leaders can use the redefined CSJ framework, which focuses on building trust between the organization and its stakeholders, to make meaningful change. In doing so, companies need to also avoid  the risk of “virtue signalling”, which can communicate “that Black lives only matter to big business when there’s profit to be made.” Each quarter, I’ll highlight one main CSJ step to take.

Step one: start internally with measurement and transparency. Studies show this can increase customer loyalty and employee trust, while avoiding “woke washing” which can lead to increased turnover. Further, it’s impossible to know where you are and want to be without measuring it. Data provides irrefutable truths, priority identification, and accountability. If you don’t have social scientists on staff, hire them. Google’s re:work website and this HBR article are excellent resources on how to build a strong people analytics function. In Q3, look out for my SIOP White Paper on Uber’s Global Self-ID program, sharing what we asked and how we integrated local regulations and priorities.

Next, share data internally and externally. Joining the growing list of organizations who share data can help transform industries by allowing benchmarking and sharing of best practices. See the Royal Bank of Canada's ESG Report. Also, companies like Blendoor are excellent for providing benchmarking and deep data science analysis.


2021 1st Quarter Update

The commitment and focus on social justice in organizations continues with both large companies, and growing companies walking the talk on their commitments.  In Q1, e-discovery firm Relativity sourced  yet another round of candidates for its Fellows program, in a continued effort to help opportunity be more broadly distributed.  In a recently updated publication on addressing Social Issues in the Workplace, Melodie Bond-Hillman, PhD, Sr. Manager of HR and Administration at XYPRO Technology Corporation reinforced her company’s commitment to representation and fairness.  To attract and retain diverse candidates, XYPRO recruits from a broad talent pool, provides training and invests in fostering employee social interaction. Research continued as well. Inspired by professor and SIOP member, Susanne Bruyere’s Autism at Work course, an ILR undergrad conducted research focused on autistic LGBTQ+ employment experiences to help understand how to provide pathways to meaningful employment for this group.

Just released for Q2, you’ll want to read an HBR article on social justice for Asian workers:  What your Asian employees need right now, and be sure to attend the April 16 I-O Coffee House Session at the Annual SIOP Conference, which will focus on anti-racism efforts in I-O.


Champion: Dyan A. Ludeña Ferraris, PhD

Dyan A. Ludeña Ferraris

Dyan A. Ludeña Ferraris is a social-organizational scientist dedicated to social justice and anti-racism at work. She currently serves as the Head of People Science and Strategy on Uber’s Global Diversity & Inclusion team. Dyan’s academic research focuses on understanding how gender and race-based stereotypes impact workplace outcomes such as hiring, performance, and promotion decisions. She brings a scientist-practitioner approach to her applied work, and has partnered with non-profits, Fortune 500 companies, and government institutions in alleviating bias, increasing objectivity, implementing data-based strategies, and bringing equity and fostering inclusion with leaders, teams, and organizations dedicated to positive change. Dyan received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College.