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At Bloomberg’s The Year Ahead, Julie Gebauer, global head of human capital and benefits at Willis Towers Watson, spoke about how companies can recognize the problem of representation and solve it. Inclusion and diversity sit at the intersection of people and risk, she says, and an absence of inclusion and diversity exposes companies to a wide degree of risk. This can include the risk associated with a lack of talent to achieve important work, the risk that a company’s financial performance falls behind, the risk that a company can no longer meet the needs of stakeholders or clients and so much more, she says. Advances in diversity and inclusion have stalled in many industries. Gebauer says that companies can make an impact by first examining their talent processes; begin with pay equity, and also look at those promotion and recruitment processes to ensure a diverse set of voices are reviewing diverse sets of potential candidates. She believes that myths should be debunked, especially when it comes to myths about women leaving the workforce more than men and hiring older workers. Employers also should set targets for gender and minority representation in the workforce and make those targets transparent to all workers.

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