DEI Voices: Kostiantyn Gridin GIOF Big Ideas Officer

July 22, 2023
DEI Voices: Kostiantyn Gridin  GIOF Big Ideas Officer

The Global Inclusion Online Forum (GIOF) held it's second major event of the year - the DEI Data Summit, which attracted a global attendance of 1,000 virtual participants representing over 60 countries. The summit's 9 speakers included diversity chiefs, and DEI data leads from Philip Morris International (Switzerland), Aleria (New York), Included. (London), IPSOS (Canada), PwC (North America), Diversity Atlas (Australia), and The Winters Group (North Carolina).

Global Inclusion Online Forum's Big Ideas Officer, Kostiantyn Gridin presentation during the DEI Data Summit on June 11 focused on how to use talent pool data to set realistic DEI goals.

In the presentation, Kostiantyn discussed the problems with setting representation goals without considering fair and realistic numbers. Many companies focus on increasing representation without analyzing their specific talent pools, growth projections, or workforce composition. The media hype around representation often leads to assumptions and claims without reliable data.

Kostintyn highlights that both the majority and minority groups become concerned with representation goals, as these goals can lead to conscious biases and dissatisfaction. He emphasizes the importance of using reliable data to calculate representation targets.

Kostiantyn suggests three key steps for setting realistic representation goals: measuring talent pools, evaluating hiring and retention rates among different demographic groups, and making projections based on the data. Culture and retention rates should also be considered when setting representation goals. He emphasized the need for blind evaluation methods to stay unbiased in candidate selection.

During the live presentation, the audience raised questions, some of which were answered there and then, and some, such as the ones below, were answered post-event by Kostiantyn Gridin:

Q1. Justin Roberts - Do you think that setting goals for representation is necessary? Or given all of the challenges in collecting representation data more useful as a guiding light for future efforts?

I think setting representation goals is unnecessary and in many cases it is even counter-productive, as the fact of setting the goal sends a message to the entire organization that selected categories of people will be protected (read - favoured). That creates negative attitudes towards them inside the organization and decreases collaboration.

Q2. Starlene MacDonald - Couldn't blind hiring pose bias based on who develops the process?

I don't see any bias here. The blind process makes everyone more equal, as it lets the employer focus on revealing people’s abilities rather instead of assessing their appearances.

Q3. Audreitta Izlar - Have we seen where total blind hiring got to a diverse culture?

We have only started the process, so we will see the results later. But what we see in our organization, which enjoys a much more diverse composition than 99% of the companies in our HQ country and our industry. The reason for that is that we have been focusing on building diversity via inclusion, without any representation targets, minority quotas or other measures that ruin equality and competition inside any organization.

Q4. Carmen P. - Can you apply this to promotions?

Yes, we can, you can read my article about that

Q5. Jenny Okonkwo - How does inclusion drive workplace equity or do you need to achieve workplace equity first? 

It depends how you understand workplace equity. We understand it as that every company has to create optimal conditions for every team member to perform at their best level. That includes accommodations, special equipment, flexible working hours etc.

However, we do not support the statement that less qualified candidates or employees should be favored because of their demographics, past experiences or life barriers. We judge people based on their skills and abilities.

Q6. Henri M. - You mentioned that companies should use fully blind hiring methods to prevent potential discrimination. How does the integration of AI into hiring evaluation efforts impact these efforts? 

We have not tried AI in this process yet, as we don't know any mature AI product that can make hiring decisions instead of humans. If you know any, please recommend.

Q7. Lauren RileyDid you incorporate any additional initiatives to correct for any inequities in opportunities prior to application (for example access to resources, education, etc.)?

We do not support the idea of considering lack of past experience, including access to resources and other conditions, as the ones that should create advantage for any candidate. We believe if a company wants to uplift any person or community in that way, they can sponsor their empowerment programs outside of the organization, keeping the internal environment 100% competitive.

Q8. Marissa Ellis - Does your method for talent pool analysis make sense when the current talent pool is not reflective of the target future state e.g women in the tech industry?

We believe it is inappropriate for anyone to choose the future for women you don’t know. Every woman has the right to choose her own future, be it IT industry or any other occupation. We cannot push the female population to meet any expectations, i.e. neither every woman wants to become a mother, nor every woman wants to go into politics or tech or senior management. Therefore, we do not set any targets and do the selection process only based on people’s skills and abilities.

Q9. Alicia Newton - How do you define the "best" individual?

This is how we do it. I believe more companies should follow this example:


We are also excited to let you know that you can still access the DEI Data Summit session recordings, transcript, and a special toolkit with the summary, and key advice from the speakers.

Purchase the VIP Package here:

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