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Diversity leaders--advancing business performance through diversity.

There is no question that for any organization to succeed today, it must keep pace with the nation's changing demographics. Many forward-thinking companies answer this call by providing the right products and services demanded by their consumers. However, determining these needs begins by understanding the cultural nuances of the consumer and preparing the workforce to address these differences. The key to ensuring business success, both inside and outside the organization is having the right diversity management leaders in place.

Recent Census statistics reveal that Hispanics and African-Americans are now virtually equal in number. The number of Americans of Hispanic origin jumped by 58 percent over the past decade, to 13 percent of the total population. By 2005 Hispanics are projected to be the largest minority population in America. Blacks and African Americans now account for 13 percent of the total, an increase of about 16 percent. Asian Americans have almost doubled their presence since 1990, to 4.2 percent of the total population. While whites still remain the largest single group in the United States--69 percent--that number is down from 76 percent in 1990.

These are sobering statistics that have compelled many companies to fortify their diversity initiatives by joining forces with academia. In March, the first annual Chief Diversity Officers Forum was held at the Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina, bringing together some 150 chief diversity officers and other professionals to examine how organizations address the needs of an increasingly diverse workforce. "Diversity must come from the top down and corporations need to continue to address the specific issues related to women of color and to creating allies with white men who still hold major leadership roles and fill the ranks of middle management," says Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, president of the Bennett College for Women, who lead the forum and who will head the college's new Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute.

The institute will bring together academia and the corporate world as well as those who bridge both worlds. It's mission: To better educate corporate professionals about diversity and provide those in academia with business case models for diversity.

"While it is necessary to have buy-in on diversity from the top down, this is only one of the conditions, it is not the end," adds Dr. Cole, who consults on diversity with corporations such as Citigroup. "There also needs to be more work done to support the differently-abled (disabled) and around generational differences as more young people enter the workforce. In addition, as members of the gay and lesbian communities adopt and have children, all these dynamics are having a major impact on corporate human resources departments and chief diversity officers."

While many diversity professionals upgrade their skills through research, other forums and conferences, Dr. Cole says that the new institute will help fill a void in training and development. "It would be a major mistake for us to develop a curriculum and invite people to come. We intend to reach out to diversity professionals and ask what they need or want for their development. We will assemble diversity professionals from all industries and academics in the fields of psychology, anthropology, business, sociology and economics to address the needs of Fortune 500 chief diversity officers as well as our own students."

The face of the diversity leader

Who are today's diversity leaders? Annette Merritt Cummings, national director of diversity service at Bernard Hodes Group, says that many diversity leaders are selected from human resources departments based on their human resources and recruitment experience and not on experience in diversity. "There is still the use of the EEO and affirmative action function as the diversity center or focus. However, diversity is much more global and organizations need someone with at least 10 years working experience, not in HR necessarily," notes Cummings. "There is a gap between vision and implementation. The top leadership understands the business case for diversity, but there is a gap between them and the supervisory staff that has to implement it." Ideally, says Cummings, someone who has worked in communications, organizational development, training, communications or public relations is best. "People in those disciplines tend to work with groups and understand how people work and communicate, what their goals and values are and can channel that to advance the business."

A diversity leader must have continuous training and understand the latest issues surrounding diversity. In addition, the diversity initiative must be part of the company's overall strategic plan backed by the appropriate financial commitment. But more importantly, says Cummings, "Diversity management should be integrated within business school curricula. MBA programs should incorporate diversity modules that could be paired with ethics modules to ensure that future business leaders are prepared."

Achieving results

One of the challenges many organizations grapple with is achieving results. At the St. Louis-based financial firm Edward Jones, diversity is a major business strategy "We are a year ahead of our competitors in attracting and retaining African Americans in the financial industry," says Amy Hunter, Inclusion Recruitment Specialist at Edward Jones.

"Our comprehensive training program reaches out to a broad audience and has a significant impact on our associates." With intense field mentoring for its investment representatives and internal training websites on diversity, Hunter says that the firm spends some $100,000 to train each investment representative and that 90% of them pass the Series 7 securities license exam. She adds that the company plans to grow the number of its investment professionals from 8,000 to 25,000 by 2010.

For organizations to be successful in their diversity efforts, they must continue to grow and enhance their efforts. For example, companies must expand their recruiting efforts beyond the top business schools and focus more on historically black colleges and universities, notes Dr. Cole. Organizations must evaluate the techniques of their mentoring programs and affinity groups. "Affinity groups are important, but an organization cannot target all its diversity efforts on them. If so, you're just peeling the onion. Support must be given to these groups or else they compete for management's attention," says Dr. Cole. While the magnifying glass is often focused on diversity efforts in the US, it must also be bent beyond our borders. For example, large multinational firms must ask themselves, if questions on race and ethnicity in Atlanta are the same in New Delhi?" And those firms with well-developed policies around issues effecting women in the U.S. must examine how those efforts are carried out in Japan or Saudi Arabia.

Ultimately, it comes down to developing a solid diversity program with the right people to execute it. Too many corporate diversity programs merely involve sensitivity training, a focus on days of celebration and sponsorship of multicultural events, but what are the results? True results cannot be achieved without setting long- and short-term goals. "If you wait long enough, even an egg will walk, "says Dr. Cole, quoting an Ethiopian proverb to describe diversity efforts that lack goal setting. "Hiring diversity professionals and thinking that you will have a diverse environment is not enough. Without the proper resources, training, staff and access to the CEO and his or her direct reports you have a recipe for failure."

Sodexho

When Michel Landel became CEO of Sodexho's North American operations in 1999, he was determined that building an organizational culture based on inclusion and respect would be one of his highest priorities.

The facts are clear--by 2008, 70% of new entrants into the U.S. workforce will be women or minorities. Just as our workforce is becoming increasingly diverse, our customer base is also rapidly changing. We provide food and facilities management services to some of this nation's largest and most prestigious corporations, hospitals and universities, and we know our marketplace is changing rapidly. Walk into a Sodexho cafe anywhere across the U.S. and you are likely to hear our customers speaking any one of hundreds of languages.

The reality of the modern business world is if you don't structure your company to enable the hiring and retention of the best and the brightest of today's incredibly diverse workforce, you won't succeed in the long run. Not only is a commitment to diversity and inclusion essential to Sodexho's success, but it is Landel's personal belief that it is the right thing to do, ethically and morally, as citizens of our society.

As a result, Landel mandated that diversity become one of our company's six strategic business imperatives, appointing Chief Diversity Officer Rohini An and to lead our efforts to become a benchmark company within our industry and throughout corporate America.

Sodexho is a better and stronger company when we ensure that every employee has an equal opportunity to achieve success. The diverse talents of our people will enable us to maintain our leadership in an increasingly sophisticated, competitive global marketplace.

When we talk about the legacy of diversity, it's important to remember today's young managerial recruit may be tomorrow's senior leader. Landel strongly believes the programs we are putting into place today will pay strong dividends for Sodexho and for all of us in the future.

Compass Group

Listed as the world's 10th largest employer by Fortune magazine in 2003, Compass Group recognizes that real opportunities are important to all associates. It's what makes us a world leader in food services and hospitality.

Compass Group is a diversity-growth oriented company. Each day, our goal is to create a positive work environment by using fair and consistent treatment, and provide equal growth opportunities for ALL associates. Diversity is a globally recognized core value in our organization that spans over 90 countries worldwide.

Our inclusive diversity strategy is what enables us to continually move from a diversity-growth oriented company towards diversity maturity. Compass Group practices diversity by recognizing we are competing in dual marketplaces, a market for labor and a market for clients and customers. We've identified some key components to reach diversity maturity in the market for labor. We must attract great people from multiple dimensions of diversity, provide support and development that will allow them to fulfill their potential and continually educate our associates so that we can create and maintain a positive work environment.

Worldwide, Compass Group is a $19 billion foodservice company with over 400,000 associates. The North American division of Compass Group, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the largest divisions with revenues of $6 billion and more than 116,000 associates throughout the U.S. and Canada.

It is entirely possible that Compass Group has touched your life in some way. Through our various operating divisions, we provide food and vending services to hospitals, public and private schools, colleges and universities, businesses and industries, sports and entertainment facilities, museums and performing arts centers, senior living centers and restaurants in some of America's largest cities.

Talk about Real Opportunities.

Learn more about us by visiting: http://www.cgnad.com

Monster.com

Monster is the leading global online careers property. A division of Monster Worldwide (NASDAQ: MNST), Monster works for everyone and continues to revolutionize the way quality job seekers at all levels connect with leading employers across all industries. Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Maynard, Massachusets, Monster has 22 local language and content sites in 20 countries worldwide: United States United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Scotland, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Luxembourg, India, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, Wales, and Czech Republic.

Today, Monster is one of top 20 most visited properties on the Internet, serving tens of millions of job seekers. With job postings from leading companies around the globe, Monster offers all types of job seekers the ability to search top opportunities across all industries, fields, and levels. In addition, premium career content, along with tips and advice from leading experts, provides the ultimate destination for all job seekers, from intern to CEO, to manage their career.

With over 36 million resumes in the database, Monster puts quality to work for employers, helping them meet all of their hiring needs. By utilizing the power of the Monster brand and industry-leading recruiting products and services, employers are able to connect with talented candidates across all industries to grow their business.

Cox Communications, Inc. Jim Robbins, President and CEO

At Cox Communications, we work to cultivate an environment as dynamic and diverse as the myriad perspectives that fuel it. A place where people thrive because individual points of view, expertise and experiences are valued. The benefits that result from understanding and respecting the dynamic gifts, needs and priorities of all employees make diversity the right thing to do for our people and, in turn, the right thing to do for our business, customers and communities.

Driving Cox's diversity initiatives is the mission of our Diversity Council. Actually, ensuring an inclusive environment is not just the job of the council--it's my job and the job of even/manager and every employee. However, the council does provide direction, motivation and intense attention to ensuring we are meeting our stated diversity goals.

The council, made up of 17 senior leaders representing a broad cross-section of our company, has established four distinct but interrelated focus areas: people, products and marketing, community relations, and supplier relationships. For each area of diversity there are specific goals and accountabilities. For instance, we recently hired a director of multicultural marketing and are adding new Spanish-language channels or our cable TV lineup to meet the needs of our growing Latino population. Also, in community relations, we have become a national technology sponsor of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, committed to wiring technology centers and providing high-speed Internet and cable TV to clubs in our service areas.

While just two of many ongoing projects, these initiatives illustrate that our focus on diversity must be global and comprehensive and that diversity initiatives can't be kept separate from our business strategies. Rather, they must be one and the same. They must focus on serving our marketplace, Growing our business. Valuing, empowering and developing people. Serving our communities.

AICPA

More than ever before opportunities abound for students of color in a profession fervently recommitting itself to its longstanding values of honesty, integrity and objectivity: the Certified Public Accountant.

Increasing diversity within the accounting profession has always been a priority at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Through the AICPA Foundation and the Minority Initiatives Committee, the Institute operates a number of programs to attract and expose talented people to opportunities in this dynamic profession.

Our diversity programs include: 1) Outreach programs to high school and college students; 2) providing scholarships; 3) funding college residency programs; 4) offering leadership and educational workshops and 5) educating the public through print advertising.

The AICPA has developed relationships and has partnered with several professional accounting organizations who are also working to increase the number of CPAs of color in the accounting profession.

Recently, the AICPA launched their 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy Program. This program spearheaded by the AICPA, with the support of state CPA societies, encourages CPAs to take a broad leadership role in volunteering to educate the American public, from school children to retirees, on financial topics that apply specifically to their particular stage of life.

The AICPA's initiatives combined with existing programs will pave the road to merge opportunities in the profession together with this nation's diverse talent pool. To find out more about the AICPA, our diversity programs or careers in accounting log onto our web site at www.aicpa.org/members/div/ career/mini/index.htm or visit our student web site www.startheregoplaces.com/bas.

Major League Baseball It's A Grand Siam For Diversity!

When is comes to diversity, Major League Baseball has stepped up to the plate. For years, they have been a leader in professional sports in demonstrating a strong commitment in acknowledging the significance of diversity both on and off the field.

This year, Major League Baseball was honored with the coveted "Div 50" award by Diversity Business.com, the largest member organization of diversity businesses in the United States. Based on such factors as the volume, consistency and quality of business opportunities a company grants to women and minority-owned suppliers, Diversity Business.com recognized the top 50 corporate buyers of diversity products and services in the United States. Major League Baseball is the only profess opal sports league on the list of 50 corporations!

Since the formation of the Diverse Business Partners program, Major League Baseball has spent more than $300 million with minority and women-owned businesses, making it the premier supplier diversity program in sports. One important development in this program is its individual partnership agreements with the National Minority Supplier Development Council and the Women's Business Enterprise National Council. These agreements are the first Of their kind for a professional sports league.

"These partnerships provide Major League Baseball with access to national and local minority and women-owned business information, as well as comprehensive resources, including seminars, training and technical assistance that supplement our diverse vendor procurement efforts," says Wendy Lewis, Vice-President of Strategic Planning for Recruitment and Diversity for Major League Baseball.

"The procurement of goods and services with our diverse business partners contributes to the growth of our game and communities. Our franchises support the Commissioner's initiative and look forward to other major league sports expanding their supplier diversity efforts" says Jerry Reinsdorf, co-chair of the Equal Opportunity Committee for Major League Baseball and Chairman of the Chicago White Sox.

For more information about the Diverse Business Partners program, visit the League's official website (www.MLB.dbp.com) or call the Diverse Business Partnership hotline, 212-931-7554.

Marriott At Marriott, Diversity is a Business Priority

Marriott International's commitment to diversity is absolute. It is the only way to attract, develop and retain the very best talent available. It is the only way to forge the business relationships necessary to continue our dynamic growth. And it is the only way to meet our responsibilities to our employees, customers, partners and stakeholders.

As a leader in the hospitality industry, Marriott's global diversity goals encompass every business unit worldwide. Our objectives are business focused--by embracing and improving the diversity of our global workforce we add substantial value to the organization. It strengthens our culture and improves our ability to reach a changing and diverse marketplace.

Today, we recognize that being diverse is the key to being competitive, both for winning consumer business and for attracting and retaining talented employees. A more diverse management team means better business decisions.

Marriott's dedication to global diversity across our company is one of the main reasons why people want to work with us and do business with us. Our success is evident in the recognition we have received for supporting workplace diversity, recruitment, career development and balancing work and family.

Our steadfast commitment to providing opportunities for success is what will continue to make Marriott a leader in the hospitality industry.

J.W. Marriott, Jr. Chairman and CEO Marriott International, Inc.

AFLAC To AFLAC, Diversity Means Opportunity

AFLAC's dedication to recruiting, hiring, and maintaining diverse work and sales forces has made the Columbus, Georgia-based insurance company the employer of choice for more than 3,700 employees--and the business partner of choice for a contract sales force of 57,000.

Warren B. Steele, Jr., AFLAC Senior Vice President and Assistant Director of U.S. Marketing, manages a division that produces more than $1 billion in new premiums annually. AFLAC has more than 294,600 payroll accounts in the United States.

To AFLAC, diversity means opportunity. We focus on creating opportunity for everyone who is touched by our business, because we believe that creates new opportunities to keep our business growing. We realize that having a diverse sales force makes our company better--not only financially, but also in terms of the varied experiences our agents bring to their work. Those experiences can generate ideas that lead to profitable new products and services for the marketplace.

AFLAC actively supports diversity through our Minority Mentoring Program and by the publishing of the Diversity in Action newsletter, which shares new ideas about diversity with our entire sales force. The mentoring program and newsletter are managed by AFLAC's multicultural marketing department. These initiatives reflect our commitment to be inclusive and to encourage diversity throughout our 57,000-member sales force.

As we grow together and learn more about the needs of our marketplace and the differences that we air represent, we continue to look at ways to make sure that people associated with AFLAC feels free to express their opinions and views while being recognized and respected for who they are. Because we rely heavily on our agents' input for everything from product development to system changes, that group's diversity is the key to our future.

For more information about AFLAC, visit us at: www.aflac.com

L'Oreal

At L'Oreal, Diversity and Inclusion is the DNA, the formula for our innovation and success. Diversity is defined as the mosaic of people who bring a variety of backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values, beliefs and differences as assets to L'Oreal. We build awareness of the business imperative for Diversity by incorporating Diversity thinking throughout our marketing of a diverse portfolio of brands. Our diversity, focus extends to Research and Development efforts, including our new state of the art research and development institute for the study of Ethnic hair and skin located in Chicago. Diversity and Inclusion is also woven into the fabric of our corporate leadership training programs and our mandatory diversity training programs. L'Oreal is a member of Diversity Best Practices which allows us to benchmark ourselves and review successes, opportunities, and challenges. At L'Oreal our Diversity platform is fully integrated in support of the four areas we cover in our State of Diversity report; Recruitment/retention, supplier diversity, community relations and advertising. We also encourage Diversity through our involvement in the YWCA of Plainfield, New Jersey, The New York Coalition of 100 Black women mentoring program. Soft Sheen/Carson Scholars program, the Hispanic Federation and the L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science program, just to name a few. Many of our divisions also participate in programs ranging from Lancome's support of Girls Inc. to Matrix's support of Locks for Love and Kiehl's support of Aids research.

It is our belief that in order to continue to attract the very best candidates we must start to fish in different ponds through efforts like our partnership with HBCUS and Inroads.

How does Diversity better our business?

When everyone thinks alike not much thinking takes place. Real innovation and success can only take place and can thrive when different voices and different points of view are invited to the table. Then and only then can we all enjoy the fruits of Diversity and Inclusion.

Edward Bullock Vice President of Diversity

WWW.LOREALUSA.COM

Symantec

Diversity at Symantec embodies all the differences that make us unique individuals. No longer limited to physical aspects of race, gender, age, sexual orientation and ability, diversity now includes, culture, life experience, perspectives, beliefs, languages, and more. Just as our customer base is infinitely diverse, so is our workforce.

We believe a commitment to diversity and creating an inclusive work environment are the keys to unlocking even/person's optimal Potential Our diversity is our greatest strength and is a business imperative tied directly to our bottom line.

Diversity is fundamental to our business success through:

* Global market understanding

* Attracting and retaining the best talent

* Achieving breakthrough innovations

* Serving our customers through the most effective solutions

To this end Symantec has committed itself to creating a best in class diversity initiative. An initiative that is global in scope, driven by the passion of our employees, and based on respect for the individual.

"Our success is predicated on our ability to be the premier organization in the Internet security marketplace. That in turn is dependent on making optimal use of the unique backgrounds and experiences of all our employees to develop better solutions for our customers, anticipate problems before they arise, and provide the greatest value to our stakeholders."--John Schwarz, President

As an innovation company, we can only be as good as the members of our team. We seek talent with diversity of life experiences and perspectives from around the world. We recognize that diversity is a distinct business advantage and is one that we value and embrace.

Because of this vision, Symantec has taken great strides toward not only embracing diversity, but weaving it throughout the fabric of our corporation, creating an environment of mutual respect, encouragement and teamwork that rewards performance and values the individuality of every employee.

Norvartis

Here at Novartis, we know that each and everyday what we do affects thousands of lives. When your mission is to improve, extend and save lives, your focus is clear, your purpose defined, and you know you're Dart of a team that's making a difference in the quality of people's lives. It just doesn't get much better than that.

At Novartis, we consider our employees our greatest asset, so we stove to ensure a diverse. caring and supportive work place with a keen eye on professional development and personal growth. And we're being noticed for our efforts. When the company was less than two years old, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation was ranked among the top 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers by Working Mother magazine--and it has remained on the list for three consecutive years, Additionally, we've recently been ranked as one of the Top 100 MBA Employers for 2004 by Fortune Magazine.

Think what's possible ... If you're looking to better your career--and better the world--come learn more about Novartis. Here, you can join our diverse team of outstanding professionals in our quest to develop innovative medicines that improve, extend and save people's lives. Here, you can make a difference. Apply online at joinnovartis.com

PhD Project

African Americans Are Finding Career Fulfillment By Going Back To School--With Assistance From The PhD Project

A growing number of African American professionals are finding career fulfillment not in the corner office of the executive suite, but in the cluttered office of the academic.

The PhD Project, a multi-million dollar diversity effort sponsored by some of the nation's largest companies, is assisting African American professionals to return to academia. The PhD Project conducts a nationwide marketing campaign--identifying minorities willing to leave their corporate jobs, return to academia to earn a Ph.D., and become business professors. Top candidates are invited to a three-day conference, where they meet with current minority business professors and representatives from Ph.D. programs across the country. They get all the information they need to make the transition from business to academia. Airfare and lodging for the conference is paid by The PhD Project.

Once enrolled in a doctoral program, PhD Project participants are invited to join one of the PhD Project Doctoral Students Associations. These peer support groups help minority doctoral students stay in touch to break the isolation often felt by doctoral students.

The PhD Project's success is undeniable. In 1994, when the program began, there were only 294 African American, Hispanic, or Native American professors at U.S. business schools. Today, there are 691 minority business professors--an increase of more than 8 percent. Further, 415 minorities are currently enrolled in doctoral programs, and will take a place at the front of the classroom in the next few years.

The PhD Project's annual conference is held even/ November. For more information, and to apply, visit www.phdproject.org.

Sponsors of The PhD Project are: KPMG Foundation, Graduate Management Admission Council, Participating Universities, Citigroup Foundation, Ford Motor Company, DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund, AACSB International, GE Foundation, AICPA, James S. Kemper Foundation, Merrill Lynch & Co. Foundation, Inc., Fannie Mae Foundation, Abbott Laboratories, State Street Corporation, JPMorgan Chase, Robert K. Elliott, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Hewlett-Packard Company, Sara Lee Branded Apparel.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
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Title Annotation:Special Advertising Section
Author:Hayes, Cassandra
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Advertisement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2004
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