By Alisha Dixon
Today, more than 150 CEO’s made a commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace by joining CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion ™, the largest CEO-driven effort of its kind. CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion ™ said, by signing onto the agreement this large and diverse group of CEO’s “pledge to cultivate a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected, where employees feel comfortable and encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion, and where best known—and unsuccessful—actions can be shared across organizations.”
A steering committee of corporate leaders from over 50 industries include CEO’s from; Accenture, BCG, Deloitte US, The Executive Leadership Council, EY, General Atlantic, KPMG, New York Life, P&G and PwC lead all CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ efforts.
“We are living in a world of complex divisions and tensions that can have a significant impact on our work environment. Yet, it’s often the case that when we walk into our workplace – where we spend the majority of our time – we don’t openly address these topics,” said Tim Ryan, U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC and chair of the steering committee for the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™. “CEOs across the country understand this isn’t a competitive issue, but a societal issue, and together we can raise the bar for the entire business community. By sharing best known actions and programs, we are helping to create a more inclusive environment that will encourage all of us to bring our greatest talents, perspectives, and experiences to the workplace.”
With CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ each corporate leader has agreed to take the following steps to increase diversity and foster inclusion in each of their organizations and within the greater business community:
- Continue to cultivate workplaces that support open dialogue on complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion: Companies will create and maintain environments, platforms, and forums where their employees feel comfortable reaching out to their colleagues to gain greater awareness of each other’s experiences and perspectives. By encouraging an ongoing dialogue and not tolerating any incongruence with these values of openness, companies are building trust, encouraging compassion and open-mindedness, and reinforcing their commitment to a culture of inclusivity.
- Implement and expand unconscious bias education: Companies commit to rolling out and/or expanding unconscious bias education within their companies in the form that best fits their specific culture and business. By helping employees recognize and minimize any potential blind spots, companies can better facilitate more open and honest conversations. Additionally, the initiative will be making non-proprietary unconscious bias education modules available to other organizations free of charge. This training will live on the unified hub, CEOAction.com.
- Share best-known—and unsuccessful—actions: Companies commit to working together to evolve existing diversity strategies by sharing successes and challenges with one another. This will include creating accountability systems within their companies to track their progress and share regular updates with each other in order to catalog effective programs and measurement practices.
Following the announcement of this initiative, Diane Antishin, vice president of HR Operations at DTE Energy, revealed that Gerry Anderson, CEO of DTE Energy, is one of the 150 CEO’s who has joined the pledge.
“Diversity and inclusion is already a high priority for our company, and we’ve made tremendous progress independently. But the power of the CEO pledge is in the collective impact of America’s largest companies coming together – unified – to make positive change in the workplace,” the DTE VP said.
“By joining this coalition, DTE Energy’s CEO and 150 of his peers are committing to support open dialogue on sometimes difficult conversations about diversity and inclusion, and implement unconscious bias education to help employees recognize and minimize potential blind spots… For DTE Energy, diversity isn’t only about race or gender. It’s about recognizing what makes our employees, suppliers and customers unique and applying those perspectives and talents to how we do business.”