Diversity Journal - Nov/Dec 2013
2014 Diversity Leader Communications Award Issue. Diversity Leaders discuss "What's Next"
WHAT’S NEXT ››› ››› Diversity…Moving Forward There are many business reasons why companies recognize the need to build a diverse workforce and sustain it with a robust strategy. However, for the strategy to be effective, it must be rooted in the company’s vision, brand, and business goals. Schwab has been a leader in financial services for four decades, working to make investing more affordable, accessible, and understandable to diverse investors. Driven by a desire to champion every client’s goals with passion and integrity, Schwab is committed to providing an environment that respects and values the diversity of its employees, its clients, and the communities it serves. Leadership in Action Looking forward, the company believes it is imperative to continue to focus on talent and growth, while continuing to develop best practices. Schwab’s immediate goal is to expand an internal network of senior leaders and business partners committed to coaching and mentoring Employee Resource Group (ERG) leaders. This network will also serve to broaden ERG leadership-in-action experiences related to innovation in regional talent brand strategies, investor education, and employee development. Developing a Strategic Plan In addition to developing leadership skills and helping to build a strong talent pipeline, Schwab ERGs develop strategic plans that align with overall business growth goals. A prime example of this planning is the success that the Women’s Interactive Network at Schwab (WINS) has had with Financial Life Planning for Women Month, an initiative that enables Schwab to deepen relationships with, and better serve, women investors. WINS strives to heighten awareness among women investors, and help women plan for life events and increase their investment and savings knowledge. The next iteration of ERGs will have a stronger business alignment and increased participation from senior leaders as mentors, coaches, and talent developers. Schwab expects this will turn its ERG model into an even more powerful development platform. Schwab is also cultivating its diversity talent outreach approach in the communities it serves. This year the company launched BRIDGE (Building Relationships and Inclusion for Diverse Growth and Education). This initiative features in-person forums that offer insights about the firm’s client-service culture and career paths, as well as networking opportunities with Schwab leaders and employees. The company’s goal is to expand this offering in 2014 and continue to develop innovative ways to build relationships with diversity talent and client pools. PDJ At Coca Cola, Diversity Is Everybody’s Business Over the past several years, Coca Cola Enterprises has honed its focus on diversity and built a foundation for inclusion companywide. This has resulted in the organization introducing engaging and innovative programs, obtaining the enthusiastic support of senior leadership, and generally gaining momentum. Aligning Diversity Plans with Business Priorities Although Coca Cola Enterprises is proud of the progress already made, the organization is now challenged with maintaining momentum, better aligning diversity and inclusion plans with the priorities of business, and focusing on some specific dimensions of diversity and inclusion. For example, in order to embed diversity and inclusion more into management rou- 32 PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL tines, Coca Cola Enterprises recently launched a “Diversity Is Everybody’s Business” awareness-raising program that required all managers to run a diversity and inclusion workshop during a team meeting. The company is currently considering turning this into a yearly requirement for all managers to help nurture a culture of constructive dialogue around diversity and inclusion. To better align diversity and inclusion plans with business priorities, Coca Cola Enterprises also created the Diversity in Action program, which encourages sites and business functions to create and track the progress of diversity and inclusion action plans based on assessments and regular meetings with senior management. The company will continue this program, which has helped target most of its workplace and community initiatives. The next step is to begin exploring diversity and inclusion in relation November/December 2013 to the marketplace and suppliers. Good News for Gender Diversity Gender diversity has been a priority for Coca Cola Enterprises for many years. Thanks to consistent efforts in this area, the company is seeing positive results. Woman currently account for 33 percent of its board of directors and 29 percent of its executive leadership team—two and a half times the European average for boards of directors and nearly three times the European average for executives. Female participation at all leadership and management levels is also on the rise. Europe’s increasingly multicultural and aging workforce is making a significant impact on the marketplace, as well as the workplace. These sociodemographic trends will require Coca Cola Enterprises to focus even more closely on ethnic, generational, and disability issues in the future. PDJ