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Also Featuring ... When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies • Quad Rugby • Catalyst

Volume 7, Number 5 September / October 2005

8.95 U.S.








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pointofview From the editor of Profiles in Diversity Journal

Not Just Cheerleaders From the stands, it appears to be quite a commonplace event: well-trained athletes and teams eager to score are watching their competitors closely; coaches are calling in plays from the sidelines. The owners and media in the suites are tracking the stats, critiquing performance, pointing out leaders, and monitoring the standings on the scoreboards. Vendors are competing to see whose voice is loudest as they offer their wares and try to attract the big customers. There is a little (polite) tension in the crowds as contrasting colors and standards are waved aloft in support. It’s a level playing field, a win-win day —advantage all. Have you guessed yet that the name of the game is enterprise/organization diversity? If you’re on the field, in a front-row seat, or up in the boxes, you’ll want to pay attention to this issue of PDJ which profiles six women leading their teams in diversity and inclusion within various major sports organizations: • Major League Baseball – Wendy Lewis • NASCAR – Tish Sheets • National Football League – Belinda Lerner • U.S. Olympic Committee – Mary Watkins • U.S. Tennis Association – Karlyn Lothery • World TeamTennis – Ilana Kloss This album of Front-Runner profiles reveals the unique circumstances, challenges and opportunities within sports institutions—and shows how talented women are shaping these organizations that are so much in the public eye. Competition takes on multiple layers of meaning when we look at these distinctive business entities and venues—not to mention the special emotional factors that sometimes apply when regional or inter-national favorites vie for prizes. But these ladies share many of the same rules for fair play. Let the games / races / matches begin….

Susan Larson Managing Editor

ISSN 1537-2102 Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Table of Contents

September/October 2005 Volume 7 • Number 5 September / October 2005



Front-Runner Women in Sports Leadership Profiles of women leading the diversity and inclusion efforts of major sports organizations:

10 16 22 28 34 40

M A J O R L E A G U E B A S E B A L L – Wendy Lewis N A S C A R – Tish Sheets N A T I O N A L F O O T B A L L L E A G U E – Belinda Lerner U . S . O LY M P I C C O M M I T T E E – Mary Watkins U . S . T E N N I S A S S O C I A T I O N – Karlyn Lothery W O R L D T E A M T E N N I S – Ilana Kloss

This ground-breaking album of Front-Runner profiles brings out from behind the cameras the unique circumstances, challenges and opportunities within the world of sports—and shows how talented women are shaping these organizations that are so much in the public eye.


Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

Table of Contents

September/October 2005

departments Diversity Who, What, Where & When

6 Finding a Mentor—by Catalyst


Influential mentoring relationships are critical for careers, yet pressures and limited numbers of leadership models sometimes hinder women from establishing a meaningful partnership. Catalyst expands the framework for what constitutes mentoring and explains how self assessment, open-mindedness and commitment can optimize the opportunities.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies


Davis Wright Tremaine’s Weldon Latham uses a recent high-profile case to illustrate the importance of “genuine corporate diversity and demonstrable achievement of inclusion” for thwarting discrimination litigation.

Quad Rugby



Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

The story of Brian Burger gives us insight into the athletes who participate in a rigorous sport that doesn’t make daily newscasts—wheelchair rugby. New York Life’s efforts at inclusion and accommodation have helped this sales development manager from NYL’s Cincinnati office be part of Team USA at the 2005 World Wheelchair & Amputee Games in Brazil.

At WellPoint, we celebrate the diversity of our workforce. We are the leading health benefits company in the nation serving the needs of 28 million members. A FORTUNE 50® company, we are strengthened by the commitment and dedication of our associates. If you’re looking to join a company where you will see your ideas in action - where what you do helps others live better, consider a career with us. Visit our website to search opportunities throughout the United States at:


What does it take to be named FORTUNE magazine’s Most Admired Healthcare Company six years running? ®

People like you.

Opportunities may be available in the following areas: • Actuarial • Administrative/Clerical • Advertising/Marketing • Claims/Membership/Customer Service • Compliance • Corporate Communications • Finance & Accounting • Human Resources • Information Technology • Legal • Management • Nursing/Case Management • Pharmacy • Provider Network Development • Sales • Training • Underwriting


Ingrid Robinson Now Managing Halliburton’s Supplier Diversity Ingrid Robinson joins Halliburton with a 12year history in minority and women’s business development with corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations. Halliburton, founded in 1919, is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the petroleum and energy industries. Robinson will be developing and executing initiatives to enhance Halliburton’s Supplier Diversity Program. “It is our vision to be recognized as the global leader in supplier diversity and development among oilfield services companies,” says Robinson. Robinson previously managed supplier diversity for Pennzoil-Quaker State, and was assistant director of the Houston Minority Business Council and other business advocacy organizations. Robinson holds a B.S. degree from the University of Houston.

Vickie Piner Named VP at Lear Corp. Vickie Piner has been promoted to vice president-Supplier Diversity and Development in Lear’s Global Purchasing Division. Lear is one of the world’s largest automotive interior systems suppliers with annual net sales of $17 billion (2004) and more than 110,000 employees in 34 countries.


Piner will now be helping Lear meet its targets for purchases from certified minority vendors. Since joining Lear as an engineering manager in 1994, she has served as VP of Global Six Sigma Deployment, VP of Lear’s Seating Operations in France, and VP of Quality for the Interiors, Electrical and Ford Customer Division. Piner has a bachelor’s degree (industrial engineering) from General Motors Engineering and Management Institute and a master’s degree (manufacturing management) from Central Michigan University. She succeeds Charles White (retired).

Brenda Harrison Named VP at Texas Instruments Brenda Harrison has been promoted to vice president and worldwide director of Environmental, Safety and Health Services at Texas Instruments Inc. TI provides innovative digital and analog technologies for signal processing, with manufacturing, design or sales operations in more than 25 countries. Since 1999, as Environmental, Safety and Health (ESH) Manager, she has

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

helped TI receive national recognition for worker health and safety as well as environmental stewardship. Harrison will continue to oversee TI’s ESH activities for worldwide operations. In addition to being active in numerous technology, manufacturing, environmental and engineering professional organizations, she participates in a number of civic activities in local educational, environmental and child advocacy programs. Ms. Harrison received her bachelor’s degree (chemistry) from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. PDJ

fyi Gender Expression/ Identity (GE/I) In the last 10 years, the number of major corporations with gender expression and/or gender identity (GE/I) provisions in their EEO policies has gone from 0 to more than 100, and nearly half of these were adopted within the last year *. Whereas GE/I used to be considered an issue only for protecting workers who were transgendering during their employment period, the policies are now considered applicable for a broader range of situations—including women who don’t want to wear high heels or make-up and men who take paternity leave or are targeted by workplace bullies. Look for more information on these issues in upcoming articles in PDJ; in the meantime, see these resources: * A list of companies with GE/I policies at nnwww.gpac.org/workplace/majorcorps. nnhtml • Craig B. Clayton, Sr., Spartacus Analytics/Center for Human Capital Analytics craig@craigclayton.com

Wendy Lewis Major League Baseball I Live for This In diversity as well as sports circles, Wendy is practically a legend in her own right. She officially came to the game of baseball in 1987, managing human resources for the Chicago Cubs. She has pennants from organizations including the Black Women in Sports Foundation, the National Association of Black Journalists, Minorities in Business, Rainbow/PUSH, The Network Journal, and Urban Financial Services Coalition, among others. Here she reveals some factors that drive her plays home.

ORGANIZATION Profile Please describe your company’s global presence.

COMPANY Major League Baseball HEADQUARTERS New York, NY WEBSITE www.mlb.com BUSINESS Sports/Entertainment

Baseball considers itself a worldwide entertainment venue. Besides the presence that we have had historically here in the United States, we are quite the sport also in Asian countries and have significant presence in Latin America. Consequently, a great proportion of our player population is also from Latin America and the Hispanic countries. Folks may be surprised to know that we have developed a range of grassroots efforts in Australia as well as in London, and we actually have offices in Japan and the Dominican Republic. In terms of that world-wide reach, one of the most exciting things we are working on is hosting Major League Baseball’s first World Classic in March 2006. About 16 countries will be participating in this playoff series. It will be similar to the Olympics or World Cup, to be held every three or four years, so I think it will really

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Wendy Lewis

VP / Major League Baseball

synchronize our being a world-wide presence in sports.

How does your office orchestrate globally diverse staffing? From the same perspective, we have a group called Major League Baseball International, headed up by our Senior Vice President, Paul Archey, with staff presence here and individuals working on our business in different countries. With projects such as the World Classic, some staff will just spend more time where they already are concentrated; in other areas we will actually add to staff locally. We think there will be exciting opportuni-

influence on choosing minorityowned and women-owned companies that help to run our facility here in New York, our office in Milwaukee, WI, and our new office in Arizona. In regard to the recruitment function, we realize with each hiring opportunity—whether full time, professional-level positions or our internships or part-time spots—that we can create some synergy around diversity. We also have the responsibility of being somewhat of a portal to the 30 clubs as they hire, by helping them as needed or for managing the flow of employees leaving the Commissioner’s office to work at one of the clubs.

“We realize with each hiring opportunity—whether full time, professional-level positions or our intern or part-time spots—that we can create some synergy around diversity.” ties for some of our employees to cross over into the international side. And there’s also going to be a great opportunity to expand our existing internship program to give some straight-out-of-school folks an opportunity to work on the event for us— that should be pretty historical. The diversity standpoint is already a part of our employment infrastructure, whether it’s in dealing with the Classic or just the conventional way we do business. We have what I think is an ideal situation. In the design of my job, I manage three distinct areas: Office Operations, Staffing and Recruitment, and Supplier Diversity. We try to make sure, particularly on the recruitment side and supplier diversity side, that it touches all phases of our business. As for Office Operations, we have



What is the range of employee positions covered under MLB’s diversity policies? This is the way we’re structured: there is Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, then Robert DuPuy, President & COO. Reporting to Bob are five executive vice presidents, one being Rob Manfred, EVP of Labor and HR, to whom I report. Two of our other EVPs are African Americans—Jonathan Marier, our Chief Financial Officer, and Jimmie Lee Solomon, EVP of Baseball Operations. So we’re getting there, even at the very top of the house. On the other end of the spectrum, we also make sure that our internship program at the central office, which is about 40 students every year, is really participated in by women and other minorities. As our

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

program has proven to be a great talent pool for employment, we’ll increase our recruitment efforts. MLB’s Internship Program has unintentionally been a well-kept secret. I’m seeing fewer students of color and women apply, so we want do a better job of communicating that this opportunity does exist.

What about the vendor side? Our supplier diversity initiative, the Diverse Business Partners Program, has probably given us the most ‘buzz’. Managing the potential pool of minorityowned and women-owned businesses that work here at the Commissioner’s Office, as well as establishing a portal of suppliers for our 30 clubs, has been a tremendous effort for us and a wonderful opportunity and benefit to our business. We take a very strategic approach to marketing to businesses who want to participate and become suppliers to Major League Baseball. For instance, in regards to the Baseball Classic, we met with Paul Archey and Shawn LawsonCummings, our Vice President of International Licensing and Sponsorship, to discuss procurement opportunities for the event. One of the major commodities we opened for bid was the advertising agency. We awarded the contract to a ‘majority’ agency; however, I am confident that the minority agency presented through our DBP Program really did have an opportunity to compete. One DBP supplier we talk to almost every day is the minorityowned company providing us with all of our office supplies. And I’m very excited about another company that we’re working with because, to me, it’s a landmark: we now have a minorityowned company licensed to actually provide Major League Baseball equipment. Those are just examples that— whether we are doing something major or something minor—we’re evaluating talent and determining suppliers with a diversity consideration of how we do things. We include a broad range of vendors: ad agencies;

Special Feature

Sports Organizations

Wendy Lewis is no longer in a cubicle in the accounting department at Wrigley Field; she now juggles many tasks at state-of-the-art offices for MLB in New York City.

Lewis works closely with MLB Senior Administrator Dawn Regina.

computer companies for hardware and applications; food service and catering and audiovisual companies, to name a few. We work with minority businesses primarily on behalf of the Commissioner’s Office, but also at the clubs, where there are a variety of opportunities including stadium and facility contracts in everything from construction to janitorial. Our Diverse Business Partners Program helps to support our business, whether it’s the World Series, the All Star Game, or spring training. MWBE’s (minorityand women-owned business enterprises) are regularly participating with us twelve months of the year, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day at different levels within our business.

Has tapping diversity yielded any business synergies?

The answer to that is, yes. What I love about the new marketplace is that your global and institutional knowledge about people can cause you to gain or lose marketshare as well as make some informed or unwise decisions. I’ve been in baseball 18 years, and it has really been interesting to see that, over time, more women and minorities are in sports. Some of the decisions that sports are choosing to make are because voices of diversity are pretty loud or have become more strategically placed in the industry. Regardless of different issues we are dealing with, I think Commissioner Selig and Major League Baseball are doing a pretty good job at proactively reengineering our game and keeping it exciting. One of our other developments is that J. L. Solomon has successfully developed our ‘baseball academy’.

He knows that we are battling with getting youth to look at us as their sport of choice—they have so many wonderful options now. We know that as a part of our marketing and enrichment of our sport we’re really going to have to be more proficient at giving young people an opportunity to see us not only as a sport but also as a business. The first academy is in Compton [CA]; we’ve already broken ground, and they should be open later this year. That was very purposeful, because we’re looking to make sure we’re engaging a youthful market as well as keeping adults interested, and we’ve also had to look at what is really the diminishing return of minority athletes, particularly African Americans. It satisfies a number of things. MLB wanted to start the best way—an academy, on a college campus; a facility that will have a

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Wendy Lewis

VP / Major League Baseball

Wendy Lewis C O M P A N Y : Major League Baseball (MLB) T I T L E : Vice President of Strategic Planning for Recruitment and Diversity. Too long, I know, but when we first did the titling, inputting “strategic planning” was important for saying as an institution that we weren’t going to just pigeon-hole recruitment or a diversity program as an afterthought.



C U R R E N T P O S I T I O N : 18 years

E D U C A T I O N : BS (psychology): University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh; MBA: J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University. F I R S T J O B : My first official out-of-college job was as personnel coordinator—that’s how long ago that was—with a social service agency. The Lutheran Child and Family Services was the best job for me to begin a human resources career, because it had an adoption component to it, and also a teen treatment center for behavior problems. There was also a refugee resettlement center where I think I got my diversity ‘bug’ working with Vietnamese people and people from Haiti and social workers and officials to literally bring folks into our community. The job was so universal—I was providing essentially all the human resources function, from payroll to benefits to employee assistance for them and their families, and it got me hooked on the business of people. From there I went to the Chicago Tribune, where I think I settled into HR because it just was a good fit. Now I’ve sort of matured into this diversity work. P H I L O S O P H Y : Karlyn Lothery asked that question for a panel that she asked me to sit on: “Name two important things that you want people to know.” One that I will share is a quote from Albert Einstein—“Not everything that counts can be measured; and not everything that can be measured counts.” I like that because people who do this for a living—we can get so caught up in the numbers game, whether it’s workforce diversity or supplier diversity or measurement of return on investment. We do so much quantitative assessment, that if you are not very careful, everything’s about the numbers and you forget the rationale and the significance of the relationships. The other one is a little longer: “Individuals who have chosen”—or I like to say ‘have been called’—”to lead diversity within their respective organizations will be required to work very hard.” The work load is very heavy. I also say, you must have institutional intelligence, and a willingness to take professional risks. This has been the best job I’ve ever had, and it’s been the most difficult job I’ve ever had, and that’s why I love it so much.


R E A D I N G : I take a Bible study course, and that keeps me centered on the need for humanity. It also keeps my perspective and has really helped me with managing my own temperament—because sometimes in these roles you can get angry. The Bible’s also been my best source for strategic planning because folks like Moses were leaders; in the Bible you learn that unimaginable things happened and great things were achieved by regular people who had a passion and a call and believed in God's power to change things. F A M I L Y : The other piece that keeps it all together for me is my family. All three of my daughters live with me, as well as their daughters, so my house is an amazing place. The cool thing about that diversity is they keep me so centered. My granddaughter doesn’t care what I do, where I’ve been, whom I know—my name is Grammy. If in the middle of the night she wants me to read her a story, that keeps my perspective wholesome, and that’s where I get my energy and my drive and my dedication.

I N T E R E S T S : This work takes a lot of energy, and it can get very high or very low, so it’s really important to stay physically fit. Actually I love working out, and listening to music when I do. And I love sports, especially baseball. Sports lets me be crazy competitive without hurting myself. The other thing I like to do that soothes my soul is arranging flowers, which makes me feel like I’m someplace else. C H I L D H O O D H E R O : I’ve had two heroes: one I’ve known very well, and that’s my Mom; the second one I was just taught about—Mary McLeod Bethune. My mother was just….an awesome woman: from the South, one of the first college-educated people in her family, a teacher with an incredible ability to create and innovate. I got a lot of visionary faith and groundedness from my Mom. And then Mary McLeod Bethune, the founder of Bethune Community College, was the hero that my Mother taught me to emulate. Mom used to call me ‘Miss Bethune’ but I didn’t like it because I thought, "I don’t do that." She was such a really courageous woman who accomplished an awful lot at a time when women and particularly minorities, African Americans, couldn’t. So she was breaking barriers way back in the day, and I always found a lot to really admire in her and appreciate that my Mother wanted me to grow up to be like her. DESK-DRAWER

M U N C H I E S : I got addicted to popcorn when I was with the Chicago Cubs. And now I love dark chocolate….I tell people “if you’re worried about your diet, eat dark chocolate; you’ll never get fat.”


Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

Special Feature number of baseball fields where students will not only be educated to play the game, but where we’ll also do career counseling and training. That concept came from people talking and listening and adjusting their thinking, and it’s going to turn out to be a wonderful situation for us.

How does your company gauge workforce diversity? Our Diversity Workforce Report is a very systematic evaluation of the workforce of MLB from all 30 clubs— as well as the Commissioner’s Office. The report gives not only headcounts at each franchise, but benchmarks and metrics; the clubs get historical details, plus each club gets a customized report with feedback, strategy for improvement or acknowledgement of best practice. This has been very helpful for us to monitor how well we’re doing (or not doing).

And how are you gauging supplier diversity? One of the outcomes of our Diverse Business Partners Program is our Utilization Report. It tends to be what the clubs call a “heavy duty document;” we look at how we spend their money and break that down over a lot of commodities and supply groups. This report (developed by the consulting firm of RGMA and GenLight Por EL), has been the baseline for our performance in supplier diversity.

PROFESSIONAL Profile What was your career path? To me it’s been most interesting. I got in because I was with Chicago Tribune, one of the business units of Tribune Company, which also owned the Chicago Cubs. I’d gone from human resources to a sales career at Chicago Tribune. I think Tribune Company considered my background useful for an interesting strategy to “sell” the Chicago Cubs on their need for the human resource function. Please note that at that time the HR

function was not a formalized operating department within baseball. I realize how blessed I am; this has been a wonderful opportunity for me to utilize the best of my skills and get into a segment of business in America that few have the opportunity to do. I know this is very different and is very exciting.

Sports Organizations

As America’s favorite pastime, Major League

How is your own team representative?

Baseball has set the stage

I have a really diverse team: my head of recruitment is Hispanic; my top person on the supplier diversity side is African American; and my head of Office Operations is a woman. Over time, the gender and ethnic representations have changed, but the balance of diversity in my department has always been really evident, and really helpful. Part of my orientation speech is, “You may be coming into Office Operations, or into Recruitment, or into Supplier Diversity, but we are a big part of the diversity leadership of this organization. We talk candidly about issues. I may need to discuss, ‘is there an issue here because this person is Vietnamese and that person is Japanese?’ Or ask, ‘in this misunderstanding, this gentleman is Mexican and the other gentleman is Puerto Rican—what’s your take on that?’ Or ask ‘if this person is actually from Ghana, and this person is from Detroit, must I address that?’” My group helps me not only evaluate very intelligently, but they keep me very sensitized, because even in diversity circles, people can become indifferent or stereotyping. I think we need to keep very mindful about people’s needs, their backgrounds, and how important those aspects are.

for events that have shaped our history and none have proven to be more important than the day Jackie Robinson walked onto the field in 1947. Today, we continue to level the playing field through our Diverse Business Partners Program. The Program provides business opportunities for minority- and femaleowned businesses and is the working model for supplier diversity in professional sports.




Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Tish Sheets NASCAR Setting the Pace Tish Sheets describes her job as “making room for everybody” in this fast-growing sports industry, and describes the role NASCAR plays, as sanctioning entity, in setting the pace on and off the tracks.

ORGANIZATION Profile How does NASCAR view diversity? NASCAR is aggressively promoting diversity at all levels of the sport by taking steps to better educate new fans about NASCAR; providing meaningful opportunities; and facilitating greater participation among the industry and diverse communities. As Brian France, Chairman and CEO, declares in our mission statement, “NASCAR is committed to making our sport— on and off the race track—look more like America. No other issue is more important for NASCAR to succeed and to grow.”


Please describe NASCAR’s global presence.

BUSINESS Sanctioning body for stock car racing

• We are #1 in brand loyalty: 75 million fans (1/3 of U.S. adults)

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Tish Sheets

Director of Diversity / NASCAR

The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program will

agencies associated, etc. My best guess is there are thousands, but we have no hard numbers.

provide meaningful opportunities for qualified candidates to work with NASCAR’s sanctioning body, NASCAR sponsors and licensees, NASCAR teams and tracks, and other motorsports-related companies. The program will employ college/ university students in a ten-week summer program designed to introduce them to the world of NASCAR and the exciting career opportunities available throughout the motorsports industry. The program is designed to support deserving students with an interest in the motorsports industry who are of Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Island, African American, Hispanic, or of other racial minority descent. WWW.NASCAR.COM

• 1500 races, over 100 tracks, across 38 states • Over 13 million fans attended NASCAR events in 2004; 17 of the top-20-attended sporting events are NASCAR events in the U.S. • #2-rated sport on television; televised weekly in 23 languages in more than 150 countries • Over $2 billion in licensed sales in 2004 • NASCAR sponsors received $5.4 billion in total on-screen exposure value in 2004 • NASCAR.com sports site on the internet has over 3.5 million unique users per month.


Does NASCAR have any unique workforce or marketing challenges? We view these as opportunities. NASCAR has on-track diversity initiatives to support efforts to diversify the competitors operating behind the wheel and in the pits; off-track initiatives to highlight the professional opportunities available in the NASCAR industry; and consumer marketing initiatives to raise awareness about the sport in all communities. In racing, it is our job as the sanctioning body to develop and to share information to help the teams with cost containment and to do business better—we even have one of the foremost research and development centers in the world in Concord, NC, trying to find better ways to do things. That’s our responsibility and what we do on a daily basis. Now we’re doing the same thing in the area of diversity as well. What we do, of course, is set the example, we stress the importance of diversity, and then many times we also build the templates to share the information with the industry for better business practices.

What areare the workforce the workforce numbers? n u m b e r s ? Who drives NASCAR’s efforts As sanctioning body for the sport, toward diversity? NASCAR as a company is very small. Because the motorsport, the stock-car racing industry, is very large, often many people make the assumption that we are the entire industry, whereas we are the sanctioning body for the sport. We cannot mandate policy or procedure: everyone—our teams, our tracks—is independent from us. I don’t have an exact number, but on an average, NASCAR itself has approximately 700 employees; about half are officials who regulate every race every weekend. Within the industry, it’s hard to say. One team, for example, Hendrick Motorsports, has probably over 400 people working in racing just on the team side; another team in another series may have 25 to 50 people. Plus there are sponsors,

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

NASCAR began in 1948, founded by the France family, and now we are in the third generation. Brian France, our current chairman and CEO, owns and heads NASCAR, and diversity is one of his most important and completely significant strategies. I really think that at the end of the day Brian will be known as the man who changed NASCAR and brought greater diversity to the entire industry. As he says, “we want our sport to look more like America,” so he’s launched a major diversity initiative promoting both ontrack and off-track programs guided by the Executive Steering Committee for Diversity, co-chaired by Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Special Feature

Can you describe your diversity strategy? The entire strategy works as a whole, because all of the components are very important, we realize. But we do have different categories. Our on-track initiatives focus on “putting drivers behind the wheel and crew members behind the wall,” as we say. The Drive For Diversity Program really is the

flagship program of the on-track initiatives, and that program’s goal is to recruit, to develop a feeder system for ethnically diverse and gender diverse drivers and crew members; it also develops officials and brings greater awareness of the opportunities in the sport. I think the motorsports media has used the phrase “NASCAR’s drive for diversity” as an all-encom-

Sports Organizations

Wendy Lewis from Major League Baseball (left), Tish Sheets (middle) and Karlyn Lothery from the United States Tennis Association share a professional friendship in their common roles for their respective organizations.

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Tish Sheets

Director of Diversity / NASCAR

Ti s h S h e e t s C O M P A N Y : NASCAR T I T L E : Director of Diversity and Special Projects T I M E I N C U R R E N T P O S I T I O N : 1.5 (8 years at NASCAR) E D U C A T I O N : Attended Purdue University F I R S T J O B : Successful lemonade stand P H I L O S O P H Y : Work hard ~ Be nice WHAT I'M

R E A D I N G : Smashing Barriers by Dr. Richard Lapchick

F A M I L Y : Married 21 years; 2 children, ages 14 & 11 I N T E R E S T S : Family, friends & participating in all sports M O T T O : “Never, never, never give up.”







In 1977, I started with NASCAR in our Licensing and Consumer Marketing group in North Carolina, assisting with the 50th Anniversary Program. In 2001, I was promoted and transferred to Daytona Beach, our corporate headquarters, heading up special projects such as the All American Soap Box Derby and Toyota’s entrée into NASCAR. In 2004, our Chairman personally appointed me as NASCAR’s Director of Diversity and Special Projects.





I have a wonderful team of direct reports that I’m excited to work with. Our senior account executive, Terrence Jenkins, manages all of our off-track initiatives; Jill Picaut is an account executive focusing on our on-track initiatives, including the Drive for Diversity Program; Lindsay Bowen, the newest account executive, is focusing on our Hispanic awareness programs. Our efforts are supported by our Executive Steering Committee, co-chaired by Earvin “Magic” Johnson; our industry-based Diversity Council; and the support of our teams, tracks and sponsors. I also receive a tremendous amount of support from other executives in the sports field—such as Wendy Lewis of Major League Baseball, and Karlyn Lothery from United States Tennis Association.

ARE THERE CERTAIN BEST PRACTICES FOR THE SPORTS INDUSTRY? I have always had the mindset that I don’t see issues, I see opportunities. We have an opportunity to do things better; we have an opportunity to bring greater diversity and to grow our sports. And it’s about people. Our fans are the most wonderful fans anyone could have, and very loyal, and there is always room for more—there is room for everyone. People bond together with sports, so letting everyone know that they are welcome is, I think, truly the key.




I must say that Carlton Yearwood of Waste Management has been extremely supportive, and our chief operating officer, George Pyne, has been an executive mentor to me since I started here eight years ago.


Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

Special Feature

passing description of our entire strategy, but in all reality, it is just one component as it relates to drivers and pit crew members. The off-track initiatives include our Executive Steering Committee for Diversity co-chaired by Earvin “Magic” Johnson and NASCAR’s COO George Pyne, and also a Diversity Council comprised of members of the industry. They serve as a catalyst to provide opportunities and expose a diverse group of people to the industry; as resources for those interested in the evolution and expansion of our sport; as a cross-industry and crossdisciplinary forum to encourage dialogue on the issue of diversity within motor-sports and sports in general; and they help spotlight success and best practices in this crucial area. And then we have our Consumer Marketing and Awareness Program. We know all of those components will have to work together to really benchmark and bring greater diversity to the entire industry.

How does Drive for Diversity operate? Drive for Diversity is owned by a minority-owned agency in North Carolina, Access Marketing and Communications. They technically run the program which NASCAR itself supports and endorses. The agency has an entire strategy—using the media, the internet, radio, print, and so forth—to reach across the country to the short tracks or the smaller tracks, sharing this information. They also have a website called Drivefordiversity.com. What happens is, an open resume call goes out, so potential drivers and potential crew members from across the country can apply to come into the program. Their resumes are reviewed by the agency and through a

board. Then, as in football, we have what’s called a ‘combine’ where all the participants come together and compete. The team owners will be there to watch them compete and make their choices of whom they would like as their driver or pit crew member. NASCAR itself does not make these calls—the teams do.

Will you describe your off-track initiatives? Our off-track efforts include the Urban Youth Racing School, a Diversity Internship program, a Supplier Diversity and Minority Vendor program, the College Tour presented with Coca-Cola Company, a Technical Institute partnership, and scholarships. The Urban Youth Racing School reaches out to boys and girls 8 to 18 from the inner city of Philadelphia. This program started off by focusing on just getting kids off the streets and showing them that there are different things out there that maybe they weren’t aware of, using NASCAR as the vehicle—no pun intended. Kids are brought in on the weekends for the 10-week program. For five weeks in the classroom they learn all about how cars work, driving techniques, and the business and opportunities in motorsports; tutors are also brought in to help the kids with their schoolwork. The last five weeks, students are on the track in gokarts, and that’s the magnet that draws them. What they’re finding is, these kids are now staying in school, their attendance is sky-high, they’ve done better. They’ve also had quite a few who weren’t even going to finish high school, who literally have their whole focus and vision completely changed. One youth ended up a scholarship winner and is attending the NASCAR Technical Institute, to go into the

Sports Organizations

automotive technical industry. Some kids ended up at Stanford. This program was founded and is directed by Anthony Martin there in Philadelphia. We saw so much merit and value to it, we came on board with him. And not only do we support the program, our sponsors and our industry support it. Sears Craftsman is a huge supporter of this program; NASCAR.com; GM; GMAC; to name just a few. A lot of different companies see the value in what this school is doing and the lives that are being changed in the process, and that’s where we see the true significance. It’s not developing millions of fans for us; that’s not the focus of this.

What about supplier diversity? I’m really proud of the supplier program. We had a company-wide policy that went into effect this year, and we’ve seen increases with all purchases; and we are doing business better. There are more opportunities through this new policy, because when you go for three quotes, one quote must be from a minority- or female-owned business. We also work hand in hand with the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council and the National Minority Supplier Development Council who have been tremendous resources in helping us architect this program. And then, we’ve built this template: we figured everything out, and shared this information with the industry. Just recently, Fitz-Bradshaw Racing, itself, was certified as a minority vendor by the Carolinas Minority Supplier Development Council; this is the first team in the industry to have ever received this certification. So we can say, “Hey, this is working. We’re finally making significant strides here.” PDJ

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Belinda Lerner National Football League Lofty Goals Despite its rough-and-tumble image, the NFL’s ‘playbook’ for diversity actually maintains an “aspirational definition of diversity,” and Belinda Lerner is its leading coach.

ORGANIZATION Profile What is your definition of diversity? Our Diversity Mission Statement reads, “To cultivate an organization and community representing a wide variety of individuals at all levels, all of whom respect, honor and celebrate the broad range of human differences among us, while also embracing the commonalities we share, and to provide each individual with the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential as organizational goals are pursued.”

Please describe your global presence: •New York:

400 employees

•New Jersey: 295 employees •Los Angeles: 66 employees •International NFL Europe League Teams: 95 employees, including: COMPANY National Football League •London: 18 employees HEADQUARTERS New York, NY WEBSITE www.nfl.com BUSINESS In a word, football.


6 employees


6 employees


7 employees

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Belinda Lerner

Senior Director / National Football League

Does the NFL have any particular challenges regarding its workforce, suppliers, or market? According to all metrics, we are the most successful sports organization by a wide margin. Nonetheless, we recognize that we must constantly examine our business if we are to remain on top. Accordingly, we are always striving to improve by implementing programs and policies that will attract, retain and develop new fans as well as talented employees. We are working hard to grow our game as a global sport.

issues of diversity with its three NFL facilities (NY, NJ, and CA). The Council is comprised of diverse members representing a cross section of departments, levels and demographics. Since its inception, the Council has met regularly once a month for two hours. The Council serves as a sounding board for employee diversity issues and as a liaison to the executive staff. It has implemented the following new programs focused on diversity: a) Internship Program: The Council had the existing program completely revamped so that it now serves as a

“It sends an enormously powerful message to our employees if they can see people like themselves as key decision makers in the organization.” BELINDA LERNER

What leadership commitment / resources are allocated for diversity? The NFL Diversity Council’s strategic plan, drafted in its first year, 2002, covers the full spectrum: 1)

DIVERSITY COUNCIL: Three years ago, the NFL established its Diversity Council to address the

learning opportunity for smart, diverse students and a forum to evaluate talent. Overseen by the HR Department, the structured summer program enables talented college, law, and master’s level students an opportunity to work for approximately eight weeks for a specific NFL department while also providing various educational and social programs that give the interns

a broad overview of the NFL’s business operations. b) Mentoring Program: To address the Council’s objective of retaining, supporting and advancing NFL employees, it created a mentoring program overseen by the HR Department. The program was launched in the NY office and matches junior professionals with senior executives for one year. Participation is through a robust selection and matching process. Mentors and protégés are trained, and quarterly events are held to provide further educational and networking opportunities. This year the mentoring program was launched at our NJ facility. c) Special Teams: In its inaugural year, the Diversity Council developed a program in which diverse, talented employees from a variety of NFL-NY departments are selected to work collaboratively on a multi-cultural business project. Each Special Team has a dedicated budget as well as a ‘coach’ and a departmental representative assigned to them. Our first initiative will be aligned with Hispanic Heritage Month and will develop an initiative for the NFL Marketing Department. d) Recognition Programs: To recognize talented, diverse employees who don’t have an opportunity to get top-level exposure to the NFL business, the Diversity Council developed recognition programs that enable our talented employees to attend the NFL’s annual League continued page 27


Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

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Goals of the NFL Aspirational Definition of Diversity (the ideal state to which the NFL strives):

“…representing, respecting and celebrating a wide range of human differences, personal experiences and cultural backgrounds for the benefit of the individuals and the company as a whole … intended to be broad and inclusive of all individual differences … in the Diversity Mosaic: race, gender, ethnicity, age, ability, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, socio-economic status, parental status, marital status, family structure, physical appearance, geographic location, organizational level/ functionality, educational background, language/accent, work experience, learning style, personal style … the range of characteristics that define human diversity and the various differences that must be respected.” FRO M N F L D I V E R S I T Y S T R AT E G I C P L A N - FEBRU ARY 1 0 , 2 0 0 3

Tactics from the NFL Playbook:

“... 3. Train, Educate and Learn – Vigorously pursue programs that train and educate employees about the benefits and requirements of diversity; infuse the organization with systems that foster continuous learning on diversity and apply these learnings to bring about ongoing diversity advancement and active shifting of values, attitudes and behaviors …” [EDITOR’S EMPHASIS]

NFL—One World

In 2004, the league kicked off a promotion in communities nationwide… the NFL, Scholastic, four International Fulbright Students (including an Iraqi and South African), and Boston-area children announced the launch of One World: Connecting Communities, Cultures, and Classrooms, a unique education program designed to encourage cross-cultural understanding for students in fourth through sixth grades. Created by Scholastic with consultation from Facing History and Ourselves, One World is an interactive, multi-tiered program designed for educators and parents to use with their children to encourage dialogue about respecting each other, valuing diversity and ethnic differences, and taking positive actions to build stronger, more inclusive communities. Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Belinda Lerner

Senior Director / National Football League

Belinda Lerner C O M P A N Y : National Football League (NFL) T I T L E : Senior Director, Employee Relations, Learning & Development TIME


C U R R E N T P O S I T I O N : 3 years

E D U C A T I O N : BA: Barnard College; JD: Hofstra University Law F I R S T J O B : Research assistant for the Garth Group, a political consulting firm

F A M I L Y : Jim Gorra, husband of 13 years; two children: Benjamin, 9 and Caroline, 8

I N T E R E S T S : Exercise – running and general ‘gym rat’ HOW DID YOU AT THE NFL?



I was hired by the NFL in 1993 as a Labor Relations Counsel working for the NFL Management Council. In that position I represented NFL clubs in arbitrations and provided them with advice on labor and employment law matters. While in that role, I negotiated the NFL-NFL Referees Association collective bargaining agreement; was appointed as a co-compliance officer for the NFL’s ethics policy; and was the primary in-house employment law attorney, handling harassment and discrimination investigations. In 2002 I made a lateral move to the Human Resources Department and became the senior director of employee relations. Last year my role was expanded so that I now also head development and oversee the learning and development function.




I’ve never had a formal mentor, but have been fortunate to be surrounded by people who have been extremely supportive and have been willing to be role models as well as provide me with career advice and counseling.

WHAT ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AND STRATEGIES FOR ADVANCING DIVERSIT Y AND INCLUSION IN YOUR ORGANIZATION? As the senior director of HR and the co-chair of the Diversity Council, I have many opportunities to oversee, create and develop programs that advance diversity. We continue to use the Council as a sounding board and as a source for creating new programs. We continue to hone our hiring processes, including outreach, to ensure we access talented diverse candidates. We continue to examine our programs and our progress to make sure we are advancing in the areas of diversity education, awareness, retention and development.

H A V E Y O U A N Y “ M OT TO S ” TO R A L LY Y O U R T E A M R E G A R D I N G D & I ? As part of our league-wide diversity training with the National Coalition Building Institute, we created a special logo of a football with multi-color laces. All participants received a logo pin and received a picture frame with the logo on it. Also, the Diversity Council has just created a special diversity masthead for all its communications: a picture of an NFL team coming together in celebration. The masthead will be the ‘logo’ of our diversity initiatives. Also, our philosophy as stated in the Diversity Council’s strategic plan is “Diversity is everyone’s issue.”

HOW ARE MANAGERS MEASURED IN TERMS OF PERFORMANCE? We operate under a pay-for-performance system under which employees are informally evaluated mid-term (‘HalfTime Review’) and then formally at the end of our fiscal year. Diversity is one of the five League values (along with Integrity, Performance and Teamwork, Tradition and Innovation, and Learning). The year-end appraisal has included a section in which managers need to assess their employees’ commitment to diversity as part of their annual review, so such conduct would positively influence compensation.



We have made tremendous strides since my arrival in HR three years ago. If I were to select an area for more improvement, I think I would like to see a larger representation of women and minorities at senior-level positions. I think it sends an enormously powerful message to our employees if they can see people like themselves as key decision makers in the organization.


Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

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Mission of the NFL “To present the NFL meetings and NFL Business Summit meeting. e) Multicultural Calendar celebrations: The Diversity Council developed a Multicultural Calendar that recognizes various cultural monthly events. Celebrations—including speaking engagements and fundraiser/awareness campaigns—have been aligned with Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Pan Asian Month, Military Awareness Month, Gay Pride Month and others. Processes have been revised so that they are now automated (accessible on-line through NFL.com) and can cast a wide net to capture diverse applicants. In addition, all hiring is processed through HR, and interview panels are established to ensure a well-rounded interview process.


Three years ago the NFL implemented an HRIS System so that it can now track information on all its employees and chart its progress.


How does your organization deal with/train for cross-cultural competencies for its leadership? The HR Department recently developed a management training program, referred to as NFL Boot Camp. Within the Boot Camp structure we have developed and executed 2- to 3-hour management training modules on employment law basics (overview of employment laws with an emphasis on discrimination and harassment); power hiring (improving and expanding

our interviewing skills to ensure a broad outreach that will produce the most talented applicants and a finetuned selection process that factors in diversity); and performance feedback (instructional as well as videotape feedback on how to effectively communicate with employees to develop better leaders). We have also just completed Diversity Training, in which a trained NFL employee co-led a 4-hour diversity workshop with an experienced trainer. The focus of the workshop was to improve employees’ understanding of their own histories and those of their colleagues, and then provide them with skill-building exercises so that they have the resources to identify and constructively address/communicate controversial issues relating to diversity.

How are decisions about diversity made? For the three years it has been operational, our Diversity Council develops proposals that are presented to our Executive Staff for approval. A vast majority of those proposals are then implemented through Human Resources. I have been co-chair since the beginning, and my current co-chair is Seth Rabinowitz (previously, it was Guy Troupe and Derrick Crawford). The NFL’s COO, Roger Goodell, is the executive sponsor and regularly attends the meetings. The NFL’s senior vice president of HR, Nancy Gill, is the HR advisor. There are approximately 12 members from various levels and segments of the organization.

and its teams at a level that attracts the broadest audience and makes NFL football the best sports entertainment in the world.” How does your company gauge inclusion of employees? Our HRIS System enables us to track our employee composition and to chart our progress. We have no specific numbers/goals, but our employee base is favorable when compared to other companies known for their diversity practices. We are constantly refining our processes to ensure that we are broadening our outreach and accessing top talent.

How are employee opinions solicited? The Diversity Council and the HR Department are charged with obtaining opinions. To facilitate this we created a Dialogue on Diversity web page as part of the NFL’s intranet site. This enables employees to submit diversityrelated questions to the Diversity Council. It is accessible to all of our offices. In addition, our Diversity Council members regularly speak with and advise us on employee ‘buzz’ regarding diversity issues.

Profiles in Diversity Journal


September/October 2005


Fifteen international guests participated in the 2005 Olympic Public Relations workshop at the Colorado Springs U.S. Olympics complex. Funding for these attendees was provided by the International Olympic Committee and the Pan American Sports Organization.

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Mary Watkins U.S. Olympic Committee Going for Gold Few sports venues have the longevity, dramatic history, and world visibility of the Olympics. Mary Watkins tells how the United States Olympic Committee sees diversity and inclusion as the natural extension of basic Olympic ideals and the Olympic movement.

ORGANIZATION Profile Please give your definition of diversity.

COMPANY United States Olympic Committee (USOC) HEADQUARTERS Colorado Springs, CO WEBSITE www.usolympicteam.com; www.usparalympic.org BUSINESS The USOC, comprised of 77 member organizations, is the coordinating body for Olympic-related athletic activity in the United States.

We define diversity as individuality. We respect and value the USOC’s diversity and consider it one of our strengths. We are committed to maintaining a diverse workforce wherein employees are hired, retained, compensated, disciplined and promoted based on their contribution to the USOC, and all are treated with dignity and respect. The USOC is committed to providing an equal opportunity work environment, not only to be in full compliance with the law but also to be consistent with Olympic ideals. Our employees provide us with a wide complement of talents that contribute greatly to our success. We make reasonable accommodations to the known physical and mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities.

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Mary Watkins

Managing Director / U.S. Olympic Committee

Your organization obviously has a global presence; how does your specific group fit into the international arena of sports? The USOC currently employs approximately 374 individuals within the United States. The majority of our employees are located at our headquarters and Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. We have a staff of one located in Washington, DC, and one employee at an Olympic Education Center at Marquette, MI. We also have Olympic Training Centers at Chula Vista, CA, and Lake Placid, NY

Association of International Sports Federations.

Can you give examples of how these affiliated groups work together worldwide?

The USOC is continually working with host cities for the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games. Currently these sites are Turin, Italy; Beijing, China; and London, England. In addition, the USOC is working with the sites for upcoming Pan American Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2007) and the recently completed World University Games (Izmir, Turkey). The USOC partiCompliance with EEO requirecipated with the IOC, the Olympic Council ments supports the creation of of Asia, the U.S. a diverse workforce, while a Department of State, and the United Nations belief in the value of diversity Development Program maintains and nourishes it. to formulate plans to develop sport programs Olympic and Paralympic athletes in Iraq. The USOC and coaches provide a naturally played a leading role in bringing athletes, diverse population. coaches and officials from the Iraqi National Archery Team to New York City to compete in the 42nd (host to two Olympic Winter Games). World Archery Championships. At various The USOC is a member of the times, Iraqi athletes from archery and International Olympic Committee other sports have trained at an (IOC) and the Pan American Sports Olympic Training Center to prepare for Organization (PASO). We currently the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, have three individuals serving as voting Greece. members of the IOC who also serve as USOC Board members. In addition, the USOC maintains an International How does the USOC keep up Affairs division that works to develop with diversity development and improve our standing in the inter- throughout the organization? national sport community by building We seek a diverse workforce by maxrelationships with the IOC, PASO, imizing the exposure of our job openinternational sports federations, ings to diverse populations, and we national Olympic committees, the maintain our workforce by providing Association of National Olympic a performance-based pay structure. Committees and the General Compliance with EEO requirements 30

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

supports the creation of a diverse workforce, while a belief in the value of diversity maintains and nourishes it. The USOC works with member organizations to encourage their commitment to diversity in the selection of their staffs, coaches and athletes. We require an annual accounting of their efforts to promote diversity within their organizations.

Does the USOC have any unique opportunities for implementing diversity programs? Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches provide a naturally diverse population. Though Paralympic sport has been a part of the USOC programs since 1988, the more recent expansion and visibility provided the USOC with an opportunity to impact the diversity of our athlete base and our workforce. The USOC is currently working with U.S. military groups on a program designed to expose service men and women with permanent injuries to Paralympic sports. The program will educate and provide hands-on experience in a variety of sports such as goalball (a sport for blind athletes) and adapted sports such as wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball. The purpose of the U.S. Paralympic Military Academy is to provide these individuals with sport as a rehabilitation tool and to help improve the quality of their lives. We also maintain a similar Paralympic Academy for non-military people. The academies develop an extensive athlete base for future Paralympic competitions such as the Paralympic Games in Beijing, China in 2008.

Do you have any examples of how tapping diversity has yielded significant synergies? The USOC provides a work environment that welcomes and embraces the strengths of our differences and sup-

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Sports Organizations


The 2004 U.S. Paralympic Team elected 2000 judo gold medalist Kevin Szott as the flag bearer to lead the USA delegation into the Opening Ceremony in Athens, Greece. Szott, who became visually impaired at the age of ten, holds 31 national sports titles and is only the second athlete ever to medal in four different sports at the Paralympic Games.

ports involvement. We recently provided Paralympic athletes with our Elite Athlete Health Insurance Plan, and they can participate in our Olympic Job Opportunities Program, which employs athletes in positions that allow them time away from the job for training and competition. For example, Home Depot, an Olympic sponsor, hires many of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes through this program.

How does your organization promote diversity throughout its ranks? The USOC regularly trains employees at every level on respect for diversity, anti-harassment, and workplace respect for all employees. We advertise our position openings to the widest populations possible. The USOC also sponsors F.L.A.M.E. (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere), a unique program which annually invites youth minority student leaders from locations around the country to participate in a comprehensive four-day leadership program focused on educating and exposing youth to the Olympic movement and its ideals. The program is held at the

Passing the Torch … The U.S. Olympic Committee Business: The USOC, comprised of 77 member organizations, is the coordinating body for Olympic-related athletic activity in the United States. The vision of the USOC has been to assist in finding opportunities for every American to participate in sport, regardless of gender, race, age, geography or physical ability. The USOC is unique in that it receives no continuous federal government subsidy, but rather is funded by contributions from private citizens and corporate support. The USOC also operates a direct marketing program of USOC-licensed apparel and items through distribution of catalogs, flyers, magazine advertising and an online store on the USOC’s web site. The Olympic Torch: Symbolizes spirit, knowledge and life. The Five Interlocking Rings: The Olympic symbol represents the union of the five original major continents (Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe) which competed in the Olympic Games and the meeting of the athletes from all over the world who compete at the Games. The Olympic Creed: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Mary Watkins

Managing Director / U.S. Olympic Committee


Mary L. Watkins C O M P A N Y : United States Olympic Committee (USOC)

T I T L E : Managing Director, Human Resources TIME IN CURRENT POSITION: Since February 2005



I joined the USOC in July 1985 as a human resources administrator, subsequently serving as the division’s associate director and director of Human Resources Administration. I was promoted to managing director, Human Resources in February 2005. In my current position, my responsibilities encompass all of the USOC’s human relations management, including staffing and recruitment, wage and salary administration, benefits and welfare plans, performance management and employee relations.

WHAT ARE THE STRATEGIES YOU EMPLOY TO MOVE DIVERSIT Y FORWARD? The USOC promotes diversity with focus on management commitment, statistical analysis, accountability, training, communication and employee development.

H A V E Y O U A N Y ‘ M OT TO S ’ TO R A L LY YOUR TEAM REGARDING D&I? The USOC Mission is to support U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes in achieving sustained competitive excellence and to preserve the Olympic ideals, and thereby inspire all Americans.

HOW IS INCLUSION MODELED IN YOUR OWN TEAM, AND HOW ARE YOU MEASURED? The Human Resources Division boasts a diverse team of staff members. Managers are rated on a variety of competencies including staff leadership, strategic thinking and management.


Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Olympic medalists and other world-class athletes lead presentations and discussions on leadership and share lessons on the Olympic ideals of vision, discipline, commitment, persistence and focus.

How does your company gauge inclusion of employees and fairness? From the start, we work to ensure a diverse applicant pool and make hiring decisions based solely on applicant qualifications. An essential element of our diversity initiative is evaluating results and measuring progress. Monthly reports analyzing our employment ratios are used to analyze and compare EEO statistics to those of our community. Current program tracking includes EEO reporting and exit questionnaire tracking as well as hiring, promotion, turnover and compensation statistics. We maintain an Electronic Suggestion Box as well as a confidential Employee Call Line. The USOC also maintains a confidential telephone line where anyone (employees, volunteers, athletes or any concerned individuals) can report perceived ethical violations.

Please describe your method for orienting new hires into your culture. The goal of the USOC’s Employee Orientation Program is to efficiently accomplish necessary new-hire administrative tasks and provide new employees with an understanding of the Olympic movement, our mission, vision and values, culture and the employee’s role within the organization. Components of the program include an Olympic film, a welcome and discussion of our mission by the CEO or designated representative, a review of the USOC structure and organization chart, and a tour of the Olympic

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Far left: USOC 2004 Coaches of the Year (left to right) Mike Hulett, (Paralympic / Sitting Volleyball), Dwayne Miller (Developmental / Track and Field), Mike Candrea (National / Women’s Softball), and Barry Hunter (Volunteer / Boxing).


Left: 2002 Olympic speedskating gold and silver medalist Derek Parra (near right) joined 2003 F.L.A.M.E. participants (left to right) Luis Castillo, Evonne Royston, and Saheed Ibraheem on the ice at the Colorado Springs World Arena. The trio of young leaders was nominated to the F.L.A.M.E. program by John Hancock, a U.S. Olympic Team Partner.

Complex. ‘Olympics 101’ is a session held with new employees wherein top USOC staff provide an overview of their areas so new employees get a clear sense of the organization. The USOC follows up the orientation process with surveys with new employees, supervisors, and HR staff to provide us with an assessment of the effectiveness of the orientation program.

Can you name specific ways your company supports upward development toward management positions? We ensure a variety of training and educational opportunities which are available to all employees. The USOC provides tuition assistance for employees working toward bachelor and master degrees. Positions are opened internally, and we solicit employee applications for those positions. The USOC maintains a nationally-recognized intern program open to students from all accredited colleges and universities within the United States. The program provides a large pool of applicants to the USOC and our member organizations, both at the entry level and for middle and upper management positions.


We’ve come a long way… Women Inclusion: A couple thousand years ago, women were barred from watching or competing in the Olympic Games and could even be put to death if they were caught there. Today, not only are women allowed to watch and compete, they are encouraged to do so. Age Inclusion: The only age limit for Olympic competitors are minimum age requirements prescribed for health and safety reasons in the competition rules of certain International Federations. Take note, dear Readers: there are no general restrictions for an “upper” age limit. Abilities Inclusion: The Paralympic Games (not the Special Olympics) are held for elite athletes with physical or visual impairments, representing the four international federations of the blind, paraplegics and quadriplegics, people with cerebral palsy, and amputees and others (including dwarfs). The first Paralympic Games were held in Rome, Italy, in 1960, and have been held in the same city or country hosting the Olympics since then. Focus on Respect: Newspaper in Education, NIE, is an international program begun in 1955 to improve reading, spelling and writing abilities using newspapers in schools. NIE and the USOC partnered on several educational projects over the years including Focus on Respect. The students’ materials for this program develop issues such as self-respect, teamwork, integrity, discipline, tolerance, fairness, courage, and respect for others through stories about Olympic athletes who exemplify those ideals: Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Pablo Morales, Picabo Street and many others.

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Karlyn Lothery U.S. Tennis Association Match Points Karlyn has been lobbing them over the net since she was four; here she talks about changing the image of tennis to mirror the demographics of the country.

ORGANIZATION Profile Please give your definition of diversity. For the USTA, diversity refers to differences of culture, ethnicity, race, gender, beliefs, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, family status, physical ability, appearance, and ideas.

What is the USTA’s global presence? We have 265 national-office employees, plus 17 sections which include more than 200 additional staff members. As a not-for-profit association, the USTA also relies on the hard work and efforts of our more than 2200 national and sectional volunteers. The USTA is solely focused on growing tennis in America. We look to make all areas of the sport, and the business of the USTA, totally inclusive by taking note of the country’s ever-changing demographics and keeping all avenues open when recruiting for available positions.

COMPANY The United States Tennis Association (USTA) HEADQUARTERS White Plains, NY WEBSITE www.usta.com BUSINESS National governing body for the sport of tennis whose mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis.

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Karlyn Lothery

Chief Diversity Officer / United States Tennis Association

Does USTA Does the the USTA have any have any particular diversity particular diversity challenges? challenges? The USTA is working to break the image of tennis as a ‘country club’ sport and to demonstrate that it is an activity that can be played at a public school, park or club. In fact, 70% of tennis is played on public courts. Our goal is to make tennis accessible to all ages, genders, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. The USTA continues to actively recruit from a diverse pool of candi-

throughout the organization’s staff and volunteer base. We continue to encourage and offer training to help facilitate the process of outreach and inclusion. Additionally, the USTA leadership is making a significant effort and commitment to diversity and promoting total inclusion in the sport. First, the USTA currently has three people responsible for driving the USTA Diversity Plan, with an intent to expand to five. Additionally, as recruiters are hired and jobs are posted,

“The USTA is working to bring diversity to all aspects of the business: from grassroots recreational players, to job candidates and vendors, to the ever important community and professional tennis players.”

dates for staff positions and volunteers. Our challenge is getting job seekers, and more importantly, career seekers, to recognize the USTA as an attractive employer that owns and operates the single largest annual sporting event in the world, while promoting the growth of tennis in communities. Opportunities are everywhere—candidates just need to visit www.usta.com to open the door. Diversity is the key to growing the participant base and industry.

How does USTA take action toward diversity? With a fairly new diversity initiative, our goals and intentions are known



we’re reaching to new outlets—for example, the National Black MBAs, iHispano, the Posse Foundation, etc. We have committed to casting the widest net to achieve results.

How does the USTA select managers open to diversity? Do USTA leaders get evaluated/ compensated according to efforts toward diversity? The USTA continues to seek the best candidates for every position; we are quite clear in our communication that diversity is a key strategic priority in our discussions with prospective candidates.

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

Our Board of Directors, USTA Committee Chairs, staff, and volunteers have all attended a series of extensive diversity training sessions and seminars—to date: more than 30 trainings reaching more than 500 people. We don’t comment on matters regarding compensation.

How are decisions about diversity made? As an organization that is made up of volunteers and staff, we have a unique partnership in this area. The position of Chief Diversity Officer has the primary responsibility for leading this initiative—to make recommendations and suggestions, and generate new ways to tap into the community’s resources. Volunteer counterparts are the chairpersons of the Multicultural Participation Committee (MPC) and the Hispanic Participation Task Force (HPTF), respectively. The MPC and HPTF are volunteers who are passionate about tennis, have strong ties in the multicultural community, and are able to provide advice, contacts, and strategy to enhance the execution of the plan. The Executive Director, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, as well as the rest of the Board, make the final decision on all policy and budgetary ideas and concepts.

What is the vision for the USTA in five years? The goal is for the USTA to grow participation with the sport—playing, watching, attending—whereby the tennis demographics mirror the population of the country. Additionally, the USTA looks at success as having its internal staff, volunteer base, and leadership mirror the national demographics.

Special Feature

Sports Organizations

How does your organization gauge inclusion of employees?

Karlyn Lothery’s ‘MENTORING’ Memo

Prior to the creation of the Office of Diversity in 2004, the USTA conducted awareness and attitude studies to measure the greatest areas of opportunity for growth. We will continue to conduct this study bi-annually to measure how well the initiative is progressing. Since we are in our first full year of the initiative, the next survey will be at the end of 2006, measuring internal and external attitudes, awareness, results, greatest successes, and continued areas of opportunity.

Diversity training is more than a feel-good move. While the social case for diversity and inclusion is valid, the business case is far more convincing. Training should briefly address the basics of recognizing the differences that exist between individuals and focus more applicability to one’s job. It’s time for diversity trainings to focus more on the ‘how’. How can you tap

How is success in diversity measured? The goal is for the staff and volunteer base to reflect society. You can also track progress through industry surveys looking at all aspects of tennis participation: one in three tennis players is either African American or Hispanic; one in four new players is Hispanic.

Are employees more involved and moving upward, and in what ways? Absolutely. The diversity initiative is a corporate priority—one that is supported and embraced at every level. We make every effort to actively solicit dialogue and face-to-face discussion. Many of our managers believe in professional development as a means to enhance an employee’s skills so they may achieve the next level of success. In fact the USTA has a full Staff Development Workshop every year wherein all 500+ employees in the national and sectional offices get together to learn new tools, techniques and tactics to help them be more successful in their duties. From leadership and presenting to how to generate a buzz around

into a new multicultural community? How can you begin cultivating new relationships that are strong and long lasting? How can you sell the concept of tennis to a group that hasn’t considered it before? How can a manager effectively lead his or her staff in promoting and practicing inclusion? Answer those, and you’ll achieve greater buy-in, progress, and success.

diversity, skills training happens through a series of workshops and team-building sessions.

stand that inclusion truly means ‘everybody in’, the concept is more readily accepted.

Have you encountered those who perceive inclusion programs for underrepresented groups as being exclusionary for others?

How do you educate/promote diversity and inclusion for vendors, customers, or the general public?

This thought only exists for those who do not understand the USTA’s policy for inclusion. Simply put, we’re moving tennis from a singles court to a doubles court, making more space for more people. When people under-

We have completely revamped our purchasing strategy to solicit bids from a wide variety of businesses. The USTA has also started participating in more vendor fairs to increase awareness about opportunities to work with the national and sectional offices.

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Karlyn Lothery

Chief Diversity Officer / United States Tennis Association

Karlyn Lothery C O M P A N Y : United States Tennis Association (USTA) T I T L E : Chief Diversity Officer TIME


C U R R E N T P O S I T I O N : 1.5 years

E D U C A T I O N : Bachelor’s degree (marketing): Georgetown University F I R S T J O B : In high school: shoe salesperson at Kinney Shoes; 1st job after college: television news reporter, WCSC-TV, Charleston, SC


Pay it forward. Someone helped you along the way; return the favor by helping someone else.

And, if you see good work, compliment the employee to their supervisor. Employers can’t be everywhere, so make sure you share the good news.


R E A D I N G : One Shot, by Lee Child (mystery thriller)

F A M I L Y : Father and brother in Atlanta, GA; mother in Berwyn, PA I N T E R E S T S : Tennis, of course; basketball (college and pro); murder mysteries, real and fictional: television, books or films; anything that helps kids get a better education. I currently work with high school students trying to get into college; we work on essays that appeal to admissions officers, course selection, interviewing techniques, and how to survive the first year away from home.


H E R O : My parents: together they taught me the all-too-important lesson that nothing is ever

handed to you. Work hard, study hard, set a strategy and success will come. It never happens overnight, but it will come.


P I C T U R E : Crash, the 2005 film that explores every avenue of intolerance, acceptance, first

impressions, stereotypes, life’s burdens and blessings. It tests the viewers’ limits, and challenges their core feelings, every second of the film.


M U S I C : Classical, if I’m deep in thought; R&B for all other background.


G A M E : Too easy—would I say anything but tennis? (I’ve been playing since I was four years old.)


M U N C H I E S : Twix and Nestle Crunch w/caramel

C H A R I T Y : National Multiple Sclerosis Society: they’re working on a cure for a disease that

impacted my grandmother’s life for more than 40 years.


Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

Special Feature

PROFESSIONAL Profile Where does your personal belief in inclusion come from? If you’ve ever moved to a new town, without knowing a single person there, you know what’s it’s like to be the odd person out, or worse, the person living in the proverbial fish bowl, where everyone looks at you without muttering a word. I moved a lot as a kid, and at one point thought I’d never get out of the fishbowl. We all do at some point, but it was always easier when someone else was willing to meet me halfway. While it’s natural for most people to drift toward those who are like us in some way, it’s important to note that being inclusive is more than opening the door—you have to remember to invite people in.

How did you get to your present position? I started out as a television news reporter in Charleston, SC, and later moved on to become an anchor for the Five O’clock News in Augusta, GA. Then I transitioned to a career as a consultant in Washington, DC, where I worked with not-for-profit, corporate, government, and medical organizations in the areas of diversity, crisis management, media relations, and communication skills for leadership. When Zina Garrison (Olympic gold medalist and 2004 Olympic tennis coach) told me the USTA was creating this position, I jumped at the opportunity because it utilizes all of my skills. The Chief Diversity Officer’s position goes beyond HR and supplier diversity; it reaches into public relations as well as player, market, and business development. I’m working with the Executive Director and President to effect significant and positive change throughout the organization; this is one team of which I’m proud to be a member.

Who were/are your mentors? My father, Eugene Lothery, is the best businessman I know. He ran television and radio stations for nearly 20 years after more than 10 years in media sales. Dad had some pretty simple rules of operation when it came to business: • Never be afraid of hard work; always strive to exceed expectations. • Work twice as hard as the other guy (or girl) and you’ll make it to the top. • Don’t look for a big payoff without being willing to work for it and prove yourself first. • No matter how successful you are, never be afraid to pitch in, roll your sleeves up, and do some work. • Be a consensus builder; you’ll get to the goal much quicker. • No one is entitled to anything; you have to earn every piece of success you desire. • Be nice. The people you see on the way up the ladder could be the same that you see on the way down. • Do something nice for someone, and don’t tell anyone. That proves you meant to do it for the right reasons. • Assume the best in someone until they show you something different.

What reading do you recommend for aspiring leaders? Career Warfare by David D’Alessandro; Generating Buy-In by Mark Walton; Leading Change by John Kotter; Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois Frankel; Winning by Jack Welch; and My Losing Season by Pat Conroy.

How would you describe your style of leadership? It’s an educational partnership. A true team has a leader who encourages the team to learn as much as they can, test

Sports Organizations

their own creativity, and stretch their limits. A leader should be willing to provide the resources to help the team improve their skills and offer input in a comfortable, safe environment. Only with free-flowing ideas from everyone can we pick out the best ideas and map out the best plans for success.

What are your specific responsibilities or strategies for advancing diversity and inclusion? As defined in the USTA Diversity Plan: to strengthen the internal and external image, strengthen leadership commitment to diversity, establish fiscal clarity, institutionalize strategic partnerships, and develop and provide diversity training to the USTA family. To make each of these areas happen takes a great degree of communication (of expectations, goals, challenges, solutions, best practices, etc.).

How do you and your team model diversity and inclusion ? Modeling diversity is at the core of what we do. There is a formal goalsetting and review process each year for all employees, and diversity is included in those goals.

What accomplishment brings you pride, and what would you improve for diversity at USTA? My proudest moment was getting each of the 43 Committee Chairpersons (volunteers) to give me three hours of their time to actively participate in a diversity training, set a diversity goal for each of their committees, and commit to three things they can personally do to encourage diversity in their year on the committee. The Diversity Plan launched in 2004 is at the beginning stages; we have a lot of work to do.

Profiles in Diversity Journal


September/October 2005


Ilana Kloss World TeamTennis Advantage All Kloss continues her championship career in tennis, now overseeing the 12-team WTT Pro League and the nationwide grassroots Recreational League programs, with “all people contributing equally.” By focusing on national sponsorships, strategic planning, media partnerships and expansion of the Pro League during the past 15 years, Kloss has been responsible for generating more than $20 million in sponsorships for WTT. COMPANY World TeamTennis HEADQUARTERS New York, NY WEBSITE www.wtt.com BUSINESS Professional co-ed sports league

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Ilana Kloss

CEO/Commissioner / World TeamTennis

“We really need to have both sexes and all people contributing equally to a world where anyone, regardless of gender, can win. That’s the idea behind World TeamTennis.”

Please give your definition of diversity. Diversity within the World TeamTennis context is founded on the creation of a level playing field for all, with no limitations based on gender, race, geography or economic factors. Diversity and equality go hand in hand, and one cannot exist without the other. It is that belief on which World TeamTennis was founded, and I believe that’s why we continue to grow 30 years later.

Please describe your company’s global presence. The international outreach of WTT is based on international television coverage of our professional league. Currently, WTT matches are seen in markets throughout South Africa, Canada, the Middle East, Germany, and Australia. In addition, we are broadcast on ESPN2 and several major regional cable networks throughout the U.S. Future plans include having WTTaffiliated leagues or events in Europe, Asia and South Africa. Additionally, our player roster represents the global community with players from all over the world including Israel, Thailand, Switzerland, Paraguay, Romania, Bulgaria, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Russia, Germany, Venezuela, and the United States.

How does WTT maintain good diversity in working relationships? We have a very diverse group of owners. The philosophy of WTT is to look for


diversity at all levels, be it coaches, owners, players, or officials. We look to align ourselves with partners at all levels that embrace that philosophy.

Are there particular challenges or opportunities for diversity at WTT? One of our biggest challenges is to market our brand of tennis to a wide range of constituents. We want to deliver a product that is serious enough to be respected by the tennis purist, but we also want to expose as many converts to WTT as possible. This is a team concept, and it is extremely important to us that we push that message and create a format that showcases men and women competing together on a level playing field. It is so very important to us that boys and girls see that there is a direct benefit to having men and women compete together in a team format. On the partners side, WTT sponsors tend to be loyal and continued on page 44


Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

Ilana remains active, playing tennis and jogging several times a week. She plays in the Masters (over 35) events at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She won the Wimbledon over-35 doubles championship in July 2001 and July 2003, and was the U.S. Open over-35 doubles and mixed doubles champion in Sept. 1999.

Special Feature

Sports Organizations

World TeamTennis — All Inclusive Pro League With a unique gender-equity team concept Billie Jean King and Larry King created in the early 1970s, the WTT Pro League presented by Advanta enters its 30th season of play in 2005. The format features co-ed teams competing in men’s and women’s doubles, men’s and women’s singles, and mixed doubles, as well as no-ad scoring, substitution and coaching. Recreation Started in 1985, the WTT Recreational League programs have provided playing opportunities for more than 490,000 tennis players of all ages and abilities across the United States. [Rec leagues] … run year-round at public parks, tennis clubs, schools, college campuses, military bases, corporations, camps, residential communities and tennis facilities in more than 1,000 U.S. cities. On Campus World TeamTennis has been selected as the format for the USA Team Tennis On Campus program. World TeamTennis, along with the USTA, will be assisting the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, and the various USTA Sections in bringing non-varsity college tennis players together to experience the fun, fast-paced, co-ed action that is the WTT team format. Corporate Play Player benefits of corporate play include: opportunity to play with coworkers and friends; competition with other local companies; co-ed team play; all ability levels are welcomed. Partners For sponsors, all of the passion and excitement of World TeamTennis can be linked to a wide range of existing and new marketing opportunities—from grassroots programs to national initiatives, product launches to corporate leadership, community efforts to consumer involvement.

Mission of WTT

World TeamTennis

is dedicated to

promoting the sport

of tennis as a sport

for everyone and

anyone by tapping

the fun, competitive,

social and entertain-

ing spirit that comes

from being part

of a team.


Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Ilana Kloss

CEO/Commissioner / World TeamTennis

Ilana Kloss C O M P A N Y : World TeamTennis (WTT) T I T L E : CEO/Commissioner T I M E I N C U R R E N T P O S I T I O N : 4 years as CEO/Commissioner: started in 1985 as Player Liaison; took over as the WTT Vice President in 1987; succeeded Billie Jean King as WTT Executive Director in 1991; named CEO/Commissioner in February 2001.

E D U C A T I O N : High school—turned professional during 12th grade and started touring on the women’s tennis pro tour for 11 years F I R S T J O B : Player recruiting for WTT—Player Liaison for WTT in 1985 P H I L O S O P H Y : Treat others as you would like to be treated. WHAT I'M

R E A D I N G : The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

F A M I L Y : Parents, younger sister I N T E R E S T S : Jogging, travel, reading CHILDHOOD MY

H E R O : Billie Jean King

M U S I C : Elton John, Gladys Knight


G A M E S : Backgammon, pool


M U N C H I E S : almonds, Starbucks

C H A R I T Y : Women’s Sports Foundation

P E R S O N ( S ) I ’ D L I K E T O G E T T O K N O W O V E R L U N C H : Holly Hunter, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela extremely supportive once they get involved in our unique brand of tennis. Admittedly, at times we feel like we need to work twice as hard as our competitors from traditional sports organizations to sell sponsorships. However, once we get a sponsor onboard they tend to stay longer than the average sports sponsor and they are more likely to activate unique marketing programs at WTT events than they might at other sporting events.

ship, and in our office on a daily basis. Following each season, we have formal and informal reviews from the staff, players, sponsors, and our marketing partners. Everyone’s input is important, and we know we can continue to grow if we continue to face change head on and deal with the challenges and opportunities presented to us.

How does WTT gauge inclusion?

Like many small businesses who have low turnover rates, we are probably top-heavy if you look at titles only. However, our small staff size allows every employee a chance to get his or her hands on virtually every project in the organization. We do not put

WTT is not about quotas. WTT is all about having people who believe in our product and are committed to our model of equality. We employ the team approach on the court in our matches, with our franchise owner-


Are there ways WTT supports upward development?

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

people or things in a box and, as the old adage goes, it is critical we ‘play well with others’.

PROFESSIONAL Profile What was your career path? I started as a professional athlete and that was how my first job in player recruitment for WTT came about. It pays to be in a business you understand and working for a product you love. Transition was easier through the management ranks at WTT due to my unique experience on the other side of the court.

Special Feature

Sports Organizations

Who were/are your mentors, and what about their style influenced you? First, Billie Jean King—because of her honesty, leadership, passion, commitment to equality and diversity at every level, her ability to build a great team on and off the court, and her perseverance to stick to the vision. Also, Ed Woolard, former Chairman and CEO of DuPont, because of his wisdom and experience dealing within the corporate world which was different from my background as a professional athlete. He does it all with a great deal of integrity. Having access to someone like him has provided me with invaluable insight. I’m mentoring today—through my work at Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) or WTT, whether it’s young athletes or employees, I try to give back and guide them to a strong professional career. I also try to focus on mentoring internally to help people grow within the company. Being on the board of the WSF, I have the rewarding opportunity to mentor young athletes so they understand how important it is to give back when they are done competing. top to bottom:

How do you lead diversity and how is that leadership measured? We lead by example. I’m measured primarily on P&L and growth of the business.

Are there sectors you feel still need improvement? Absolutely—our co-founder (Billie Jean King) believes that we can never have too much diversity. Everyone learns from other cultures, so we continue to strive to broaden ourselves. It is certainly a challenge in a smaller company, but it is definitely a priority in our decision-making process. PDJ

Billie Jean King, Chris Evert and Ilana Kloss at the WTT 30th Reunion Party on September 8, 2005 at the USTA National Tennis Center (during the U.S. Open). Ilana at Wimbledon 2003 where she won the over-35 doubles championship with Kathy Rinaldi. Ilana Kloss speaking at the WTT 30th Reunion Party.

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Finding a Mentor By Catalyst Influential mentoring relationships are critical in navigating anyone’s career path. Catalyst expands the framework for what constitutes mentoring and explains how self assessment, open-mindedness and commitment can optimize the opportunities.


aving a mentor is a key to success that many women in today’s workforce—especially women of color—simply do not have. And it’s no surprise. With relatively few women in top leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies, and the time pressures many working women confront, finding a mentor may seem impracticable. Openmindedness about potential mentors is worthwhile. A good mentor can be a man, a woman, a person from a background different from your own, or even your boss. The most important factor is that you and your mentor can comfortably exchange feedback and ideas. In any case, don’t wait around for mentors to come to you; be proactive in finding them yourself.

Define your goals. The first step in finding a mentor is figuring out what kind of coaching and advice you need. Make a list, and put things in order of importance. Do you need advice on how to move to the next level? How to manage your support staff? How to write a report, press release, or presentation? Do you need the scoop on politics at the organization or on what it takes to rise to the top? Do you want insight on how to break into a new field?


Make a list of potential mentors. Next, match your needs with people who might be able to address them. You want someone who can assess your performance—someone in the loop who believes in you and will help you get opportunities. Keep in mind that one person can rarely help you address all of your needs. Instead of searching for one perfect mentor, strive to become the mentee of several talented people. Think about people at your organization who can address some of your objectives. Who has had the experience you’re seeking and knows the path required? Who has the skills you want to acquire? Who’s the best manager? Who’s the most effective at meetings? Who has his/her ear to the ground? Make a list of all of these people. And of course, think about who has the influence to be able to help you move ahead.

Look inside and outside your company. Find out whether or not your company has a formal mentoring program. One of the best places to find a mentor is in your own organization, but if you are unable to find a mentor internally, look outside. Consider everyone in your network: relatives; friends of the family; for-

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

mer bosses, co-workers, or professors; etc. Whom do you admire and respect? Who has already been a role model for you? Also check out your industry association or alumni group, or consider joining a mentoring organization.

Do your research and make yourself visible. Once you’ve compiled your list of possible mentors, make yourself visible to your top candidates and do some investigating. Find out what you can about each person’s career pathway. Know where he/she has worked and what he/she has accomplished, so you know the right questions to ask. Talk to people who have worked with the person, and use the company intranet/newsletters, the internet, or library resources to find out more. Volunteer for assignments or projects that potential mentors work on so you can showcase your talents. Also, try to find out what that person does outside of work—for example, nonprofit work, boards, etc.—and join if you can. Do good work there that he/she can see.

Make a connection. At an office or social event, approach your potential mentor. If this opportunity doesn’t come along, arrange a meeting. At the right


Davis Wright Tremaine’s Corporate Diversity Counseling Group has established a national reputation for high-level diversity assistance and problem-solving for the nation's largest corporations. Lawyers 1500 K Street NW, Suite 450 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 508-6600 (202) 508-6699 fax www.dwt.com

Corporate Diversity Counseling Group Weldon H. Latham, Chair

© 2005 Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. All rights reserved.









WA S H I N G TO N D. C .

moment, even a cold call at the person’s office door can work in your favor. Keep your eyes open for that person’s comings and goings, and you might find an opening. When face-to-face with the person, ask a question. Women who’ve had great mentors suggest asking for advice about something related to your career or your work, especially something that might be linked to his/her career. Most people are flattered to be asked for advice. Be sure to prepare the question(s) beforehand, and take notes so you can refer to the responses later.

Start small. Base your approach to a potential mentor on what you know about him/her and on the kind of relationship you have. Use your judgment. If you’re working with the person, you may know his/her schedule and how much time he/she has available. At first, leave the word “mentor” out of the conversation. Don’t scare off a potential mentor by asking for too much. The person may turn you down if your problem seems too big, so don’t lay all your needs on your potential mentor at first. Let the relationship evolve. Be realistic about what someone can give you, and build your rapport over time. You may want to end your first meeting by asking if the person would be willing to meet with you again to follow up on what you’ve discussed so far. Face-to-face contact creates the closest relationships, but compromise where necessary to get the mentor you want. You might want to develop a phone or email mentoring relationship or one that includes this aspect. Either way, let your mentor know how you’d like the relationship to work and what


Mentoring relationships ... become increasingly important as one advances to senior levels in business. Catalyst research consistently demonstrates that having influential mentors and having access to key networks are critical factors in advancement.

frequency and type of contact you hope for. If the person turns you down, don’t take it personally. He/she may just be too busy, and you should continue to look for other mentors. Be sure to keep that person in your network, though— you never know when he/she will have more time later or can help some other way.

Give back to your mentor. Follow through. When a mentor has made a suggestion or offered a solution, get back to him/her in person (ideally) or in some appropriate way to let them know how the issue turned out or the progress you’ve made—and thank them for their help. Remember that a mentor usually has a goal in taking you on, and there’s nothing wrong with that. When starting out, don’t give your mentors the impression that you’re out only to benefit yourself. Let them know of your respect and support, and show that you’re going to be helpful in return. Be loyal. Return favors. Be your mentors’ field agent, and share with them useful information you pick up in circles they may not frequent. Don’t underestimate the value that you can bring to each relationship.

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

Mentoring relationships are among the keys to a successful career. They become increasingly important as one advances to senior levels in business. Catalyst research consistently demonstrates that having influential mentors and having access to key networks are critical factors in advancement; conversely, lack of access to mentors and exclusion from informal networks are barriers to getting ahead. Addressing these issues at the beginning of your career path will only help you in the long run. It takes practice to get the most out of your mentoring experience(s), and the sooner you make that commitment, the more success you can expect. PDJ With offices in New York, San Jose, and Toronto, Catalyst is the leading research and advisory organization working with businesses and the professions to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women at work. For more information about Catalyst’s research, services, and products, visit www.catalystwomen.org. You may also sign up to receive Catalyst’s issue-specific newsletter, Perspective, and monthly email updates at news@catalystwomen.org.

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When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies By Weldon H. Latham Latham uses a recent high-profile case to illustrate the importance of “genuine corporate diversity and demonstrable achievement of inclusion” for thwarting discrimination litigation.


articularly in the last ten years, more and more corporations have substantially strengthened their diversity efforts and made inclusive policies one of their corporate priorities. Nevertheless, a significant number of these companies, some with impressive diversity records, still get sued for discrimination. The reasons are as varied as the number, size, and severity of such lawsuits. One reason is, even good companies (with the best of intentions), sometimes get it wrong. Or one person violates company policy and practice and does or says something very wrong. Or the company’s policies and practices—while often exemplary—may fail to cover the situations that give rise to the claim. Or the claim is the result of a legitimate misunderstanding. Or maybe, just maybe, an unscrupulous plaintiff is calculating that the company will settle quickly, rather than risk injury to its sterling reputation for fairness and integrity. Whatever the cause, it is clear that companies cannot expect that even the most fundamentally sound diversity policies and practices will guarantee protection from race and gender discrimination and harassment claims. In some ways, such claims are the inevitable result of greater diversity. As the CEO of one Fortune 500 company observed, “the


only companies with no diversity issues are those that have no diversity.” The suggestion is that—when companies change from all-white male bastions and exclusive monolithic cultures to purposefully inclusive organizations that encourage diversity of thought and expression—cultural clashes should be expected (i.e., diversity issues).

genuine corporate diversity and demonstrable achievement of inclusion at all levels of a company certainly can cushion the blow of a discrimination lawsuit and help avoid permanent damage to the company’s good name. A good example of this principle at work is BellSouth’s recent knockout punch in Hogan v. BellSouth, a

Whatever the cause, it is clear that companies cannot expect that even the most fundamentally sound diversity policies and practices will guarantee protection from race and gender discrimination and harassment claims. Thus, not even strong and effective corporate diversity programs are exempt from discrimination litigation. Even companies with enviable public records for diversity sometimes find themselves the target of discrimination allegations or charges that run counter to their reputation as leaders in diversity and inclusion. Let’s face it. As long as there are plaintiffs’ lawyers, class actions, and the prospect of multimillion-dollar attorney fee awards, discrimination lawsuits are not likely to disappear. The good news, however, is that

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

race discrimination case filed by a former attorney in the company’s legal department. In record time (six days following oral argument), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit rejected allegations by Lisa Hogan, an African-American attorney, that she was fired five years earlier, by BellSouth’s then-General Counsel, due to race discrimination. BellSouth and its Legal Department have been known for advocating workplace diversity particularly through its 1999 “Statement of Principle,” wherein the chief legal officers of nearly five hundred major

Diversity. It’s what drives us.

From the cadres of minority designers, engineers, and office staff to the men and women on the factory floor and our network of minority owned dealers, we're dedicated to creating the best cars and trucks possible. In fact, this dedication to work ethic, smarts, and quality is inherent in every vehicle we produce. It's what makes us the proud American brands of DaimlerChrysler Corporation.

Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge are r egistered trademarks of Daimle rChrysler Corporatio n.

companies announced their commitment to corporate diversity and their expectation that the law firms that represent their companies promote diversity among their attorneys. BellSouth’s highly publicized reputation for corporate diversity, particularly in its Legal Department, undoubtedly gave the company much needed credibility in defending against Hogan’s claims. Indeed, at oral argument one judge commented on the fact that BellSouth had gone the “extra mile” to resolve Hogan’s performance issues prior to terminating her employment. Of course, not every company facing discrimination litigation by former or current employees will be able to emulate BellSouth’s reputation for success in the Hogan case. Additionally, diversity talk, without action, will not enhance any company’s position in discrimination litigation or the raft of other serious adverse consequences that accompany a credible lawsuit. In the nearly ten years since coining the phrase and creating the first ‘corporate diversity counseling’ practice which has served more than thirty-five Fortune 200 companies, my group of attorneys has found that there are, at least, ten factors that strongly contribute to an effective company-wide diversity effort. Following the establishment of a corporate diversity and inclusion policy and specific goals and objectives, those factors include: 1) Recognition of the need for improvement; 2) Demonstrable commitment and involvement by the CEO and executive management; 3) Sustained company-wide policy implementation and communication;

Achieving corporate diversity and inclusion demands commitment, hard work, and sustained effort. Companies that succeed will not only better position themselves to overcome claims of race and sex discrimination and preserve their corporate brand, but will reap the full range of concomitant business case benefits. diversity and inclusion programs; 5) Making diversity an integral part of the business mission and marketing strategy; 6) Securing a credible level of diversity in senior management; 7) Designating a senior executive as the company-wide ‘diversity champion’; 8) Creating management accounta bility for diversity performance; 9) Providing sufficient/long-term diversity resources; and 10) Maintaining effective ‘early warning’ systems. Achieving corporate diversity and inclusion demands commitment, hard work, and sustained effort. Companies that succeed will not only better position themselves to overcome claims of race and sex discrimination and preserve their corporate brand, but will reap the full range of concomitant business case benefits. Success, however, will require significant change from ‘business as usual’. PDJ

4) Comprehensive and effective 52

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

Special thanks to Davis Wright Tremaine partner Michael R. Hatcher and counsel Sundria R. Lake for their contributions to this article. Weldon Latham is a senior partner with the international law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP; he chairs the firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling Group, advises the CEOs of several Fortune 200 companies on diversity crisis management of high-profile diversity disputes and develops diversity enhancement programs. Mr. Latham is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches corporate diversity counseling. He chairs the Deloitte Diversity Advisory Board and is a member of its Women’s Initiative. Davis Wright Tremaine has nearly 450 attorneys practicing in nine offices worldwide. Contact Information : Davis Wright Tremaine LLP 1500 K Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20005 Telephone 202-508-6664 www.dwt.com

Quad Rugby Adapted from original article written by Lauren Werfelman The story of Brian Burger gives us insight into the athletes who participate in a rigorous sport that doesn’t make daily newscasts—wheelchair rugby. Since 1999, New York Life has made it easier for Burger to pursue and earn a spot on Quad Rugby’s Team USA at the 2005 World Wheelchair & Amputee Games in Brazil.


veryone’s heard of rugby, but most people haven’t heard about one of its toughest variations, called ‘quad rugby’. New York Life manager Brian Burger is playing this rough sport at its highest level. Burger has worked for New York Life Insurance Company since 1999. In his current role as a sales development manager at the general office in Cincinnati, OH, he focuses on recruiting and training new agents. But Brian Burger has played quad rugby since he was a freshman in college. A snow skiing accident when he was 17 years old took away his ability to walk, but when Burger was first exposed to the wheelchair sport through an organizational meeting, he became intrigued with quad rugby. He decided to participate in weekly practices and learned the game; then he learned how meaningful the game could be to him if he worked hard at it. As he attended United States Quad Rugby Association tournaments throughout the country, gaining more knowledge about the game, he also met members of Team USA for Quad Rugby. “I met some terrific people and idolized the fact that they were so devoted to the game and demonstrated true sportsmanship,” Burger says. This motivated him to work even harder to eventually excel in this sport and to


find a team of players that shared his passion for it. After nearly five years of participating in the Quad Rugby National Championships, Burger Brian Burger Classification: 1.5 was given the Jersey Number: 13 opportunity to Years Played: 11 Years represent Team Team: Kentucky TNT USA. He rememHometown: Cincinnati, OH bers the tryouts in Occupation: Sales trainer Birmingham, AL, as one of the most stressful times in “I’ve come a long way and overcome his life because, “All eyes are on you.” many obstacles since my accident.” There were 40 athletes at the beginOver the recent months of training, ning of the three-day tryouts, and by Burger’s hectic schedule honed his the end of the first day that number time management skills as well. There was cut to 25. “They called out the is little downtime in his daily routine: names in alphabetical order, and two a morning workout before a full day other athletes had a last name begin- of work at New York Life; spending ning with B-U,” he says. When his quality time with his wife and 18name was finally called, “I didn’t even month-old son; and attending training hear the remaining players picked. I camps on weekends. He credits his vital know what it must have felt like being support system, who have been by his the last kid picked on the kickball side through it all. “My wife, Nicole, team in grade school,” says Burger. has sacrificed so much to allow me to As a result, Burger got to partici- pursue my dream of Team USA!” His pate in the 2005 World Wheelchair & parents “sacrificed a ton,” especially Amputee Games in Brazil (September during the first two years of his recovery 16-25). “Being selected a member of process; for someone who had always Team USA is a great honor,” he states.

Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

Games in Brazil (the USA Stripes team took the gold). Brian’s team, USA Stars, won the silver medal at the 2005 Paralympic

been independent, it was a difficult transition having family members take care of him. “I couldn’t have gotten through it all without them,” says Burger. Another part of Brian Burger’s support system is his NYLIC family. “New York Life bends over backwards for me; they have always been extremely supportive and they encourage me to pursue my goal with quad rugby.” New York Life accommodates Burger both in and out of the office—making sure his office is wheelchair-friendly and that he has some flexibility in his schedule to get to quad rugby events. Burger is very happy to be a part of the NYLIC team, too. “I’ve been blessed to work with fine people and fortunate to have support from throughout the company. I will work for New York Life until the day I die.” Ironically, a recent documentary film called Murderball focuses on the Team USA Quad Rugby squad and its showdown with a bitter rival, Team Canada, at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. ‘Murderball’ was quad rugby’s original name, which Burger explains was not very politically correct and “not very marketable.” Despite the film’s gruesome name and violent promotional clips, Burger says that players rarely get hurt, although he jokingly admits he has seen blood quite a few times.


Brian sharing time with his son.

Profiles in Diversity Journal

September/October 2005


Executive Career Opportunity


2005 winners

The 2006 Profiles in Diversity Journal

International Innovation in Diversity Awards will honor ten organizations and institutions that have developed innovative solutions offering measurable outcomes in the area of workforce diversity and inclusion. Entry deadline: April 21, 2006 Full information is available at


With a founding gift of $34.5 million, the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions is being launched with the aim of expanding the frontiers of global knowledge by facilitating research and education across national borders. The Center, part of the University of South Florida, will accomplish its mission by bringing together international scholars, public policy experts, government officials, educators, and other leaders of society in an interdisciplinary, energetic and creative environment.

The Center will provide a place where problems of global concern can be studied in a holistic manner. New knowledge created from this synergistic combination of practical and scholarly expertise will be disseminated through a variety of outlets, including books and other publications, lectures and conferences, national and international forums, and integration into the educational curricula. Using Florida as one of many important research laboratories, the Center will develop models and present research findings that have local, national and global applications, guide future solutions and education in Florida and around the world and contribute to improving the human condition. The ideal candidate for the Executive Director position will have a strong track record of impassioned advocacy; a broad, multidisciplinary perspective and experience working in multicultural environments—ideally a person of stature and substance with visibility in the world community; an empowering manager with operational and organizational skills; and the intellectual leadership and communication skills required for fundraising with a diverse range of donors, such as foundations, individual donors and governments. Minimum qualifications include a college degree and significant community leadership (10 years) with broad and well-documented international experience. Post-graduate study desirable.

The Search Committee requests that all inquiries, nominations and applications be submitted with a letter of introduction to: PATEL@spencerstuart.com, attention: Mike Kirkman. The position will remain open until filled. The salary is negotiable and the position includes an excellent benefits package. Under the Florida Sunshine Law, applications and search committee meetings are open to the public. For additional information visit: www.usf.edu and http://www.cas.usf.edu/GlobalResearch/ USF is an EO/EA/AA Institution

or call Jim Rector at 800-573-2867.

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Profiles in Diversity Journal September/October 2005

The Drive for Diversity and Inclusion starts right here.


s a proud sponsor of NASCAR’s “Drive for Diversity” initiative, Waste Management is racing toward the same goals as you are. From Bill Lester behind the wheel of his Number 22 Waste Management Toyota Tundra to our constant efforts to recruit and support a diverse workforce, we are truly committed to speeding past today’s conventions of diversity and inclusion. ®

Waste Management salutes the many other workplaces that are on the same track as we are. By working together, we already find ourselves on the road to a more diverse, inclusive tomorrow. From everyday collection to environmental protection, Think Green. Think Waste Management. ®

NASCAR® is a registered trademark of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. ©2004 Waste Management, Inc.


BellSouth has a strong commitment to the communities we serve. We continually reaffirm that commitment and reinforce our connections to the community by embracing diversity and inclusion— both inside and outside the company.

Connecting to the community with talent, strength and diversity. Through its Office of Diversity, BellSouth supports networking groups that promote mentoring, training, and enhanced opportunity for all employees regardless of age, race, gender, or sexual orientation. These groups volunteer their time and resources to sponsor a wide range of activities and provide new ways in which BellSouth connects to the people we serve. BellSouth is proud of these efforts. Because, no matter how advanced our technology, we know that the strongest, most lasting connections are made within the community, face to face, person to person.

bellsouth.com Š2005 BellSouth Corporation.

Profile for Diversity Journal

Diversity Journal - Sep/Oct 2005  

Diversity Journal - Sep/Oct 2005

Diversity Journal - Sep/Oct 2005  

Diversity Journal - Sep/Oct 2005