AFRICANAMERICANHISTORY 速 All Things Diversity & Inclusion
JAN/FEB 2012 $12.95
Diversity Leaders pg. 8
Women who Rock! pg. 14 Case Study:
Transforming Flint, Michigan pg. 32 Spotlight: Young
Entrepreneurs with Big Ideas pg. 38 Helping Employees with Mood Disorders in the Workplace pg. 60 Age Diversity:
Creating Boomer-Friendly Offices pg. 64
Many talents. One MWV. What sparks innovation? We believe diversity plays a big part. Fresh ideas come from people with different backgrounds and perspectives. We are global leaders in packaging solutions because of our commitment to diversity. We take pride in our efforts to foster an environment that prizes originality. United, we bring our experiences together to create industry-leading solutions.
| PUBLISHER’S COLUMN
James R. Rector
D&I more than painting a pretty picture
Damian Johnson VICE PRESIDENT, EDITORIAL SERVICES AND CLIENT PARTNERSHIPS
Paul Malanij ART DIRECTOR
James Gorman IT DIRECTOR
Grace Austin ASSOCIATE EDITOR
As founder and publisher of Profiles in Diversity Journal, now beginning our 14th year, I have something to toot our horn about. It’s our staff of editors, writers, designers, and professional communicators that bring a plethora of content targeted toward assisting organizations in honing their diversity and inclusion skills, challenges, and opportunities. After all, isn’t listening to all employees and giving them airtime an easy way to seek innovation and critical buy-in? It’s the differences that make the difference. But, and there is the proverbial but, listening is not easy or readily understood. Sometimes good manners, political correctness, and basic courtesy belie true feelings. And this becomes the challenge of honing the communication skills of an organization, team, group, or department to seek out the truth. There needs to exist a basic level of trust and respect. Not superficial respect but respect that is deserved and earned. The bottom line is that at Diversity Journal we understand that diversity and inclusion work is not easy. What’s my point? Diversity and inclusion work is more than painting a pretty picture. It’s more than making pronouncements and concessions. Listening to and including people makes everything come together with profitable results. I never thought that diversity and inclusion practices could be legislated or programmed into the organizational culture. What brings positive results and the benefits of diversity and inclusion is the proper selection of people who have a varied but positive work ethic. Employees with a good work ethic don’t need to be trained to listen and include other associates. Their combined work ethic supersedes personal bias, stereotypes, and ego. For some wonderful reason, people with a good work ethic make things happen. We have these types of people working at Diversity Journal. All the best for a fantastical New Year! PDJ James R Rector CEO, Publisher
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Matt Hoffman RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Elena Rector EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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Making every d ay a better day A better day is being empowered to determine my professional destiny. Every day, more than 120,000 U.S. employees come to work for the world leader in Quality of Daily Life Solutions. We’re committed to creating an environment where each employee can contribute to his or her full potential. By fostering a culture based on mutual respect and inclusion, we make every day a better day at Sodexo.
January / February 2012 Volume 14 Number 1
FEATURES AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
Spotlighting African-American History month, we highlight outstanding African-American leaders in their respective fields. Featuring a Q&A with successful health care entrepreneur Leah Brown, we celebrate leaders who continually strive for advancement and new opportunity.
HELPING EMPLOYEES WITH MOOD DISORDERS THRIVE IN THE WORKPLACE
Many people are living and working with mood disorders. We take a closer look at these workers and how their employers are in the workplace managing mental disease.
CREATING BOOMER-FRIENDLY OFFICES
Many companies across the country are adapting their workplaces to the over-50 set. We take a closer look at these organizations, and what is making them attractive to Baby Boomers and beyond.
COMMUNICATION PAYS OFF IN MANUFACTURING
Mishandling communication can cost a manufacturer, from missed orders, quality issues, and running out of material to increased scrap, absenteeism, and turnover, to misunderstanding customer need and selling the wrong product.
CORRECTIONS Al Davisâ€™ date of death was incorrectly stated as Oct. 8, 2012. It was Oct. 8, 2011. Fruqan Mouzon was incorrectly spelled in his Nov/Dec Thoughtleader article. It is in fact spelled Mouzon.
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
IN EVERY ISSUE
06 | EDITOR’S NOTE
12 | CULTURAL EVENTS
26 | MIAMI UNIVERSITY
36 | JUDGE
08 | DIVERSITY LEADERS
International and stateside events in January and February
How the brick beauty is improving its diversity initiatives
How a Cleveland Judge went from hungry to helping others
14 | WOMEN WHO ROCK
MILITARY | GOVERNMENT
SMALL BUSINESS | ENTREPRENUER
32 | FLINT, MICHIGAN
38 | ALWAYS PREDDED
Automotive hub Flint, Michigan is attempting to rebrand itself through redevelopment and minority feedback. At the center of this is Flint-born and -bred Mayor Dayne Walling.
Always Prepped founder Hassan uses love of tutoring to form new test-prep company
Updates on this year’s winners of the Diversity Leader Award
10 | BULLETIN Diversity Who, What, Where and When
78 | THOUGHTLEADERS Personal perspectives on bulling
82 | GLOBAL DIVERSITY The latest news on international inclusion
84 | DIGITAL DIVERSITY Tweets, analytics and vocabulary
The Rock exhibit wraps up in February. Catch it before it’s gone!
16 | MEDIA AND REVIEWS Recommended books, technology, and media
18 | YEAR UP Spotlight on a successful minority pipline and internship program
20 | GIRLS INC
Did you Know?
Profiling a girl-centric organization from its executives to current members and alumni.
88 | DIVERSITY HISTORY
22 | CATALYST
86 | ODDS AND ENDS
Anniversaries, momentous or merely memorable occasions
90 | CORPORATE INDEX Names and websites of participating companies and advertisers
92 | Q&A An interview with Tasha Kitty of Sun Life Financial on recruiting and retaining LGBT individuals
Solid research backs up bottom line for diversity, specifically women representation in the business world
24 | WHEELOCK COLLEGE Despite its small size, Wheelock College has managed to improve its diversity and make headlines for its efforts.
34 | VETS IN THE WORKPLACE For America’s returning veterans, the transition to civilian life brings many changes. Hiring military veterans has become a priority for many corporations and a new aspect of diversity and inclusion in every workplace across the country.
39 | AGENT ANYTHING How an internet start-up has become the “new eBay” of services
40 | JACK THREADS Enticing guys to the flash-sale has been the key to Jack Threads’ success
68 | FROM THE EXPERTS Leaders share their opinions and thoughts to help improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
CRAIG STORTI Communicating Across Cultures LINDA JIMENEZ WellPoint, Inc. TREVOR WILSON TWI Inc. PAM ARNOLD American Institute for Managing Diversity, Inc. NADINE VOGEL Springboard Consulting LLC
| EDITOR’S NOTE
New Year, New Optimism about Women As we begin a new year, I want to tackle an issue that is particularly bothersome to me—the portrayal of women in popular culture. Reality shows have become an essential part of every network’s lineup, due to their low cost and high ratings. The internet, too, is another reflection of the low cost and high viewership that is now a viable moneymaker, while gossip magazines have become some of the most profitable magazines on the newsstand. Showing melodrama and the worst of the human condition are nothing new; the Bible and the various works of Shakespeare are both examples of this. Anger and envy, for instance, are not desirable or admirable traits, but are nonetheless a part of the human anatomy. My concerns, though, reside in popular culture’s treatment and glorification of these traits. As a reality show viewer and avid follower of all the Real Housewives, I first watched each city’s respective show as a curious onlooker. After many years and seasons though, I began to become more disillusioned with the characters, and it angered me when I saw women backstabbing, being untruthful or dishonest, and generally being disrespectful to each other. I know the audience of many of these shows, and it is more times than not impressionable girls and young women. Seeing
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women brawl and berate each other is the last message any parent should want to send to their teenage daughter. Although these kinds of show are entertainment-driven and may or may not be accurate depictions of their lives, it is still difficult to think that children are watching them. With an emphasis on material accumulation, these characters are showing the world that qualities like kindness, forgiveness, intellectualism, humility, and dignity can be trumped by possessions and fame. Although the actions of women on such shows are discouraging, seeing women leaders and ambitious girls and young women makes me feel less disheartened about our society. Writing about Girls Inc. or the Women who Rock! exhibit for this issue has shown me the past and future of women in all industries. Working with various female freelance writers has also shown me the talent and ambition of our current workforce. So as we look to a new year, I am hoping I will continue to find stories that will inspire you, the reader, to also be optimistic about our future and the future of women. I will continue to spread the message that women can do anything that men can do, and that women are not defined by stereotypes and notions of popular culture. PDJ Grace Austin email@example.com
Thanks to You,
He’ll have confident footsteps to follow into a promising future.
Scan to Learn
WellPoint is honored to recognize the rich heritage and many accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and African Americans everywhere. WellPoint is proud of our dedication to diversity. Still, with all that we've achieved, we will always strive to better attract, retain and develop top diverse talent. As we celebrate Black History Month, we are very proud to see WellPoint's own Jai Bills, vice president, interplan and planning and Sandis Wright, program director, featured in this month's publication. We know that the path these leaders and others pave today will support the footsteps of tomorrow.
Better Health Care, Thanks To You. Visit us online at wellpoint.com/careers
® Registered Trademark, WellPoint, Inc. © 2011 WellPoint, Inc. All Rights Reserved. EOE.
Diversity Leaders 2012 DIVERSITY LEADERS
Aflac AIMD Inc. Akraya, Inc. American Express Andrews Kurth LLP Army and Air Force Exchange Service Bank of the West BDO USA, LLP Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC Booz Allen Hamilton Brinker International Burger King Corp Caesars Entertainment Corp. Catalyst CDW LLC Chevron Chrysler Group LLC Cisco Systems, Inc. Citigroup Inc. Comcast Corporation CSC CVS Caremark Deloitte LLP Eastman Kodak Company Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Gibbons P.C. Halliburton Harris Corporation ITT Corporation JBK Associates, Inc. Kelly Services KeyCorp KPMG LLP Lockheed Martin Corp. ManpowerGroup Marsh & McLennan Companies Medco Health Solutions MGM Resorts International Moss Adams MWV National Grid New York Life Insurance Newell Rubbermaid Northrop Grumman IS PNC Financial Services Group Raytheon Company RBC Wealth Management Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. Royal Dutch Shell SAIC Sodexo Springboard Consulting LLC Sprint Target The Lifetime Healthcare Companies TWI Inc. Union Bank N.A. United States Air Force Academy UnitedHealth Group University of the Rockies US Airways, Inc Vanguard Verizon W.W. Grainger, Inc. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Waste Management, Inc. WellPoint, Inc.
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
MORE FROM OUR AWARD-WINNING COMPANIES In our previous issue, Diversity Journal recognized 68 companies as Diversity Leaders. This award recognized communications excellence in the area of D&I. Winning companies utilized different technologies and mediums as a way to improve internal and external communication. To further promote these efforts, we are briefly highlighting the work of several companies throughout our 2012 issues. *Diversity Leader award-winning companies denoted by this symbol: DL
Frontier, UHG’s intranet site, functions as a news source for all 80,000+ employees throughout the organization. It is accessible by all employees, and allows for a significant amount of content, with stories rotating on a near daily basis. It is also where UHG houses information on diversity and inclusion, including UHG’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, which is made up of 22 senior executives in the organization who meet on a bi-monthly basis and communicate D&I accomplishments to the broader organization.
External Town Hall/Community Meetings The local chapters of KPMG’s six national diversity networks frequently collaborate with other diversity networks outside the firm to conduct diversity share forums, professional development programs, and networking events. These external activities provide KPMG employees with career-enhancing relationship building, visibility in external business communities, and serve as valuable business and relationship development opportunities for KPMG.
New York Life
Internal Employee Training
Diversity & inclusion is an important part of NYL’s business strategy, which is outlined in their New Hire Orientation training program. In addition, people managers are required to take a course on micro inequities, which is designed to help identify barriers to inclusion and help managers understand the various ways they can improve and handle these barriers.
Bulletin Chief Customer Officer Council Names “CCO of the Year” The Chief Customer Officer (CCO) Council, the only member-led peeradvisory network, offering insight and assistance into the critical issues facing CCOs, announced Jasmine Green, GREEN Vice President and Chief Customer Advocate for Nationwide Insurance, as the third annual “CCO of the Year.” Jasmine was chosen from a group of roughly 550 individuals, representing the world’s known executives with the CCO or equivalent title. The CCO of the Year Award recognizes the CCO who has made the greatest strides in elevating the role of the CCO, improving customer relationships, driving profitable customer behavior, creating a customercentric culture, and making the most significant impact on other CCO Council members to help them achieve similar results.
Kent State TRIO leader Kent State Diversity Program and Community Outreach Executive Director Geraldine Hayes-Nelson, PhD, has been selected as the 2011 TRIO Achiever by the MidAmerica Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MAEOPP). Established in 1975, MAEOPP is the representative professional body for colleges, universities, and agencies that host federally funded TRIO educational opportunity programs within 10 states in the greater Midwest. The consortium of professionals works to level the playing
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
field of educational opportunity for first-generation, low-income, and physically challenged students. Nelson, who hails from Columbus, Ohio, benefitted from a federally funded program for kids with disadvantaged backgrounds that allowed her gain a college degree. “I am extremely excited about being considered for this award from my TRIO community,” said Nelson. “I am honored because I know of the hard work and continued dedication that TRIO staff provides to first-generation and low-income students and families. It is also humbling to be recognized by one’s peers and those who are constant in the advocacy of leading TRIO programs.”
Eagle Leader at Wellpoint Tracy Edmonds, Human Resources Director of Metrics and Analytics, is a 2011 CareerFOCUS Eagle Awards recipient. Each year, the National Eagle Leadership Institute recognizes the top ranking corporate executives
In Memoriam Diversity Journal has lost a friend and colleague in Laurie Fumic, former copy editor. Fumic died Friday, November 4, 2011, at the age of 53, after a battle with cancer. She will be missed.
who exemplify and inspire leadership in business and community. Edmonds has been with WellPoint for 23 years and currently leads a team responsible for providing meaningful insights about the workforce. She is a founding member of WellPoint’s WOW—Women of WellPoint Associate Resource Group, and currently serves as the co-chair of PRIDE—WellPoint’s AfricanAmerican Associate Resource Group.
AFP Foundation Gives 25 Laptop Computers to Journalists in Developing Countries The Agence Presse France Foundation handed over 25 computers to the Paris-based organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Last year, the Foundation took part in a program launched by RSF to help the Haitian media recover from
Kilo-Smith named Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion Walmart Jeanette Kilo-Smith was recently named Walmart’s Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. In this role she has responsibility for overseeing company’s diversity and inclusion efforts, which includes strategy, communications, program development and execution, and Associate Resource Groups. Kilo-Smith has over twenty years of Human Resources experience with proven success in managing complex organizational effectiveness projects, global diversity and KILO-SMITH inclusion, employee relations, strategic planning, Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action (EEO/AA), and leadership development. Kilo-Smith serves on the Board of Directors for the YWCA—Chicago, Advisory Board for Diversity Woman Magazine, and Chair of Rhea of Hope Foundation—an organization that provides mentoring and development for disadvantaged girls. She has also served on the Chicago Land Area Partnership (CAPS) Board, Women Employed and Cable Positive, and has participated on a number of speaking panels both professionally and within her community.
WHO…WHAT…WHERE…WHEN the catastrophic earthquake which hit their country on January 12, 2010. “We are happy to be able to contribute once again to the efforts of Reporters Without Borders to help journalists who work in countries where it is dangerous to be a journalist and who often lack the means to do their job,” said AFP Chief Executive Emmanuel Hoog. “I am delighted by the cooperation between our foundation and aid organizations.”
Dulworth new Diversity Officer at Auto Giant
MGM supports Las Vegas LGBT MGM Resorts International will further support the mission of The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada with a $200,000 donation for the construction of a new building. The donation contributes to the capital campaign for The Center’s new building that will provide increased space and new amenities including a dedicated clinic, cafe, library and computer lounge, outdoor plaza and meditation garden. Currently located near East Sahara Avenue and Market Street, The Center will construct its new building near South Maryland Parkway and Lewis Avenue. The new building is scheduled to open in 2012. The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada is a community-based organization which supports and promotes activities directed at furthering the well-being, positive image, and human rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, and its allies in Southern Nevada.
Georgette Borrego Dulworth has been appointed Director of Talent Acquisition and Global Diversity, Chrysler Group LLC. Dulworth joins Chrysler Group with 20 DULWORTH years of crossfunctional experience in human resources, legal, finance, and corporate administration. She joins Chrysler Group from Cobasys LLC, where she served as General Counsel, managing all legal matters for the company. Dulworth is also the former owner and CEO of Tech-Line Automation, Inc., a certified Michigan minority-owned engineering firm and a Tier 1 supplier to the automotive industry, including the former DaimlerChrysler.
outstanding lawyers who reflect the global marketplace that we serve,” said Charles Douglas, chair of the firm’s Management Committee. Olson will work in partnership with Sidley’s Diversity Committee and Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women to advance the firm’s global diversity and inclusion initiatives. These initiatives are designed to achieve greater diversity not only within the firm but within the legal profession as a whole. Catherine Valerio Barrad, Walter Carlson, Carlos Rodriguez and Stanley Stallworth serve as firmwide co-chairs of the Diversity Committee. Laurin Blumenthal Kleiman and Kathleen Roach serve as firmwide co-chairs of the Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women.
Sidley Austin LLP Names Sarah L. Olson Chief Diversity Officer
Cole Brown has been named Senior Vice President, People—Walmart U.S. In her new role, Cole will lead the team that supports HR field organization, as well as supporting functions including field recruiting, U.S. HR project management, and the communications and analytics teams. She has spent the past year serving as Vice President of Human Resources for Walmart West and was previously the Chief Diversity Officer for the company.
Sidley Austin LLP announces that Sally Olson has joined the firm as Chief Diversity Officer. Olson, a distinguished litigator, has more than ten years of experience in developing and implementing policies and programs that cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment. “As Chief Diversity Officer, Sally will be instrumental in advancing our mission to attract and retain
Walmart names new ‘People’ Leader
LSU’s Albert named to the Volunteer Board Katrice Albert, LSU vice provost for Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach and adjunct faculty for counseling education in the College of Education, was recently named to the Volunteers of America National Board of Directors. Albert will also serve on the Governance Committee, which has oversight of the board’s performance and ensures the viability and effectiveness of the board’s work, and the Compensation Committee, which has responsibility for reviewing and approving an appropriate compensation structure for the executive leadership that are aligned with organization’s mission, history, goals and marketplace. Volunteers of America is a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide a variety of human services, including affordable and transitional housing for the homeless, healthcare for the elderly and those with disabilities, and support programs for children and families of the incarcerated. “LSU is extremely proud of Katrice’s appointment to the Volunteers of America Board,” said John Maxwell Hamilton, executive vice chancellor and provost at LSU. “Her service to the local and now national board illustrates her commitment to outreach and equity.” PDJ
CULTURE EVENTS JANUARY|FEBRUARY
From Heart to Hand: AfricanAmerican Quilts from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Jan. 28-April 10
In 2004, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts inaugurated its collection of African-American quilts with 48 quilts created primarily by African-American women from West Alabama between 1945-2008. This exhibition features work of Yvonne Wells and Nora Ezell. The exhibit currently can be seen at the Cameron Art Museum, in Wilmington, NC.
20th Annual Pan African Film and Art Festival, Feb. 9-20
View over 100 films from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the South Pacific and Canada, all showcasing the diversity and complexity of people of African descent. Set in Los Angeles, it also includes one of the U.S.’s largest art festivals.
als related to the commission and production of these works, and designs for Rivera’s famous Rockefeller Center mural, which he also produced while he was working at the Museum.
Fighting for Democracy: Who is the “We” in “We the People?,” October 14January 16
Diego Rivera, El Hombre en la encrucijada, 1934. Mexico City, Palacio de Bellas Artes.
The Air We Breathe at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Nov. 5-Feb. 20
The Air We Breathe brings together thirty visual artists and eight poets who offer their commitment and creativity to the cause of marriage equality, featuring commissioned works by artists including D-L Alvarez, Martha Colburn, Simon Fujiwara, Robert Gober, Ann Hamilton, Raymond Pettibon, and Amy Sillman interspersed with new poetry by John Ashbery, Dodie
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Bellamy and Kevin Killian, and Anne Waldman.
Murals for The Museum of Modern Art, Nov. 13–May 14
This exhibition will bring together key works made for Rivera’s 1931 exhibition showcase, presenting them at MoMA for the first time in nearly 80 years. Along with mural panels, the show will include full-scale drawings, smaller working drawings, archival materi-
Catch The National Constitution Center’s groundbreaking exhibit-theater hybrid, Fighting for Democracy: Who is the “We” in “We the People?,” which immerses visitors in the World War II era through seven diverse Americans’ perspective. Featuring letters, photos, newspapers, films and immigration documents, Fighting for Democracy reveals how World War II was a pivotal time for women and minorities—and connects powerfully with current debates about immigration, citizenship and civil rights in America. PDJ
>> WOMEN WHO CULTURE
By Grace Austin
I NA TURNER, JANIS Joplin,
Bessie Smith, Madonna, and Chrissie Hynde. What do these women have in common? They were all innovators of music in their respective genres and times, and they were all women. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is wrapping up its nine-month long exhibit Feb. 26 entitled, “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power.” Showcasing women’s role in rock music, as well as popular music and popular culture, the exhibit highlights influential female artists, some famous and some not, over a ninety-year span. The exhibit is a sprawling, colorful odyssey spanning three floors, beginning with Lady Gaga’s simple childhood piano adorned with family and childhood photos of the star. Walk up a level and you are transported into dark rooms filled with audio and video tributes, memorabilia, and fantastic costumes and dresses, including Cher’s “Half-Breed” dress, Grace Slick’s Woodstock garb, and Lady Gaga’s ode to beef jerky, the infamous “meat dress.” With a lifesize portrait of Joan Jett welcoming visitors into the exhibit, the “foremothers” of rock begin the tour. These women, like Ma Raney and Billie Holiday, combined divergent styles of R&B, gospel, and country to create what is now known as rock ’n’ roll. The exhibit pushes on, traipsing through another full floor and eight eras of music and memorabilia.
Milestones in women’s, American, and world history are displayed, as well as brief biographies and career overviews of the women rockers. The exhibit also highlights female songwriters behind the scenes of the famous acts, like Carole King and Ellie Greenwich. Some of the famed acts are supplemented by less well-known but equally talented acts, including Goldie and the Gingerbreads, the first all-female group to play their own instruments to be signed to a major record label. For all the milestones through the decades, many women in music felt tremendous odds in a male-dominated industry, as Meredith Rutledge, Assistant Curator, can attest to. “Women were outsiders in the music industry. Rock music, especially, has been a boy’s club from the beginning. Women were seen as novelties, the chick singer on the side. Women who had strong ideas about being taken seriously were seen as threatening to the male establishment,” said Rutledge. Up to the 1980s, many radio sta-
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tions’ corporate offices set an informal limit of records by female artists per hour. Other mucisians, like Loretta Lynn, felt the corporation’s maledominated, traditionalist sway on their music. “Loretta Lynn’s song “The Pill” is
ROCK! Clockwise from the near left: Aretha Franklin’s ‘60s garb takes center stage; The top floor of the exhibit starts with the ‘70s and moves to today; Janelle Monae, one of the latest divas, wears tux-inspired suits; the first floor of the exhibit showcases many eras of rock.
a pretty straightforward song about a rural woman who has discovered freedom from washing diapers and filling bottles all the time because she found birth control. At the time the record company wouldn’t touch it because it was too hot, [releasing it
two years after its recording]. Doctors would [approach] Loretta Lynn after her performances and thank her for that record because they had been trying to promote family planning,” said Rutledge. “She really opened up a dialogue. For a pop record to have that January/February 2012
much power is really incredible.” Inspired by hard-rocking Led Zeppelin, bands like Heart in the early ‘70s portrayed an edgier female image than the singer-songwriters of the time. “They showed you didn’t have to stand behind an accoustic piano or guitar and sing sweet folk songs,” said Rutledge. “You could be a rocker.” Later on, the punk and post-punk era gave women another avenue for expression. “Women could be what they want to be. Punk rock was a perfect vehicle for a woman because women are outsiders in the music industry to begin with. Punk’s all about sticking it to the establishment and thwarting the given order,” said Rutledge. To this day, there is a significant disparity in the music industry, specficially in the top positions and background. “Behind the scenes, on the business end, as producers, women executives, women are still finding there’s a glass ceiling,” said Rutledge. Through this exhibit, Rutledge hopes not only to impart a message of female empowerment, but also one of inclusion. “This exhibit is not just a women’s story, it’s a human story. I’m so happy people are responding in a [good] way. People are really seeing the humanity,” said Rutledge. more on page 87 WWW.DIVERSITYJOURNAL.COM
MEDIA & REVIEWS Five Influential Reads on the African-American Experience
The Autobiography of Malcolm X, as told to Alex Haley Instantly the often-celebrated, always notorious Malcolm X captures the reader in this seminal autobiography, which although written nearly fifty years ago, is still tremendously relevant and influential. A seering, raw read, The Autobiography of Malcolm X was named one of Time’s most important nonfiction books of the 20th century. Although Malcolm X’s delivery and affiliations were controversial, his basic message of black pride, firstperson account of racism and deprivation, and the power of education still ring true today. “My application had, of course, been made and during this time I received from Chicago my “X.” The Muslim’s “X” symbolized the true African family name that he never could know. For me, my “X” replaced the white slavemaster name of “Little” which some blue-eyed devil named Little had imposed upon my paternal forebears. The receipts of my “X” meant that forever after in the nation of Islam, I would be known as Malcolm X.”—Excerpt from The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
Africana, ed. by Kwame Anthony Published as a complete work Appiah and Henry by Ralph Ellison in 1952, Louis Gates, Jr. Invisible Man is a story about a young black man’s journey in search of success and ultimately, himself, in the early twentieth century American South. From a “Battle Royal” in his hometown, to a disappointed end at an all-black college, to the streets of Harlem, the Invisible Man quickly learns how unforgiving the world can be, and how different vision and reality are the further one travels. Winner of the 1953 National Book Award and the 1992 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, Invisible Man is considered to be a “milestone in American literature” and has continued to engage readers for over half a century.
A complete guide to the African and African-Americaan experience, this 2000-page encyclopedia was inspired by W.E.B. Dubois’s vision of an African encyclopedia. A must read for anyone interested in black history, the encyclopedia ranges from aardvark to Zydeco. A highly-organized and cross-referenced tool complete with maps, historical photographs, and charts, Africana’s scope is much greater than any history book available. Although an updated edition is well-overdue, the over 3000 articles provide enough reading for a lifetime.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett by Maya Angelou Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel about African-American maids and their white employers in early 1960s Mississippi became a media phenomenon, selling over five million copies and spawning a film that became the sleeper hit of summer 2011. Despite extensive media coverage, the book is still an absorbing, funny, and sometimes heart-breaking account of the “help.” An insider’s look at the AfricanAmerican women who ran white households and raised their children, The Help is a recommended read for those who gravitate away from the political undertones of many Civil Rights-Era books.
Maya Angelou’s 1969 autobiographical novel about her early years has become a modern American classic. Dripping with colorful imagery and emotional, sometimes comical tales of AfricanAmerican life pre-Civil Rights in rural Arkansas, St. Louis, and California, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is critical for anyone interested in African-American authors and the African-American experience. One of the most widely banned books, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings takes its title from the metaphor for a chained slave, a “caged bird,” telling the story of Angelou’s disrupted family life, abuse at a young age, the racist injustices of African-American life, and her own literary salvation.
Reaching out to Latin America through new iPad App AFP continues to develop its presence on the iPad with versions in Spanish and Portuguese, following its launch in English in September. This new application allows access to a selection of news stories, photos, video and graphics produced by the Agency’s Spanish and Portuguese editorial desks backed by AFP’s worldwide network of journalists. The new app has two sections loaded with stories, photos, videos and graphics to provide a deeper understanding of the news: Reportages: AFP’s take on the world, covering subjects such as society, the arts, and fashion; and Analyses: providing an in-depth look at stories making the news. “The launch of an iPad application in Portuguese and Spanish is part of a series of investments underway in Latin America. AFP wants to position itself closer to greater public demand for international news which only a global news agency, with a network of 1,500 journalists in 150 countries, can provide in an immediate and relevant way,” said Emmanuel Hoog, Chairman and Chief Executive of Agence France-Presse, through a press release.
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
DAILY. © 2010 Lockheed Martin Corporation
THIS IS HOW Diversity is more than a goal. It’s a necessity. When facing down the most important projects in the world, every idea counts. Every viewpoint matters. That’s why, at Lockheed Martin, we not only believe in diversity. We embrace it. Because diversity is the “how” that delivers the most innovative solutions to some of the most complex problems imaginable.
PHILANTHROPY YEAR UP PARTICIPANTS
GAIN A LEG UP IN BUSINESS WORLD
T By Grace Austin
H ERE EXISTS STRONG disparities in the op-
Gerald Chertavian, the founder and CEO, was an active Big Brother in Manhattan beginning in the 1980s. His relationship with his Little Brother David inspired him to create an organization focused on “high support, high expectations.” Year Up serves over 1,000 young adults each year in nine urban locations throughout the country. The Year Up Alumni Association currently maintains over 1,000 members. Statistics are remarkably high for internship placement and overall success rates, a feat that is not lost on Sarah Janas, Marketing Manager. “There’s nothing on a national level that does what we do. We really bring together two very different groups of people: the disadvantaged urban youth, and corporate partners that are struggling to find entrylevel talent. It’s kind of a win-win situation. We’re very proud of it,” said Janas. Jose Castillo can attest to the program’s success. Castillo graduated in July 2010 and now works as Development Coordinator for Year Up. “I thought is was a great opportunity for myself in the situation I was currently in. It was something I kind of fell in love with,” said Castillo. “If I hadn’t done the program, I wouldn’t have necessarily had the opportunity to see what corporate America is about coming from where I came from.” The Economic Mobility Program, a non-profit company whose goal is to find successful programs for the economically disadvantaged, has found participation in Year Up improved a Year Up Boston Executive Director Casey Recupero (right) works with student Iman graduate’s annual earnings by 30%. Cohen Whitaker. Iman interned at Fidelity Investments, and is currently employed by “It’s really fantastic. It’s the first report them full-time.
portunities that low-income youth and their wealthier peers face post-high school. While well-off young adults may head off to college or travel the world, lower income youth often become trapped in cycles of dead-end jobs and living paycheck to paycheck. Coupled with a downtrodden economy, these situations can seem even more devastating to a young person with seemingly no options. Founded in Boston in 2000, Year Up attempts to combat this “opportunity divide.” A one-year program designed for young adults from the inner cities, Year Up trains students in business and technical skills while incorporating a corporate internship program. The program focuses on two growing industries, IT and financial services.
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Students solve a math problem in the classroom.
Former Boston interns Jose Castillo and Brittany Davis work together on a class project.
with hard data that was years and years in the making and a lot of time went into it. It’s great to see the numbers. We always knew it worked, but it was tough to back it up,” said Janas. “The proof is there—the program works.” One of the organization’s goals is to teach professional and business skills, including how to successfully work in a corporate office and talk to colleagues and employers in a professional manner. “Our students are learning soft skills and technical skills driven by the market. [They] are learning business writing, customer service, professional skills, and various things like this,” said Tamika Mason, Director of Organizational Development. “We also do resumé writing and interview skill workshops. We do a number of things for our students to enter into college part-time or full-time as well as transition them into the next fulltime [job] opportunity.” The corporate internship program partners with leading companies in a variety of fields, including Harvard University, Staples, Wells Fargo, Google, and Mount Sinai Hospital. This portion of the program lasts six months. “The internship taught me the different personalities you deal with on a daily basis with colleagues as well as the clients. It taught me how to adjust and keep an open mind, and focus on the task at hand,” said Castillo. Another unique feature at the organization is the amount of mentoring and guidance available. Thirty-five students are placed in a learning community, with ten staff members guiding them through the year-long process. “Those staff members may have other functional jobs; they may be in marketing, admissions, or operations, but they are there to help the students. Having one point of contact that’s going to ask students about
Year Up New York students Ramalo Singh and Reinette Ross work on fixing a computer for a class project.
their growth and development and how they’re doing at each of the transitional stages has really been key to the advising relationship. That’s our way of making sure no students fall through the cracks,” said Mason. In regards to diversity, a majority of participants in the program are African American and Latino. Year Up has tried to mirror this within their organization. “We make sure that while we’re doing our recruiting, we’re ensuring that there is a diverse pool among multiple dimensions of diversity, not just race and ethnicity but gender and other dimensions. We make sure that we make hiring decisions only after we have great, diverse pools of talent,” said Mason. In the future, Year Up looks to expand further, making its services available in more cities and to more youth. “In five years, we see ourselves growing to three more cities and doubling the students we serve and the staff that we have supporting our services to students. We [also] want to see system changes on the national and local level. We recognize that the systems [our students] are operating in and going to school in helps contribute to the opportunity divide that exists in America,“ said Mason. “We want to serve [disconnected youths] by the millions.” Castillo already sees the difference Year Up has made on himself, and reiterates the organization’s message of closing the “opportunity divide.” “Year Up is reaching out to the community and giving these opportunities to a lot of kids who feel like they don’t have them but they’re really there for them. Through the whole year, month to month, I started to realize that everything I was doing was having an impact on my peers as well,” said Castillo. “It’s taking that initiative and knowing that everything you do has a direct impact on everyone around you.” PDJ January/February 2012
>> B PHILANTHROPY
GIRLS INC. FOSTERS FINANCIAL
By Grace Austin
I ANCA BAILEY GREW
up povertystricken and homeless in Dallas, Texas. Through a family friend, her single father was introduced to Girls Inc. when Bailey was in the fourth grade. At Girls Inc., Bailey’s self-esteem grew and her love of science and math was nurtured. Bailey received a scholarship from the organization and currently is a senior at Howard University. She hopes to improve clean water systems in rural Africa and has already traveled to Kenya and Brazil, met First Lady Michelle Obama, and is in the midst of applying for a Fulbright Scholarship, no small feat for a young woman of 21. Although Bailey’s story is inspiring, it is just one of thousands who have benefited from Girls Inc. Girls Inc. is a non-profit group comprised of many local organizations designed at helping the development of girls. What began as a response to the migration of young women to New England textile mills in the mid-nineteenth century has become one of the most successful non-profits in the United States. Girls Inc. provides many programs for girls 6-18, including math and science education, pregnancy and drug abuse prevention, media and financial literacy, health, violence prevention, and access to recreational sports. Programs are constantly being updated as a way to better aid girls in changing times. “We have both the consistency and constancy as well as the orientation to change. With times changing,
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Girls of all backgrounds are affected positively by Girls Inc.’s programs and initiatives.
whether [through] changes in media, technology, employment opportunities or the economic environment, it means that we have to take our root values and make them constant. But the specifics of how we address the needs of the girls in that particular time need to change,” said President and CEO Judy Vredenburgh. A major aspect of the organization that separates it from other girlcentric or minority-aiding programs is its focus on research. Research in recent years has extended to the use of social media, including Twitter and Facebook, as a ways to connect to girls and understand the issues that are facing them on a daily basis. The majority of research and evaluation, though, is conducted by the NRC, or National Resource Center, which also provides the foundation for Girls Inc. programs. For example, the “Economic Literacy” program challenges a traditional lack of January/February 2012
female role models and stereotypes of female money management by providing tools to manage, save, and invest money. Indeed, the previously-mentioned lack of role models is addressed in many programs, providing girls, especially girls of color, with role models in traditionally male-dominated fields, like finance and STEM. Vredenburgh further explains the use of role models in the programs. “We have accomplished women in particular fields come into the classroom and teach part of our curriculum to the girls, and they get to know the girls and build relationships to them. They open up doors of possibilities in the girls’ minds. They think ‘this woman looks like me; I could be in the lab or be an accountant, too.’ We think that having a long-term, sustained role with the professionals is important,” said Vredenburgh.
LITERACY, EDUCATION “ We have accomplished women in particular fields come into the classroom and
teach part of our curriculum to the girls, and they get to know the girls and build relationships to them.” — Judy Vredenburgh President and CEO
Photography by Duffy Marie Arnoult
Serving Diverse Populations
Seventy percent of girls served by the organization belong to a minority. In an effort to further reach out to minority girls, the organization has designed a national program specifically targeting Hispanic and Latino girls and communities. “There is a huge need for girls from this background to have the chance to think they can become educated and achieve economic independence, and yet we weren’t serving this population that much. We made it a priority, and it’s been a huge growth strategy for us. And now, today, 19% of girls we served last year were from Hispanic/Latino background,” related Vredenburgh. Abigail Figueroa, a Latino entrepreneur who owns her own upholstery business, says without Girls Inc. her life would be tremendously different. “I started in a program called “Eureka!” in seventh grade. From there on forward, “Eureka!” was a big blessing in disguise. I learned a lot that was essential for me to go onto university. I didn’t realize at the time, but when I started getting more involved in the program and the mentors and internships, that’s when I started to see big differences in my life. [I saw] the decisions I probably would have made if I wasn’t in Girls Inc.,” said Figueroa. Since serving diverse young women is a major aspect of the organization, Girls Inc. has tried to mirror this through its staff and
hiring opportunities. In an effort to understand its demographics, many Girls, Inc. employees are bilingual and keep themselves up-to-date and knowledgeable about issues in the communities they serve. Diverse board representation is another fundamental part of Girls Inc.’s makeup. “As an African-American woman working in corporate America for the last 25 years, and growing up in a community where there weren’t a lot of role models engaged in corporate America, I believe it’s very important for me to give that to the young women that are engaged in Girls Inc. so that they don’t have the same sort of lacking in their lives and their experiences. If I can enable them to have the skills that I believe are necessary to be successful in a role like mine, that is a huge opportunity for them,” said Bridgette Heller, EVP and President of Consumer Care at Merck and a Girls Inc. Board Chair.
Donors, Partnerships, and Future Growth Strategies
Girls Inc. has felt a few challenges due to the poor economy, but has had unwavering support amongst its donors and partners, which include Dove, Eileen Fisher, and Wal-Mart/ Sam’s Club. “We have a great partnership with many companies. We also have a lot of individual donors that really believe in giving girls what they need to have a chance. Women as donors and companies that have an affinity
for women are tremendous supporters of Girls Inc.,” said Vredenburgh. Partnerships are essential to Girls Inc.’s mission, and expose girls to companies and ideas they may not have had the opportunity to explore without the help of the organization. One such partnership is with the ING Foundation; in 2009, the “Investment Challenge” was launched to teach high school girls about investing. Each girl is given $50,000 to invest over the course of three years, with two-thirds of gains given back to the girls towards their educations, and one-third to the local Girls Inc. organization. Over the past few years, the organization has expanded and grown. New programs like the “Investment Challenge” and “Girls Inc. Mind + Body,” which focuses on health and well-being with an emphasis on stress management, body image, and nutrition, have partnered with organizations and are gradually expanding all over the country. In the future, Girls Inc. hopes to mirror the experiences of Bailey and Figueroa, serving more girls in the future by offering them a path towards education and economic independence. The organization hopes to grow by 30% by 2015. “With so many girls that could really benefit from Girls Inc, we really must grow. Our research-based programs and pro-girl way that’s built on caring relationships really makes a lasting difference,” said Vredenburgh. “We are determined to grow.” PDJ
>> W PHILANTHROPY
WOMEN ASK, BUT MEN DON’T HAVE TO By Catalyst
E’VE ALL HEARD the
maxim that “women don’t ask.” This view is so prevalent that an entire cottage industry has sprung up to address it. The problem is that it’s simply untrue. Catalyst’s report, The Myth of the Ideal Worker, makes it clear that even when women do “all the right things” they’re unlikely to earn as much or advance as far as their male colleagues. For example, by looking at the career paths of over 4,000 MBA grads from around the world, Catalyst found that women were more likely than men to ask for a variety of skill-building experiences and to proactively seek training opportunities. And, as Figure 1 shows, women and men negotiated for a higher-level position or greater compensation during the hiring process for their current job at equal rates. Women do ask—but get little in return. Equally skilled men advance farther and more quickly than their female peers. In fact, the $4,600 pay gap that starts from day one grew to more than $31,000 several years down the track—even when women asked. The problem isn’t the women—it’s the business environment. Entrenched sexism dominates, especially in talent management systems. Women are held to different standards than men: women must prove themselves multiple times to get ahead while men are promoted on promise. In fact, as Figure 2 shows, men who were at their second post-MBA job earned $13,743 more than men who stayed with their first employer. But women who had changed jobs at least twice earned $53,472 less than women who
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
-$40,000.00 Women Men -$53,472.00
Countered by asking for a higher salary
Countered by asking for a position at a higher level
Figure 1: Percentage of Women and Men who negotiated for a Higher Position or Greater Compensation
Figure 2: Salary Differences for Women and Men Who Changed Jobs
stayed with their first employer. And gendered language still prevails, with words like “aggressive” or “bold” baked into job descriptions to describe ideal candidates. These are words more often associated with men—and this explains why women are viewed as an imperfect fit for many top jobs. Until problems inherent in the system are fixed, there are some tactics that our research found especially beneficial to women’s advancement. For example, women who were more proactive self-promoters were better able to advance their careers and increase their salaries, and were overall more professionally satisfied than women who were less likely to make their achievements visible. In other words, women who toot their own horn do get ahead—and are happier at work too. Women can make their achievements more visible by telling managers about their accomplishments, seeking
credit for a job well done, requesting additional performance feedback, and perhaps most importantly, asking for a promotion when deserved. Doing so will help attract a sponsor—an important key to advancement. Unlike mentors, sponsors advocate for you from behind closed doors and help you climb the ladder. But to attract a sponsor, women need to be visible. And companies need to do their part too—the onus is on them to identify and develop rising talent. Smart companies hold executives accountable for the success of female rising stars. Organizations that neglect talent management issues are at risk of lagging their competitors in attracting, developing, and retaining the best candidates to serve as their next generation of leaders. And business leaders would be well served by dumping myths that propagate stereotypes and unintentionally hold women back. The issue isn’t that women don’t ask. Maybe it’s that men don’t have to. PDJ
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, Europe, and India, and more than 500 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. January/February 2012
UNIQUE. TALENTED. INSPIRED. Valuing inclusion and improving lives in our communities and around the globe. walmartstores.com/diversity
HIGHER EDUCATION DIVERSITY
ON THE FENWAY
How Jackie Jenkins-Scott transformed a small school into a haven for diversity in Boston
By Grace Austin heelock College sits on the picturesque Fenway area in Boston, just five minutes from Northeastern and Boston Universities. While Wheelock is much smaller than its educational counterparts, the college has been transformed into a model of diversity, undergoing rapid transformation under the helm of Jackie Jenkins-Scott. Only the thirteenth president in Wheelock’s 124-year history, and the first African American to lead the school, Jenkins-Scott’s hiring was a break with tradition. Although Jenkins-Scott’s background is not in academia nor does she have a doctorate degree, her notable initiatives have made Wheelock a model for diversity. Educator Lucy Wheelock founded Wheelock College in 1888 with a mission to “improve the lives of women and children.” Wheelock’s initial enrollment was 12 students in a kindergarten teacher training class. Over the last century, the small kindergarten education program expanded to a four-year college and graduate degree programs. For most of Wheelock’s history, the school has been largely female and white. Under Jenkins-Scott’s leadership, the school is now comprised of 23% students of color, up from 12% when she began her tenure. This statistic is only growing: the class of 2014 is 32% students of color. Jenkins-Scott’s grew up far from her adopted home of Boston. Jenkins-Scott was born in segregated Arkansas, and grew up in working class Flint, Michigan. After attending graduate school in Boston, she became director of the Dimock Community Health Center in the Roxbury neighborhood in Boston. Working at the health center for 21 years, Jenkins-Scott helped bring health and human services to an underserved population in Boston. JenkinsScott came to Wheelock College in 2005.
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“I’ve spent almost my entire professional career working in inner-city communities. I was really attracted to Wheelock’s unique and special mission to improve the lives of children and families. I saw the connection between what I spent my professional career doing and felt it was very compatible with the mission of the college,” said Jenkins-Scott. Wheelock’s current president has instituted many innovative initiatives. Her main success has been in strengthening the college’s core undergraduate and graduate academic programs, enhancing the undergraduate experience, and expanding the college’s global-reach, which includes Guatemala, Singapore, Ghana, Bermuda, and Ireland. She has instituted an International Visiting Scholars program that has been mutually beneficial for Wheelock faculty and visiting students. Wheelock also has a special connection with Singapore, where the school has been educating students for 20 years and has educated or trained nearly 25% of all early childhood educators in the country. “We live in a very diverse world and we believe it’s important for our students to leave here as global citizens. Over the past eight years, we have been very focused on providing experiences and opportunities both off and on our campus for our students to understand what that commitment to improving the lives of children and families is all about,” said Jenkins-Scott. “It’s transformational for students to have an international experience.
New Initiatives at Wheelock
During Jenkins-Scott’s tenure, an Office of Institutional Diversity, the first of its kind, was formed. Dr. Adrian Haguabrook helms the office, which grew out of the Community Diversity Initiative, a program designed to
help local diversity efforts. Haguabrook hopes to integrate diversity throughout the whole university, and make the office less of an entity on its own. Jenkins-Scott has instituted many programs that attempt to reach out to less fortunate students, all with a goal of bettering the community. One of these initiatives includes the Pre-Collegiate and Access Programs, which works with high school juniors and seniors to prepare them for college. Many of these students are often the first in their families to go to college. Indeed, 52% of incoming freshman at Wheelock are the first in their families to attend a university. “There is a lot of work we are doing in the city of Boston. Our work is about helping students to understand how to prepare students for college, especially the students that typically or traditionally have the factors that don’t allow them access to higher education. That office works across the city of Boston, linking the resources from Wheelock to the community and bringing the community into Wheelock,” said Haguabrook. Jenkins-Scott has also inspired a higher education program targeting men to become teachers, particularly men of color. Haguabrook sees this as a critical issue. “We know we are not going to be making a national impact, but the one thing we do know is that it takes some inspiration and programming to create a pilot that can be replicable [at other universities.] We convened conferences, speakers, and meetings and the result was a pilot partnership with Eagle Academy a school for young men in New York,” said Haguabrook. The two-year long process targets juniors and seniors interested in making teaching their career, whether they attend Wheelock or another school. The program began three years ago. Currently there are five men from Eagle Academy and two from the Boston-area attending Wheelock College.
Wheelock College has attempted in recent years to expand as a college and broaden its reach in the community. Two important events have been key to this goal: a 2007 Youth Symposium that focused on timely issues such as
youth violence and the high dropout rate among urban Boston youth, and 2010 mentoring-focused Passion for Action, in which Greater Boston teachers nominated students who had shown leadership skills and a passion for being “change agents.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the key-note speaker at the symposium, while actor and activist Hill Harper spoke to students at Passion for Action. “We see them as something we will do every three years. We will have another one in 2013. Out of both of these symposiums have grown successful follow-up activities. At the first symposium, the students themselves talked about how they were tired of violence in their community; they talked about taking control of their communities. They created their own organization called Spark the Truth. Spark the Truth now serves 3,000 students in the Greater Boston area, and is run by college students. Said JenkinsScott, “We’re very proud out of what has grown out of these two symposiums.”
Capital Campaign and the Future
Wheelock recently announced an unprecedented Capital Campaign of $80 million for the school, of which $54 million has already been raised. This is an impressive feat for a small school of 1200 faculty, staff, and students, and in a struggling economy. “We’re very excited about our campaign. We consider this campaign to be transformative for Wheelock College. It’s the largest campaign in the history of the college,” said Jenkins-Scott. The future looks bright for Wheelock College, which although is much smaller and less well-known than some surrounding universities, is looking to expand and improve diversity. Jenkins-Scott hopes to do this by bringing more diverse students and faculty to the college and incorporating technology as a major pillar of diversity. “We are not going to be satisfied with 30% of our student population representing diverse communities. It’s not so much about the number, but that we want to have a true commitment to diversity,” said Jenkins-Scott. “We think there is no other way for an institution of higher education to be thriving without that kind of commitment.” PDJ January/February 2012
Successful Diversity Strides
By Noëlle Bernard
iami University is a public college located in the southwestern Ohio town of Oxford, Ohio. Known for its red bricks, “Public Ivy” status, and married Miami graduates known as “Miami Mergers,” poet Robert Frost once called it “the most beautiful college there is.” Miami has a student population of roughly 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students, with the largest percentage being Caucasian students. As of fall 2010, the university enrolled 14,686 undergraduates. 12,271 students were Caucasian, 602 African American, 349 Hispanic/Latino, 389 Asian, 70 American Indian and 114 multi-racial.
King Library, the main library on campus
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The enrollment numbers are not uncommon for historically white institutions across the country, but Miami has taken significant strides to combat the staggering statistics. The university has services that target multicultural and international students, women, students with disabilities, and the GLBTQ community. The Office of Diversity Affairs (ODA) provides resources for education and programming to bring awareness and inclusion for everyone, says Gerald Yearwood, Senior Director of the ODA. “When you allow people to understand not only diversity but also inclusion and difference, you basically have to educate people into understanding that no one’s the
at Brick Beauty same,” Yearwood said. “Everyone’s different in their own way. We have to be accepting of that, which is something that our society does not do.” The foundation of ODA is to reach diverse students represented by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic statuses, and expose their experiences to the remaining majority. As soon as a first-year student arrives on campus the ODA exposes them to various organizations that challenge stereotypes and misconceptions. One important first-year program is Made@Miami. This program gives incoming students from diverse backgrounds an exclusive glimpse into the Miami culture three days before regular move-in. “I always tag it as a three-day boot camp where students are allowed to learn as much as they can about how to navigate Miami University,” Yearwood said. “It gives them an opportunity to integrate with other students, both students of color and with students who are not of color. They form friendships and different ideologies in terms of how they can grow and develop over time.” Through ODA, GLBTQ services are readily available to increase knowledge and support for the GLBTQ community. Workshops, lectures, and events are established during each semester where all students and staff can participate through groups such as Spectrum, GLEAM, and Haven. Moreover, ODA has a student faction from the university’s Associated Student Government (ASG) called The Diversity Affairs Council (DAC). The council is an alliance of student organizations that raise issues regarding the university’s cultural climate to boost the presence of diversity.
Beyond Miami’s Office of Diverse Affairs, the university created the Women’s Center to meet the needs of women on campus. “The formal mission statement is to advance women’s full participation and success as students and global citizens through educational programs, leadership opportunities, and support and advocacy services that engage students with women and gender issues and foster women’s personal and professional development,” said Rhonda Jackson, Administrative Assistant at the Women’s Center. The Center promotes leadership and empowerment by training several female students to become Student Ambassadors for the university. “They are charged to take leadership roles within organizations, agencies and institutions within or throughout the university,” Jackson said. “They also take a leadership role in advocating for women’s rights, women’s equality and equal access for women into careers, and post-higher education experiences.” Participation and open discussions are key to the Center’s success. The essential message is to give females at Miami an opportunity to vocalize their needs and empower them to fight for equality and access. “All individuals regardless of how they identify, whether it’s male, female, transgender, bisexual, pansexual, or whatever, should have equal rights,” Jackson said. “There should not be this patriarchal system that has manifested itself throughout our American history of men having more privilege, more access, and being paid more money than women for doing the same amount of work.” The Center is an open space for women to express their views and learn how to conquer issues paramount to female health and life. Yet many wonder why women have a center devoted exclusively to their needs and not men. “The reason there isn’t a men’s center is because it’s an access issue,” Jackson said. “Men have historically had access and privilege that women have not had.” It offers a quiet space for studying and a place to communicate. But counseling services are not available. Instead, the center acts as a triage to streamline access for those seeking immediate help. “We try to have students understand that you need to have absolute balance in your life and taking on more and more is not necessarily always the best,” Jackson said. “It might look good on a resumé but it may be detJanuary/February 2012
>> HIGHER EDUCATION
Above left: Students eating lunch at the Phillip Shriver Student Center Above center: Employees for the Office of Residence Life Above right: McCracken Residence Hall, located on South Campus
rimental to your health and college experience.” Furthermore, in recent years Miami has shown increased commitment toward providing equal opportunities for all students and employees, including people with disabilities. The Office of Disability Resources (ODR) works to ensure accessibility for everyone attending or working at the university. ODR provides educational services, accommodations and numerous resources to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and a part of the Miami community, says Andrew Zeisler, Director of the Office of Disability Resources and the Associate Director of the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity. “The inclusion and diversity that we promote is that everybody should feel welcome on campus,” Zeisler said. ODR works with individuals who have physical, mental, psychiatric, and neurological disabilities. They follow the guidelines established by federal laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Amendments of 2009. On campus the ODR is most recognized for promoting the renovation of all buildings for updated accessibility projects, called the “Miami Makeover.”
The Center promotes leadership and empowerment by training several female students to become Student Ambassadors for the university.” — Rhonda Jackson, Administrative Assistant at the Women’s Center
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“The good thing about accessibility is it benefits all. Not everybody can use the stairs or front door,” Zeisler said. “But everybody can use a ramped entrance, including people with strollers, [the] elderly and people who have rolling book bags.” The focal point for ODR is to include individuals with disabilities into the university community by educating faculty, staff, and peers about the significance of multiple life experiences. “If you don't have a disability, eventually you may [because] that’s the way our bodies operate, they break down as we get older,” Zeisler said. “We may have an accident that might leave us disabled. So the more we understand now and the more we do now in that area, the easier it will be for everybody.” But as Miami strives to increase diversity, recent graduate Tim Lu worries that the university is focusing too heavily on diversifying race. “Sometimes I will take on the belief that we’re doing so much that it’s actually over-creating this barrier that we’re trying to correct,” Lu said. “We spend so much talking about how there’s not enough diversity here and everyone associates that with race. Maybe the underlining problem with diversity is that it’s gender, religion, and other things too.” Lu’s parents are immigrants from the Philippines; he is also half-Chinese. Throughout his Miami experience, Lu has been a first-year orientation leader, a Resident Assistant, a member of Miami’s Hip-Hop Dance Crew, and active in the Christian organization Campus Crusade for Christ. Lu supports the university’s diversity efforts, but believes achieving increased diversity will take time. “The university is doing everything they can. The problem is not the solution we’re chasing. I don’t honestly have the answer,” said Lu. “I’m trying to play my role as best as I can.”
‘No Hate’ at Miami University
n April 2010, an alleged hate bias assault riveted Miami University’s campus. Two students leaving a student organizationsponsored drag show were victims to the attack, which occurred outside Stadium Bar & Grille and across the street from the Oxford Police Department (OPD). The undergraduate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) organization Spectrum hosts drag show four times a year. But the isolated incidents served as a wake up call for the university, prompting a “No Hate on My Campus” campaign. “The situation sucked but it presented us with this opportunity,” said Spectrum co-president, Billy Price. “It really led the campus to realize that these things are happening at Miami and know that they’re not okay.” Price joined the coalition during his first year because he wanted to be involved in a group spreading awareness and education across campus for GLBTQ community. “It’s really important for me to be involved in making the campus, the community, and ultimately the world a better place for LGBTQ people,” Price said. According to Price, Spectrum is a social group that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, queer and allied students at Miami. Roughly 30 and 40 people attend the weekly Spectrum meetings. This year, the group is educating members at meetings about topics regarding allied support, strange sex practices from all over the world, political issues, the intersection of faith and sexuality, AIDS, and the concept of gender as a social construction, Price said. Spectrum advocates for equal opportunities for
all students. The group welcomes all students and community members to participate in events and activities promoting social change. For nearly 25 years, gay and lesbian alliances (GLAs) were established on campus, Price said, but several variations of such groups came and went during times when the university refused to recognize them as legitimate student organizations. According to Price, he has seen positive changes during his time at Miami. For instance, the largest growing segment of Spectrum is allied support. According to Miami University’s GLBTQ Services website, an ally is “a person who supports sexual and gender diversity, challenges those who don’t, and works towards equality; often used to describe a heterosexual person who identifies with the LGBT community.” “Studies have shown that if you know someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender than you’re more likely to have positive feelings toward the LGBT population as a whole,” Price said. “Building allies is one of our goals. So much of this campus has been changing in terms of ideology and political views. It’s amazing what time can do.” Subsequently, on Oct. 25, 2011, Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) visited Miami University, which is a religious group notorious for picketing soldiers’ funerals and vehemently renouncing homosexuality. Months leading up to WBC’s scheduled picketing, Miami’s campus exploded with mixed reactions. Originally a member of the religious group intended to come speak during a comparative religion course. “The original plan was for Westboro to come to a class on religious extremism so the professor could demonstrate his research methods and allow his class to practice an ethics-influenced empathy-based approach to studying Westboro,” said Price. “It’s really a fascinating approach when January/February 2012
Above left: Phi Delta Theta Gates, the entrance into Miami University from Uptown Above center: Upham Hall and Seal, famously known for the “Upham Arch” where Miami couples kiss under the lantern at midnight. Legend has it after the couple kisses they will be together forever. Above right: The Sundial; Legend has it if you rub the heads of the turtles at the base, you will do well on your next exam.
>> HIGHER EDUCATION
Above left: Trevor Cook made an appearance at Unite Miami. Above center and right: Students, faculty, and members of the community gathered on Central Quad to celebrate diversity at Miami.
the only interaction people have with them is yelling across picket lines.” But the proposed visit backlashed when the student newspaper, The Miami Student exposed the visit to the community. Upon hearing the news, Price and Spectrum’s Leadership Team prepared by extensively researching the tactics and beliefs of WBC. Then the department of comparative religion retracted the invitation of WBC member Shirley Phelps-Roper. As a result, WBC announced on its website a plan to picket the university. Instead of reacting with adverse hatred, Spectrum collaborated with 43 co-sponsors to host counter-picketing event during the scheduled protest and “White Out Hate” campaign. “We knew that people would initially want to stand there and scream back at them,” Price said. “Westboro is really great at eliciting this knee-jerk response that provides conflict and fodder for the media. “We really didn't want to enhance them in any way. We decided to have an event removed from where they were trying to be to draw people away to keep the exposure down,” he said. The event stood as an alternative for people, protecting them from the “emotional terrorism” or possible litigation from WBC if students or community members cross the line, Price said. Moreover, the “White Out Hate” campaign was charged as a silent protest tactic for students to show solidarity throughout the day before WBC arrived. Spectrum also hosted a teach-in on “hate” to discuss the status of hate crimes and hate groups in America. The counter-picket event raised money for a local veterans fund and an LGBT cause with about 500 people cycling throughout. “It was an affirming experience and we really had one Miami community at that event,” Price
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said. “It wasn't just LGBT allies. It was everyone just coming together against this all-encompassing group.” Spectrum is a resource for students seeking a safe place to express struggles with sexuality and to celebrate the GLBTQ community. “We’re open to absolutely everyone,” Price said. “We can’t really build walls when we’re trying to tear them down.”
Miami’s first African American and Female Dean of Students
n April 15, 1970, Miami University students overtook Rowan Hall, the U.S. Navy ROTC building, as an aggressive protest against the military. The sit-in marked a historic event in Miami history when students united to express Vietnam War grievances and demands for university change. Students demanded three things: the immediate removal of ROTC programs on campus, the cancellation of academic credit for ROTC, and the university’s adherence to the equality standards expressed by the Black Student Action Association regarding the lack of black faculty, students, and courses. At the time Miami enrolled 299 African-American students out of the total student population of 14,200. By 1985, Miami saw an increase in AfricanAmerican enrollment, faculty, and staff. This was the Miami University current Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Susan MosleyHoward found when she arrived as a counselor in 1983. Mosley-Howard is the first woman and first African American to hold the position of Dean of Students at the university. “Up until the time I was selected for this position, we’d always had white men as the dean of
students,” Mosley-Howard said. “That’s a bit of a shift for Miami University.” At first glance, Mosley-Howard’s petite stature and cheerful composure does not characterize a dean of students responsible for student conduct and discipline. Yet at Miami the role of the dean of students is crafted to focus on the holistic university experience of shaping students’ educational and social development. “What attracted me to the position is that I thought as a mental health provider, as a faculty member, as someone who studies how collegeage students develop, I could lend my expertise to making sure that Miami was providing the kind of experiences students would need to really thrive,” Mosley-Howard said. “It went way beyond conduct and helping students understand how to be personally responsible.” Twenty-seven years ago, Mosley-Howard joined Miami’s Student Counseling Service as a new psychiatrist seeking teaching, counseling, and research opportunities. She earned her PhD in educational psychology from Michigan State University, has a Master’s degree in educational psychology. and received a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of Michigan. But Mosley-Howard never expected to become the university dean of students. When she arrived at Miami, Mosley-Howard thought the university was a “good place to start a career” in educational psychology. Since then Miami’s atmosphere has changed because the university’s focus on diversity has intensified. “In 1983, I could almost name every student of color on this campus, at least in the entering class,” said Mosley-Howard. “I can no longer do that. In terms of the composition, the number of students we admit to Miami who are historically underrepresented, we’ve steadily progressed in that area.”
Mosley-Howard attributes Miami’s current climate to the decades she spent on the red-brick campus watching the campus evolve. She looks at improving diversity in three areas: the university composition, climate, and curriculum. At Miami, her job is to evaluate the university’s climate and curriculum to assess ways to attract and retain multi-cultural students. Progress is evident in relation to curriculum and composition, but an openly accepting atmosphere at the university still needs work, Mosley-Howard said. “I expect a lot out of Miami,” Mosley-Howard said. “Miami expects a lot out of itself. Because we have a healthy sense of restlessness on this campus, in terms of what we’re trying to accomplish, we’re not going to be satisfied until we really reach the aspirations of being a campus that represents the world. “I want student of color to have the same love for Miami that I have for The University of Michigan,” Mosley-Howard said. “I had a wonderful experience there and a lot of it is because I felt validated as a young scholar … I want Miami students to have that same feeling because I know how powerful that can be. We have some students of color who feel affirmed but we also have some who don’t.” PDJ
Above left: “Dare to Understand” is a Miami University mural. Above center: This mural welcomes students into the Women’s Center. Above right: “Dare to Be” by David Strickland; August 21, 2009.
Up until the time I was selected for this position, we’d always had white men as the Dean of Students. That’s a bit of a shift for Miami University.” — Susan Mosley-Howard, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students
Automotive hub Flint, Michigan is attempting to REBRAND itself through redevelopment and minority feedback. At the center of this is Flint-born and -bred MAYOR DAYNE WALLING. By Patrick Hayes
ERVING THE NEEDS OF THE POPULATION OF FLINT, MICHIGAN, IS NO EASY TASK.
Most notably, coming home provides insecurity when soldiers are left without jobs. Hiring military and veterans has become a priority for many corporations and a new aspect of diversity and inclusion in every workplace across the country. A city once known as the birthplace of General Motors and a monument to the once-great manufacturing power of America has now become a national symbol of the crisis that befell many Rust Belt cities when those manufacturing jobs began to dwindle. Still, bolstered by an emergence of new business opportunities, a diverse population, and a mayor who grew up in the city during its more productive days, Flint could be on the verge of a major turnaround. Flint is 57 percent African American, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The city faces several challenges not only due to its racial diversity, but also the changes caused by a dramatically shifting economy. Moving from an economy primarily dependent on General Motors and the automotive industry to a more well-rounded market not at the mercy of the erratic auto industry has been a major focus of late by city leadership.
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Because of the steady loss of manufacturing jobs, Flint’s unemployment rate is nearly 12 percent. Flint’s poverty and crime rates are unsurprisingly high as a result of those unemployment figures. But the city’s composition is no longer just people with roots in the manufacturing industry. Flint is home to three colleges: University of Michigan-Flint, Kettering University and Mott Community College. UMFlint is the fastest growing public university in Michigan; Kettering is one of the top engineering schools in the country according to U.S. News and World Report; and Mott was recognized by the White House this fall for its emphasis on workforce training programs. Combined, the colleges bring nearly 9,000 students per day into the city limits. As a result, the public’s expectations of government have become more nuanced. Citizens in the most crimeriddled areas are concerned foremost with public safety. The unemployed want local government to help create jobs they are qualified for or provide training programs to help them land work in new fields. The college crowd is interested in adding attractions like restaurants and entertainment venues closer to the campuses. The city’s administration, led by January/February 2012
Mayor Dayne Walling, tries to meet all of these very different needs. “I took an oath when I was sworn in as mayor to serve all people in the city, and I take that commitment very seriously,” Walling said. “Democracy is all about finding common ground among diverse perspectives. I believe that the solutions we identify as a whole community are much better than what one group or one neighborhood would come up with.” Walling, who was re-elected in November to his second term as the city’s mayor, is a product of Flint Public Schools, which helped him understand the diverse needs he’d need to meet when he was elected in 2009. “I grew up in Flint and graduated from Flint Public Schools,” Walling said. “I was part of the first generation that came through racially integrated public schools here. From a very young age, I was interacting with kids from all different parts of the city, from families of all different income levels. It taught me a lot about the different backgrounds and perspectives that people come from.” One of the first initiatives he put in place was designed to give residents of the city a chance to make demands on their government leadership: Neighborhood Action Sessions. The public forums essentially started a dialogue between residents in all parts of the city and local elected officials, law enforcement, and other administrators. Walling’s administration hosted more than 40 of these sessions in neighborhoods, churches, businesses, schools, and community organizations and sought input about the services residents felt were most vital. Not surprisingly, the feedback was very different depending on the audience, something that Walling felt has been useful. “The process was very effective
Walling speaks to TV viewers about his latest venture for Flint.
because it allowed everybody to get involved right in their own neighborhood,” he said. “We had nearly 1,500 people participate in that process.” Jared Field, a resident of Flint’s Bradley Hills neighborhood on the city’s west side, notes that the city’s diverse population and opinions are a key to turning things around. “I’ve heard stories my whole life about Flint and what it was like in its ‘heyday.’ I made the decision to move into the city because I know, without a doubt, that positive change comes from within,” Field said. “We have a healthy mix of people living in this city, people whose experiences cover a broad spectrum. To make another ‘heyday’ possible, we have to continue to harness the power of a diverse population and inspire more people to take ownership of Flint’s future.” Field also said that although Walling, like any elected official, faces his share of criticism, his administration has established an open line of communication with residents. “During Mayor Walling’s tenure in Flint, a new economic reality set in and it has been an adjustment for ev-
eryone,” Field said. “I respect Mayor Walling for his willingness to make tough decisions aimed at right-sizing our city. In the midst of a national recession, Walling has helped create an environment of cooperation focused on comprehensive solutions for a city on the rebound.” Walling noted that, despite the crime and poverty the city has experienced over the last three decades, Flint has a long history of different races and backgrounds working together in unison. In 1968, for example, Flint was the first city of 100,000 or more people in the United States to pass an open and fair housing ordinance. “They passed it by referendum – other cities put something similar in place by a city council or commission voting, but a majority of Flint voters supported an open housing referendum that eliminated a lot of the deed restrictions and allowed people of all racial and religious groups to live anywhere in the city,” Walling said. “We have a proud history of cooperation that goes along with the ongoing challenges of racial
and socioeconomic inequality.” Walling’s work as mayor has focused on one major common solution that he believes will solve a multitude of the city’s problems: redevelopment. Redevelopment creates jobs, which reduces unemployment. It also reduces blight, which fosters safer neighborhoods. Redevelopment brings entertainment and attractions into the city, which encourages not only Flint residents but outsiders to visit and spend money in the community. Walling’s development initiatives have targeted all regions of Flint. “The new jobs and developments in the city have positively impacted neighborhoods in all parts of the city,” Walling said. “We have a new state of Michigan Department of Human Services building that is anchoring a commercial and retail plaza on the city’s north side. We have a major infrastructure improvement from the expressway to our college corridor that was put in on the city’s west side. On the east side, we had major demolition and neighborhood improvement work that has been done with federal grant funds. On the south side, a major pharmacy company has moved their headquarters into the city of Flint. We have a comprehensive, city-wide strategy of improving the infrastructure and bringing new development to all parts of the city.” One theme, though, has been present in all of the decisions Walling’s administration has made: diversity. He believes that more feedback from different groups of people will ultimately lead to a stronger city. Concludes Walling: “The developments and initiatives that can be supported by a diverse group are more sustainable over time, more resilient to market change, and they end up benefitting more families.” PDJ Patrick Hayes is a freelance journalist based in Michigan. Read more of his work at his website, www.patrickhayes.net, or follow him on Twitter @patrick_hayes.
MILITARY | GOVERNMENT
From the FRONTLINES to the OFFICE
TRANSITIONS MILITARY RETIREES AND VETERANS FACE IN THE WORKFORCE By Grace Austin
OR AMERICA’S RETURNING VETERANS, THE TRANSITION TO CIVILIAN LIFE BRINGS MANY CHANGES. Most notably, com-
ing home provides insecurity when soldiers are left without jobs. Hiring military veterans has become a priority for many corporations and a new aspect of diversity and inclusion in every workplace across the country. Companies like Amazon, Southern Company, ManTech International, CSX Corporation, USAA, and Northrop Grumman have made con-
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sistent efforts to hire veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and recent retirees from the armed forces. These companies were all featured on GI Jobs’ annual Top 100 Military Friendly Employers. Northrop Grumman ranks in the top eleven for best workplaces for military retirees and veterans. The aeronautics and defense contracting corporation has created Operation IMPACT (Injured Military Pursuing Career Transition), a program that January/February 2012
assists wounded veterans in finding jobs at Northrop Grumman and other workplaces. The program was installed in 2004. Program manager Michael Sullivan is proud of the Operation IMPACT’s success. “The program encourages hiring managers within Northrop Grumman in helping to identify career opportunities for those service members who return home from their service severely injured,”
said Sullivan. As part of Operation IMPACT, Northrop Grumman has created the Network of Champions. A partnership with almost 70 companies, the Network of Champions works at finding suitable positions at major corporations like Best Buy, GE, and The Sierra Group. “Northrop Grumman has led the way in assisting wounded warriors with career transitions. Not only Northrop Grumman, but just careers. It is essentially a consortium that provides career assistance for severely wounded veterans,” added Sullivan. CSX, a transportation company that does significant contracting with the military, is approximately onequarter ex-armed forces. “We have always actively recruited military because they are proven success stories for us,” said Susan Hamilton, Chief Diversity Officer at CSX. CSX was also the first business to partner with the Wounded Warrior Project. “Our company has Wounded Warrior interns, known as “externs,” serving in various departments as they engage in a program of getting back into civilian life and recovering from their injuries,” said Hamilton. “We have also hired some Wounded Warriors permanently.” Not surprisingly, the defense industry is the one of the top hiring sectors for military retirees and veterans. The transition makes sense for ex-GIs, who often work with contractors while in the military. “It’s a hard transition for service personnel when they get out. The defense contractors are a natural fit -- they worked with us often in the field. There’s an inclination to go to the defense contracting industry as a first step,” said Sullivan. USAA, although a non-contracting
Tips for Those Looking to Hire More Veterans: Utilize your existing employees who are veterans/reservists to advise you on best ways to reach more veterans. They should be focus groups for you on best practices to attract and retain veterans. Civilian employers need to recognize and interpret the transitional stage from military and civilian life. For example, resume΄ help can be beneficial for veterans and military retirees. If you are a corporation near a military installation, connect to the installation and get to know the people in that organization. “You can be a benefit to them and they can be a benefit to you,” said DePiro. Use military recruiting sites, like militaryrecruit.com, hiremilitary.com, and vetjobs.com. If you are a large corporation with a bigger budget, hire an ex-military person on your budget/recruiting team to better aid you in military recruiting.
company, still has a military connection. The company was founded in the 1920s to provide financial services to service members and their families. USAA currently employees approximately 2,900 military retirees and veterans. “For many years, it’s been a core part of how we focus on hiring our employees. It’s the right thing to do for our country. Veterans need jobs. The key is to finding the right fit, and the right job for the right veteran,” said John DePiro, Military Talent Manager at USAA. “USAA exists to take care of military veterans and their families. We like to hire them for the same reasons other companies do: leadership skills, work ethic, and management skills.” Most companies find very few obstacles when hiring recent veterans and retirees. When they do, they are often rooted in the transition from military to civilian life. “Veterans sometimes may not understand how their military experience translates well to the work that’s done by the private sector employers. The transition from military services to civilian work can be a time of pretty intense anxiety, and some-
times veterans do not give themselves enough credit for the knowledge and abilities they have,” said Sullivan. With a different focus than the defense industry, USAA has encountered other obstacles. “The core job for us is customer service, whether banking, insurance, or investment services. Their skills are based in other areas, so hiring military people for those jobs becomes problematic,” said DePiro. Both Sullivan and Hamilton attest to the superiority of ex-GIs as workers and recommend the hiring of military veterans and retirees. “Their training is first-rate. They have technical skills and personal attributes that are easily transferable into the world of 24/7 rail transportation,” said Hamilton. “They understand the discipline needed to run a railroad and they are focused on the job.” Sullivan agrees: “Our experience is that veterans and retirees bring with them a great work ethic and leadership experience that is very difficult and maybe can’t be trained.” “They’re focused on mission and purpose,” he continued. “They have a willingness to take initiative and do what it takes.” PDJ
Edited by Grace Austin
Always Prepared with Always Prepped
A HAD HASSAN BEGAN
dreaming of an online company that would help kids utilize online resources while working at his previous job at Daylert, Inc. Not a stranger to entrepreneurship, Hassan began Daylert, Inc., a social calendaring service for college students, which later was acquired by education company Intelliworks. Hassan’s second business idea became a reality in March 2011, when Always Prepped, a math prepatory website, was created. “Only 6% of kids K-12 are actually engaging with online tools. We’re building a platform for kids, parents, and teachers to engage in content and curriculum in a fun way on the web for free or for a small fee,” said Hassan. A native of Bangladesh, Hassan moved to the United States when he was six years old, growing up in the metropolitan Washington, D.C./ NOVA area and later attending Virginia Tech. Currently, the com-
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pany is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, close to the same area where Hassan grew up. Hassan was a local tutor at National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), an innercity tutoring and mentoring program, and enjoyed tutoring throughout high school and college. “I love helping kids learn. At my last job at Intelliworks, we weren’t doing anything to advance learning, which is really where I’m passionate. It was a combination of this and noticing kids going to these brickand-mortar facilities like Sylvan and Kaplan. Parents are paying a lot of money [at these organizations] to basically access worksheets. I saw it [AlwaysPrepped] as offering the same services in a physical location online for maybe a tenth of the cost. As an entrepreneur, you take an idea like that and you build on it,” said Hassan. Always Prepped is still in the infant stages of growth, with Hassan currently searching for significant January/February 2012
capital for investment. Hassan quit his job seven months ago to devote himself full-time to the start-up. Hassan is currently the only fulltime employee, although there are four part-time workers. The company has not been immune to financial challenges stemming from the economic downturn. The aforementioned capital has been more difficult to come by compared to Hassan’s last venture into entrepreneurship. “People are still afraid to write investment checks. Investors tend to want to see you further along than they wanted to see you further along five to seven years ago. We’ve had to do more with less, until we’ve felt like we were comfortable enough to raise capital for the business. That’s been tough. Working nights and weekends with your colleagues is a challenge when you’re trying to create a good product,” said Hassan. Hassan has also found challenges because of his youth. Only 25, Hassan finds the education business a tough place for a young entrepreneur. “Education is primarily a business where older people generally have the authority and the input. There aren’t a lot of 25 year-olds doing what I’m doing. When I go into a school district where we want to test our product, although most people are receptive, I do find a lot of older educators who [have been] doing this for 30-40 years saying ‘kids can’t just learn online’ or ‘the tools aren’t developed enough.’ It’s been frustrating dealing with an older generation who don’t believe that technology
can be a great supplement to what kids are learning in the classroom,” said Hassan. Despite these challenges, Hassan sees the company expanding within the next year and in the future. “We have a really big vision for what we’re trying to accomplish. We are focusing on engagement, an area that is underserved. We believe the curriculum problem has been solved, or that it’s been worked on by so many people, and we don’t want to focus on that,” said Hassan. “We are
focused on engagement—can we build a game, a platform, an application where kids want to use over and over again. We want to see millions of kids engaged in our platform on a daily basis.” Hassan also sees Always Prepped in classrooms across the country. “We want to make a portion of our product free, where schools and teachers can supplement what they’re doing in the classroom. I’d love to see our product in elementary schools across the country,” said Hassan.
With a genuine focus on improving education, Hassan is leveraging his youth and drive to create an start-up that looks to chalHASSAN lenge test-prep giants Kaplan and Sylvan. If Hassan’s dedication and previous entrepreneurial success are any indication, Always Prepped should continue to grow in years to come. PDJ
SMALL BUSINESS | ENTREPRENUER
AGENT ANYTHING DESIGNED TO
HELP CASH-STRAPPED COLLEGE STUDENTS
A RRY SCHIFF WAS a junior at Princeton
when he dreamed up Agent Anything, a company designed to help college students strapped for cash find quick, convenient jobs. “One of the things you are seeing more commonly are the number of students that are in school and working at the same time. The more time students have to spend working, the more their grades suffer. At the end of the
day you are [in college] to make good grades,” said Schiff. “Combining flexibility and the ability to make actual good money are key to Agent Anything.” Schiff compares Agent Anything to eBay, but instead of goods, offering services. Those with “missions” post them on the website, which can range from errands to deliveries SCHIFF to handing out flyers. While acting as a liaison between students and consumers seems like a simple concept, Agent Anything has received considerable traffic, and is hoping to expand further from the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. “We get a lot of emails from people asking us to bring Agent Anything to their area,” said Schiff. “In the next few months, we’re going to be looking carefully at where the majority of these emails are coming from and start expanding in those areas first.” PDJ January/February 2012
SMALL BUSINESS | ENTREPRENUER
KEEPS YOUNG MEN’S WARDROBES FRESH AND POCKETS FAT
H E “GREAT RECESSION” of the late ‘00s may
have persuaded many entrepreneurs, including young entrepreneurs, from establishing new businesses. But the forlorn economy has never been a factor in Jason Ross’ decision to start JackThreads, an online men’s fashion retailer. “I never thought of [the recession] ever. I never wanted that to creep into mind; that was just another obstacle in my way,” said Ross. With over 1.2 million members and 55 employees, JackThreads has grown tremendously from its conceptual origins more than six years I wanted to do someago. Launched in 2008, thing that I was passionJackThreads has capitalate about and was true ized on the fashionable to me. I’ve always been and frugal male, offering into fashion and I’ve also flash sales of up to 80% always been a discount off the original retail price. shopper,” said Ross. “It came to me because “There was no outlet I am the JackThreads catering to cool guys…I customer. I was looking saw a great opportunity.” for a business plan, and
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With no fashion or tech background, Ross experienced a long process of trial and error. JackThread’s rise was gradual, taking nearly two and a half years to launch. By the time the company was ready to present itself to the public, a marketing budget was not feasible. “Just like we have from day one, we had to get creative. My thought immediately went to, ‘I’m a guy looking for these products at great prices, where do I spend time online.’ I knew a number of online communities that were creating content that was interesting to me. I started coldcalling blogs and print magazines, and I got them to write a story on us. Anytime they featured us, their readers would go crazy; they started shopping immediately, they were inviting their friends. It was a combination of being featured in the right places online and also creating a unique experience. Word-of-mouth was key to us,” said Ross. Ross, 30, is a far cry from the middle-aged CEOs that run most companies. Ross believes being young has helped him in his business ventures, giving him the (some say fool-hardy) benefit of youth who don’t have commitments and baggage like families and long employment histories. “When you’re young and you don’t have all
ROSS the life commitments, it’s the perfect time. My mindset in the early days was ‘I know it’s going to take me a while to figure out how to be successful on that career path, but if I work at it and I don’t quit, that knowledge is going to be more valuable than anything I’d learn at a corporate job.’ It took years to get through a lot of ups and downs. Looking at where it got me in the business, I can’t imagine doing anything else,” related Ross. In the future, Ross hopes to expand JackThreads, a goal already underway, as the company was recently acquired by New York media business Thrillist Co., which has significantly expanded the start-up. “The opportunity today is much bigger than it ever was. We also know that there are other business development opportunities we can build off of JackThreads today,” said Ross. “We are constantly figuring out ways to grow the brand and evolve it.” PDJ
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
Legacy of Civil Rights WE ARE PROUD TO RECOGNIZE TODAY’S BLACK LEADERS WHO ARE GUIDING US INTO THE FUTURE. WE HAVE ASKED SEVERAL PROMINENT THOUGHT LEADERS TO SHARE THEIR PERSPECTIVES ON LEADERSHIP, DIVERSITY AND A HOST OF OTHER TOPICS.
1492 – A black navigator, Pedro
Alonso Niño, travels with Christopher Columbus’ first expedition to the New World. Known as El Negro, Spainard Niño explored the coasts of Africa.
1619 – A Dutch ship brings 20 African
indentured servants to the English colony of Jamestown, Virginia. Charleston newspaper ads read: “To be sold on board the Ship Bance Island...a choice cargo of about 250 fine healthy NEGROES, just arrived from the Windward and Rice Coast. The utmost care has already been taken, and shall be continued, to keep them free from the least danger of
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being infected with the SMALL-POX, no boat having been on board, and all other communication with people from Charles-Town prevented.”
1758 – The African Baptist, or
“Bluestone” Church, is founded on the William Byrd plantation near the Bluestone River, in Mecklenburg, Virginia, becoming the first known black church in North America.
1773 – Phillis Wheatley’s book Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral is published, making her the first African American to be published.
1775 – George Washington changes
a previous policy and allows free blacks to enlist in the Continental Army. Later, approximately 5,000 do so.
1787 – Free blacks in New York
City found the African Free School, where future leaders Henry Highland
Garnett and Alexander Crummell are educated.
of a Free Black, the first novel by an African-American woman.
1791 – Benjamin
Banneker publishes the first almanac by an African American and is appointed by President George Washington to survey Washington, D.C.
1800 – Gabriel Prosser tries to
organize the first large-scale slave revolt in the U.S., gathering more than 1,000 armed slaves in Virginia. The revolt fails, and Prosser and more than 35 other slaves are executed.
1815 – Successful
African-American businessman Paul Cuffee finances the settlement of 38 African-Americans in Sierra Leone.
1816 – The U.S.’s first independent
African-American church denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is organized in Philadelphia.
1839 – Slaves being transported
aboard the Spanish ship Amistad take it over and sail to Long Island. They eventually win their freedom in a Supreme Court case.
1845 – Frederick
Douglass publishes his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself, which becomes an international bestseller.
1849 – Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated leaders of the Underground Railroad, helping more than 300 slaves escape.
1851 – Sojourner Truth, a
compelling speaker for abolitionism, gives her famous “Ain’t I a Woman” speech in Akron, Ohio.
1821 – The first black theater com-
pany in the United States, the African Company, is founded in New York.
1827 – John Brown Russwurm and Samuel Cornish publish the first African-American newspaper in the U.S., Freedom’s Journal.
1829 – In his pamphlet “Appeal to
the Colored Citizens of the World,” African-American David Walker calls for a national slave rebellion.
1834 – Henry Blair is the first
African American to receive a patent, for a cotton-planting machine.
1865 – Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment, outlawing slavery, and establishes the Freedmen’s Bureau to assist former slaves. Slavery in the United States is effectively ended when 250,000 slaves in Texas finally receive the news that the Civil War had ended two months earlier.
1865 – General Sherman issues a
field order setting aside 40-acre plots of land—“40 acres and a mule”—in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida for African Americans to settle.
1866 – The Civil Rights Act is enacted by Congress on April 9 to protect the civil rights of all people born in the United States without regard to race, color or previous condition of slavery.
1870 – Hiram
Revels of Mississippi becomes the first African-American senator.
1871 – Civil Rights Act is enacted 1852 – Harriet Beecher Stowe
publishes her anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which is an immediate bestseller and helps turn public opinion against the Fugitive Slave Act and slavery itself.
1859 – Harriet Wilson publishes
Our Nig; Or Sketches from the Life
in April to protect southern African Americans from the Ku Klux Klan.
1909 – The
NAACP is founded by black and white intellectuals, and is led by W.E.B. Dubois.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
1920s – Harlem Renaissance flourishes in New York City.
1936 – Jesse Owens wins gold at
1961 – “Freedom Riders,” in an effort to test new laws that prohibit segregation, begin taking bus trips South, facing hostility from locals.
1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
1940 – Hattie McDaniel becomes
assassinated by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN – now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum. King was booked in room 306.
the first American American to win an Academy Award, for her portrayal of Mammy in Gone with the Wind.
1976 – Black History Month founded
1945 – The first issue of Ebony
1979 – University of California v. Bakke
1947 – Jackie Robinson becomes
the first African-American player in the Major Leagues.
by the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History.
1962 – James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi, prompting riots.
1948 – Integration of U.S.
upholds affirmative action.
1983 – Guion Bluford becomes the first African American in space. 1992 – Race riots erupt after a court
acquits LAPD officers videotaped beating Rodney King.
1954 – Brown v. Board of Education
1992 – Carol Moseley Braun
rules segregation in schools unconstitutional.
1955 – Rosa
Parks refuses to give up her seat, spurring the Montgomery bus boycotts and eventual bus desegregation.
becomes the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
1963 – The March on Washington
for Jobs and Freedom takes place, where Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses the crowd with his “I Have a Dream” speech.
1964 – President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting discrimination.
1965 – Malcolm X, influential black leader, is assassinated.
1966 – The Black Panther Party is
formed by Robert George “Bobby” Seale and Huey Newton.
1957 – The “Little Rock Nine” are
blocked from entering high school, which leads to federal troops and the National Guard being called to Arkansas.
1959 – Motown Records is formed by Berry Gordy in Detroit, Michigan.
1968 – Martin Luthur King, Jr. is
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
1995 – The Million Man March is held in Washington, D.C.
2003 – Grutter v. Bollinger upholds the Michigan Law School’s policy of affirmative action.
1967 – President Johnson appoints Thurgood Marshall, first African-American judge, to the Supreme Court.
2009 – Senator Barack Obama
becomes the first African-American president. PDJ
Q &A with Leah Brown
ell me a little bit about your company and yourself. I started my business almost seven years ago out of a grieving process; I lost a close relative to HIV/AIDS. The frustration that I had from being the primary care giver to him is that we couldn’t find the right medicines and the right access to good health care back then. I felt it was quite daunting and frustrating. Several years later, after hitting some major obstacles in my pretty successful life, I decided I really wanted to go back and do something to make a difference in health care. I wanted to help folks in my position to have access to the best medicines and health care. That’s why I started my company, A-10. We have two major divisions, one being clinical research, and the other is our clinical care division. We are a full-service clinical service firm. We are based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. I have about 250 employees. How did you start your company? I think I really am the epitome of the traditional entrepreneur. I started my company organically, using savings, I had a mortgage on my house, I made a lot of mistakes, went through a lot of cash, and I really got my first break through a client of ours that is still a client. So, it’s really organically and through hard work,
CEO, A-10, Health Care
strong networking, and of course doing a quality, superior job in the work that we did. What gave you the incentive to start your own business? I was very successful at a large consulting firm, and I was thinking, wow, if I’m successful here I could be successful in my own business. But really, it was the passion of loved ones that have died that really fuels me. The incentive is to gain economic independence for the company and for our employees, but also driving our mission forward of helping to heal the world. What have been the challenges in starting a business? When starting my business, [the challenge] was trying to manage the cash flow, because I was using my own money, and secondly is gaining the credibility. When you’re in a clinical research company, you have to win business on your reputation because if you don’t deliver it well, or in compliance with the law, i.e. the FDA regulations, then people can get hurt, they can die. So starting off, it was building the credibility to say, yes, this simple girl from New Jersey can run a clinical research organization. In the climax of our company, which was last year, when we hit $20 million, that was probably trying to control the growth. Meaning that there are entirely different challenges when people are trying to grow a company, but in parallel, when your company is growing too fast, there are also some challenges. I had to put a
great leadership team in very quickly, and also control growth so that we are strategic and we are in an area that can sustain us for years to come. Why is it important for minorities and women to be economically independent? Caucasians net worth now is $113,000, while African Americans is $6,000. Mexican-Americans is $7,000. So hence, how are we going to grow black businesses so that they can achieve economic independence when average net worth is $6,000. If your net income is $6,000, that means you probably don’t even have a house. And typically when you’re an entrepreneur, you give your house up as collateral. If we continue to live this way, and communities of color are the ones that suffer the most in an economic downturn, then we are not going to pass wealth from generation to generation and we will be in this cycle of economic disadvantage if we continue this way. Why do you think your company has constantly been at the top of African-American-owned and women-run business lists? I think it is because of our trajectory’s growth. We have grown tremendously quickly. And the reason why we have grown is because we look, we feel, and we act differently than our competitors. The investment world is looking at us, [saying] they are focused, but they are diversified in their focus.
Q&A WITH LEAH BROWN
Facts courtesy of Columbia Law School
How do you encourage women and minorities to start their own companies and be economically independent? Not everyone should be an entrepreneur. You have to be a special type of person. You have to be a little crazy. You have to be comfortable with risk. You have to always know that there are things you won’t know and be ok with that, and not everyone is equipped that way. In reality, entrepreneurs are the last ones to get paid. You have to be able to live with uncertainty. I don’t encourage everyone, but the people I do, the advice I give to them, is that if you’re a minority, and you’re a woman, there is no excuse, and if you have the passion and foresight to own your business, there is no excuse to not be successful. There are so many government programs that support you in growing your business, and they are readily available to you. If you had to pick two, what traits are most important in being an entrepreneur? Number one is you must believe in what you’re doing. And number two, you have to be comfortable with uncertainty. Be able to be creative with finances. What is the most important issue facing the African-American community? We don’t have economic independence. It’s frustrating. Black women are going into business twice the rate of any other [demographic]. According to the Center of Research, we are going out of business triple the rate. Why is that? Of course, the common access to capital, meaning that you can’t do much when your median income is $6,000. And number two, AfricanAmerican women generally are so
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Mythbusting: African-American Heritage Month History of Jim Crow The term Jim Crow originated in a song performed by Daddy Rice, a white minstrel show entertainer who performed in the 1830s. The singer covered his face with charcoal paste or burnt cork to resemble a black man, and then sang and danced a routine in caricature of a Southern black slave. How the term became synonymous with the segregation of blacks in the late nineteenth century is unclear, but it gradually was identified with those laws and social mores that deprived African-Americans of their civil rights.
First De-Segregation in Education Case In 1848, Benjamin Roberts, an African-American printer, filed suit against the city of Boston, where his five-year-old daughter was required to travel past five white public schools to reach her segregated school. He based his suit on an ordinance that stated, “Any child excluded from the public schools could recover damages.” In the case, Roberts v. Brown, decided in 1850, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts found no constitutional basis for abolishing “colored only” schools. The decision was cited in upholding the “separate but equal” doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896.
Professor Looks on from Outside Class Professor G. W. McLaurin was in his 60s and had earned his master’s degree when he applied for admission to Oklahoma University as a doctoral candidate in education, because the black state colleges did not have comparable programs, in 1948. After he was finally admitted to the Oklahoma University School of Graduate Education, McLaurin was forbidden to sit in the class with white students. Instead, he was assigned to an adjoining room from which he could look into the classroom. Later he was seated in the classroom but only in a seat reserved for Negroes. LDF lawyers sought an order prohibiting this form of segregation, but the district court refused to issue it. Under McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, the U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled that isolating McLaurin from the student body because of race denied him equal protection of the law and violated the 14th Amendment.
overcommitted of other things they have to support, like church activities, volunteer work, and children. We, as African-American women, have always been looked at as the anchor for everything, between family, between community, between church, and sometimes those commitments can be in direct conflict with growing a business. Is there anything else you’d like to add about your success? I don’t feel that I’m successful. I feel like I’m on a journey. I’m on this journey to make a difference in the world in which I reside. It’s not going to be until the journey is over January/February 2012
that I can determine if I’ve made that positive effect. People define success as money or notoriety; I don’t define success that way. I define success that at the end of your lifetime, if you have strangers who may not have known you directly being able to say that this person made a positive difference in my life, that’s when you can define success. There are so many people that are very successful, and then they can do one thing to turn that around into a negative. I’m very careful about giving myself or anybody else any credit; you’re not going to know until at the end of the day when you finally rest if you’ve really truly made a difference. PDJ
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
Audrey Boone Tillman
Senior Executive COMPANY: Accenture HEADQUARTERS: New York City WEBSITE: www.accenture.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $25.5 billion EMPLOYEES: 236,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing EDUCATION: BSEE Cornell University; MBA from Wharton WHAT I’M READING: Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall MY PHILOSOPHY: From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48 INTERESTS: Bible study, international travel, weight training, skiing, salsa, spending good times with good people
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Leaders need to be authentic. Without authenticity, respect and trust cannot exist. What was the best advice you ever received? Follow your passion—when you do this, work becomes enjoyable. What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? When I understood that leadership is service to others. True leaders are committed to the success of their people. When you have a cause greater than self, there is no limit to what you can accomplish. What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African-American community today? While unemployment among the general population is about 9.1 percent, it’s at 16.2 percent for African Americans. For black males, it’s 17.5 percent and for black teens, nearly 41 percent. This impacts the family and the entire broader community. PDJ
Executive Vice President, Corporate Services
COMPANY: Aflac DL HEADQUARTERS: Columbus, Georgia WEBSITE: www.aflac.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $20.7 billion EMPLOYEES: 4,343 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Insurance and financial EDUCATION: BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; JD, University of Georgia School of Law WHAT I’M READING: The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, by Wes Moore MY PHILOSOPHY: Aim for excellence not perfection. INTERESTS: Reading, attending my children’s sporting events and activities, traveling
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Not surrounding yourself with people that will be honest with you. What was the best advice you ever received? Don’t let your title or position make you or break you. Always know who you are. What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African-American community today? As a whole we do not seem to value success the same way we used to. Doing well in school and having a great career is not what all of our children are aspiring to do. What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? Be mindful that not only your skill set and expertise are what always matters. Your perspective and outlook as a person of color are also valuable. PDJ
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer COMPANY: Aflac DL HEADQUARTERS: Columbus, Georgia WEBSITE: www.aflac.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $20.7 billion EMPLOYEES: 4,343 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Insurance and financial EDUCATION: BBA, University of Texas at Arlington; MBA, Troy University WHAT I’M READING: Private, by James Patterson MY PHILOSOPHY: My philosophy mirrors that of Dan Amos – “Take care of the employees, and they will take care of the company.” INTERESTS: Traveling (especially with no agenda) my family
What is your most rewarding career accomplishment? I am most fulfilled when I see others grow and achieve success. I have a drawer full of thank-you notes and cards from employees stating that I made a difference to them not only in their career, but also personally. What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? I would tell our next generation to think about what you’re good at. Then think about what you enjoy doing. Finally, think about what activity can sustain you and your family. The combination of all three of those should be your ultimate goal. However, regardless of your job level, always demonstrate a strong work ethic, and if you work for a company that recognizes the value you bring, your hard work will not go unrewarded. PDJ
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
William “BJ” Jones, Jr. Vice President, Sales
COMPANY: Boehringer Ingelheim HEADQUARTERS: Ridgefield, Connecticut WEBSITE: www.boehringer-ingelheim.com EMPLOYEES: 40,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Pharmaceuticals EDUCATION: BS, U.S. Air Force Academy; MS, Texas A&M University; MBA, Stanford Graduate School of Business WHAT I’M READING: The Raggamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning MY PHILOSOPHY: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. INTERESTS: Family, jazz, sports, fishing
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? I have very little tolerance for “leaders” who don’t leverage the strengths and talents of their people. In my opinion, the worst mistake a leader can make is to forgo humility and assume they have all the answers. Leaders should focus their efforts on hiring the right people and providing the right vision, training and feedback to their teams, and then trust your people to deliver. What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? My experience in Basic Training at the Air Force Academy was a defining moment for me. As a three-sport athlete in high school, I didn’t respond well to upperclassmen yelling at me all day long, so it was brought to my attention that I had an “attitude problem.” A senior cadet took me aside and let me know that I had great promise as an officer, but would never live up to my potential if the training was all about me. I realized he was right, my focus shifted immediately and I’ve never been the same. Whether in the Air Force, in sports or in business, it’s not about me, it’s about my team! PDJ
Vice President of National Diversity Relations COMPANY: Caesars Entertainment Corporation DL HEADQUARTERS: Las Vegas, Nevada WEBSITE: www.caesars.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $8.8 billion EMPLOYEES: 70,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Entertainment gaming industry EDUCATION: BS, Multidisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Business Communications WHAT I’M READING: Delivering Happiness, A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh; Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant MY PHILOSOPHY: Don’t look down at anyone unless you are pulling them up. INTERESTS: Music, athletic activities, cooking, volunteerism, family time
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Not treating your colleagues with dignity and respect, no matter the outcome. It is equally as bad to not provide others with opportunity to contribute or grow. Everyone has value. What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? When I was the football team captain in high school, I was appointed to resolve a disagreement over the music played in the locker room. After many conversations with my teammates we reached a solution that not only alleviated tension but also established unity and acceptance of others differences. It was at that moment I realized I had the ability to lead and help others come together for a common goal. PDJ
Executive Managing Director, Public Institutions and Education Solutions COMPANY: CBRE Group, Inc. HEADQUARTERS: El Segundo, California WEBSITE: www.cbre.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $5.1 billion EMPLOYEES: 31,000+ PRIMARY BUSINESS: Commercial real estate EDUCATION: BS, Georgetown University; MPA, American University WHAT I’M READING: The Starfish and the Spider, by Ori Brafman MY PHILOSOPHY: Be focused. Be fair. Be excellent. INTERESTS: Martial arts, scuba diving, watching football, community service and education policy
What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? Muhammad Ali. I would like to discuss his decision to seek conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, and what is the genesis of his competitive spirit? What business leader has inspired you the most and why? Steve Jobs. His innovation, his personal creativity, his drive and ability to inspire his team to innovate and execute to higher standards, his touch with marketing, and creating a sense of expectation for Apple products. What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African-American community today? Educating our youth to compete in the global economy and advancing and inculcating a mindset of entrepreneurship and excellence. PDJ
Vice President of Training Solutions COMPANY: Charles Schwab HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco, California WEBSITE: www.aboutschwab.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $4.474 billion EMPLOYEES: 12,824 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Financials and securities EDUCATION: BS, Valparaiso University WHAT I’M READING: Road to Monticello: Life of Thomas Jefferson, by Kevin J. Hayes MY PHILOSOPHY: Never forget about the people that you are leading and about the impact they can have on you. INTERESTS: Riding motorcycles, bike riding, action and horror movies
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Not developing an environment that embraces and encourages feedback. What was the best advice you ever received? Embrace change, take risks, and learn how to recover quickly. It is a matter of how to continuously evolve and position yourself for change, not being afraid to make mistakes, and not allowing those mistakes to stop you from future ventures. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? Martin Luther King, Jr. I feel we may have disappointed him in some ways; he fought for us to be seen as a productive part of society and we are not embracing those opportunities. I would like to get his perspective on today’s African American community, the issues that we face, and what we could do different to continue his legacy. PDJ
General Counsel COMPANY: Cigna HEADQUARTERS: Bloomfield, Connecticut WEBSITE: www.cigna.com EMPLOYEES: 30,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Health service EDUCATION: BA, Fordham University; JD, New York University WHAT I’M READING: Only the newspaper these days! On vacation or when I have more downtime I like to read historical novels or about topics that I want a deeper understanding of (i.e., the impact of healthcare reform) MY PHILOSOPHY: Never let fear stop you from being all that you can be in life.
What is your most rewarding career accomplishment? Becoming a General Counsel, particularly at a great company like Cigna after I had left the organization for about a year. I remember when I first started working as in-house counsel and the position of General Counsel seemed so far from anything I could ever imagine being. When I became one, that moment came back to me and I realized how far I had come. What was the best advice you ever received? Never believe that you are as bad as people say or as good as people say. What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? When I realized that I was nothing without the support of my team and that that support could not be commanded, it had to be earned. From that point on, I realized and embraced the fact that the accomplishments of my team defined me much more than any individual accomplishment I could achieve. PDJ
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
Managing Director, Citi Human Resources COMPANY: Citi DL HEADQUARTERS: New York City WEBSITE: www.citigroup.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $65.6 billion EMPLOYEES: 260,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Financial services EDUCATION: BS, Cornell University WHAT I’M READING: Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson MY PHILOSOPHY: Laugh and have fun even when times are stressful. INTERESTS: Running, cooking
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Not giving credit where credit is due. A leader is only as great as the team he or she builds. Leaders need to understand that their job is to make the team successful. In the end, a leader is responsible for what the team achieves and will be judged on that, but they must always give the credit to the people who get the work done. You have to constantly praise your team, expose your team to others throughout the organization and get them involved in what you are doing. Let others see the type of people you are developing. There is no need to take all the credit all the time. What was the best advice you ever received? Start contributing to a retirement plan early and often. Live below your means and save, save, save. I look at the uncertainty of our economy and there is a lot of stress that comes with worrying about losing a job. With a little savings comes a lot of peace of mind. PDJ
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Vice President, National & Defense Programs COMPANY: CSC DL HEADQUARTERS: Falls Church, Virginia WEBSITE: www.csc.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $16.2 billion EMPLOYEES: 93,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Technology EDUCATION: BA, University of Texas at El Paso; MA, Naval War College WHAT I’M READING: Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand MY PHILOSOPHY: Judge and treat others as you wish to be judged and treated. INTERESTS: Blues guitar, photography
What was the best advice you ever received? Be yourself. The skill, ability, and energy that define you are the main contributors to past and future successes. This is not to suggest that there is no room for self improvement, but more a testimony to the recognition that the need to emulate the behavior of others at the expense of subjugating your personality, values, and beliefs is unnecessary. What business leader has inspired you the most and why? I have been most intrigued and inspired by Warren Buffett. From an early age he has always demonstrated a strong drive and innate gift in the world of business and finance. His entire life has been grounded in the accumulation of wealth, yet he still lives in the same home he purchased in the late fifties, drives his own car and has pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes. PDJ
Michael Lynn Marsh
General Manager, Digital Imaging Systems & Customer Growth; Vice President COMPANY: Eastman Kodak Company DL HEADQUARTERS: Rochester, New York WEBSITE: www.kodak.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $6.4 billion EMPLOYEES: 20,300 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Digital imaging EDUCATION: BA, Queens College of the City University of New York; JD, Cornell Law School WHAT I’M READING: The Googlization of Everything, by Siva Vaidhyanathan MY PHILOSOPHY: “If we aren’t willing to pay a price for our values, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all.” – Barack Obama INTERESTS: Sports, music
What was the best advice you ever received? Listen more than you talk. What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? My first jury trial as a prosecutor. I understood that it was possible to influence people with my words. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? Abraham Lincoln. Is this the Union that you envisioned? What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? Success doesn’t just come from the pursuit and achievement of your own goals. Helping others to achieve theirs can be more rewarding in the end. PDJ
Ann P. McCorvey
Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President
Director, International Human Capital
COMPANY: Eastman Kodak Company DL HEADQUARTERS: Rochester, New York WEBSITE: www.kodak.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $6.4 billion EMPLOYEES: 20,300 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Digital imaging EDUCATION: BFA, BAcc, MBA, the University of West Florida in Pensacola; Certified Management Accountant WHAT I’M READING: The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
COMPANY: Harris Corporation DL HEADQUARTERS: Melbourne, Florida WEBSITE: www.harris.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $6 billion EMPLOYEES: 16,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Communications and IT EDUCATION: BA, Ohio University; MA, Bowling Green University; JD, Wayne State University WHAT I’M READING: The Help, by Kathryn Stockett MY PHILOSOPHY: Believe in yourself and never give up. INTERESTS: Global cultures, archaeology, interacting with and supporting the homeless, travel/excursions with family and friends, networking, socializing
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Not valuing the teams that support them every day. Not surrounding themselves with capable talent. Allowing non-supportive team members to remain on the team. What was the best advice you ever received? Very few really important accomplishments are done by one person. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? George Washington Carver. Since I grew up on a farm, I’d like to discuss profitable farming then and now. What business leader has inspired you the most and why? Reginald Lewis. He was able to effectively participate in a club that remains today very exclusive. What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African-American community today? Jobs. Economic independence is critical and education remains the key that opens the door. How do we make education available, affordable and desirable? PDJ
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Not to listen or receive feedback. It is important to remember that receiving feedback does not mandate that you agree with all the feedback, but it is in your best interest that you listen objectively. What was the best advice you ever received? Prepare, perform, and persevere. What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African-American community today? We lack cohesiveness and support within our own community. We too are affected by class struggles—the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Many of us are wrapped up in our own world. Too many have developed the mindset that ‘I am just trying to survive. I do not have time to help others.’ If that had been the mindset of our ancestors, we would still be in chains. PDJ
Evan S. Frazier
Senior Vice President, Community Affairs COMPANY: Highmark Inc. HEADQUARTERS: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania WEBSITE: www.highmark.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $14.6 billion EMPLOYEES: 20,500 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Health insurance EDUCATION: BS, Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration; MPM, Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz College WHAT I’M READING: Mojo, by Marshall Goldsmith; A Sense of Urgency, by John Kotter MY PHILOSOPHY: S=VPAr (Success equals the alignment between your Vision, Plan, and The Right Attitude) INTERESTS: Public speaking, golf, martial arts
What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you discuss with them? President Barack Obama, to better understand his strategies on breaking through barriers to become the first black president of the United States. What business leader has inspired you the most and why? There are many business leaders that inspired me by providing different models for success. Most were people that I knew personally, as opposed to those that you might read about in the Wall Street Journal or in business books. What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? Dream big, work hard, be strategic, build a strong network of mentors, give back, and base your career pathway on your strengths and personal interests. PDJ
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
VP Transport Solutions for Europe, Middle East, Russia and Africa COMPANY: Ingersoll Rand HEADQUARTERS: Dublin, Ireland WEBSITE: www.irco.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $13 billion EMPLOYEES: 60,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Diversified industrial EDUCATION: BBA, Howard University; MBA, Stanford University Graduate School of Business WHAT I’M READING: Crossing the Chasm, by Geoffrey Moore; The Most Important Thing, by Howard Marks; Game of Thrones, by George Martin MY PHILOSOPHY: Don’t limit the challenges, challenge the limits. INTERESTS: My family, basketball, science fiction, philosophy, experiencing different cultures
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Thinking that because he or she is a leader that he has a monopoly on wisdom. What was the best advice you ever received? God gave you two eyes, two ears and one mouth. Use them in that proportion. What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? Broaden your scope. See the world, learn how to follow, manage and lead in a variety of environments and contexts. Learn a second or third language. Constantly reinvent yourself. Be humble, as you are never a finished product. PDJ
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Lester J. Owens
Managing Director, Treasury Services, Global Operations COMPANY: JP Morgan Chase HEADQUARTERS: New York City WEBSITE: www.jpmorganchase.com ANNUAL REVENUES: TSS - $7.4 billion EMPLOYEES: TSS - 29,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Treasury & Securities Services (TSS) EDUCATION: BA, Long Island University; MBA, Farleigh Dickinson University; Harvard University Executive Management Program WHAT I’M READING: Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson MY PHILOSOPHY: Always raise the bar and the whole is better than the individual parts. INTERESTS: Philanthropy, physical fitness
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Getting too comfortable and forgetting that the team is essential to the overall success of the organization. What was the best advice you ever received? Always broaden your knowledge base and take ownership. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? My mother who passed away many years ago. I would love the opportunity to tell her how much she is missed and talk to her about her wonderful daughter-in-law “B” and four grandchildren. What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African-American community today? There are still too many Africans Americans who are not receiving a higher education and don’t have the means to move ahead. It is our responsibility to make sure that we are providing opportunities for those who are less fortunate. PDJ
Reginald Reed Partner, Audit
COMPANY: KPMG LLP DL HEADQUARTERS: New York City WEBSITE: www.kpmg.com/us EMPLOYEES: 21,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Audit, tax, and advisory services EDUCATION: BA, University of Notre Dame WHAT I’M READING: Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson MY PHILOSOPHY: Be the best that you can be. INTERESTS: Golf, the Arts
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? To not listen to the members of his/ her team. What was the best advice you ever received? Focus on the things you can control or impact. What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? My senior year in high school, when I coached a youth basketball team to a 0-8 record. The kids thought I did a great job because we didn’t lose any game by more than 7 points. The year before, the team lost a game 95-4. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? I’d like to have lunch with Nelson Mandela, and discuss the art of perseverance with him. PDJ
Robin Valentine Partner, Audit
COMPANY: KPMG LLP DL HEADQUARTERS: New York City WEBSITE: www.kpmg.com/us EMPLOYEES: 21,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Audit, tax, and advisory services EDUCATION: BS, George Mason University; Certified Public Accountant (CPA) MY PHILOSOPHY: Remember that we’re all just human beings. INTERESTS: Being involved in and supporting women’s initiatives.
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Not teaching others to be critical thinkers, and not demonstrating that challenges can be important opportunities for growth. In a rapidly evolving knowledge-based environment, critical thinking is imperative to translating new information into appropriate, timely, and practical application. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? I would like to have lunch with my grandmother, who died when I was very young. I’d like to ask her about her experiences. I keep a photo of my grandparents—who look and were beautiful and happy—on my laptop. Considering the time period in which they lived, their photo serves as a constant reminder that I have control over how I respond to my circumstances and environment, and that “silver linings” do exist, even on a cloudy day. PDJ
Montreece A. Smith
Managing Director, Chief HR Officer, U.S./Canada Division
Principal – U.S. Diversity & Staffing Leader
COMPANY: Marsh, Inc., a member of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. DL HEADQUARTERS: New York City WEBSITE: www.marsh.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $4.7 billion EMPLOYEES: 25,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Insurance brokerage EDUCATION: BS, New York University; MS, University of Massachusetts WHAT I’M READING: The Extraordinary Leader, by John Zenger and Joseph Folkman MY PHILOSOPHY: Always be the best at everything you do, so no one can question your value. INTERESTS: “Say Yes To Success,” Harlem YMCA’s Black Achievers in Industry, basketball coach and trainer
CCOMPANY: Mercer, a member of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. DL HEADQUARTERS: New York City WEBSITE: www.mercer.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $3.5 billion EMPLOYEES: 20,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Consulting EDUCATION: BS, Western Governors University WHAT I’M READING: Career Mapping, by Ginny Clarke and Echo Garrett MY PHILOSOPHY: Make it happen! For yourself, for your career, and for your life! Remember, it’s not the situation with which you are faced, it’s how you respond. INTERESTS: Travel, exercise, quality time with my family
What was the best advice you ever received? It’s experience, not money that carries the day. Allow your career to take shape by building a suite of experiences and skills and the money will follow. Additionally, get as many diverse experiences as you can. Be willing to take on every challenge. What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? Be clear about the value you bring, be in tune to the direction that your business/industry is moving and make sure you can always deliver on your promise. It is critical that African-American business leaders can compete in the marketplace by knowing their value, quantifying it in terms of business results and staying ahead of the curve to anticipate the next need for businesses, clients and industries. As the economy continues to cross borders, being a globally-minded leader is increasingly more important. Are we ready to compete? We must be. PDJ
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Being anything less than your authentic self. Mistakes come and go, but when you are not true to yourself, you put your personal brand at stake. What was the best advice you ever received? Every interaction is an opportunity to influence. This is a reminder not to take anything for granted. It’s important that you always come prepared and also leave a lasting impression. What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African-American community today? Creating a new image of Black Americans for society, so that we can move others beyond the stereotypes that plague us. Getting President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama into the White House was a positive step in this direction. But we still have a long way to go so that we’re no longer mistaken for the valet parking attendant or the grocery store clerk. PDJ
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
General Manager, Greater Southeast District, U.S. Enterprise and Partner Group COMPANY: Microsoft HEADQUARTERS: Redmond, Washington WEBSITE: www.microsoft.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $69.94 billion EMPLOYEES: 90,819 PRIMARY BUSINESS: IT EDUCATION: BS, Bradley University; MBA, Loyola University WHAT I’M READING: A Wild Sheep Chase, by Haruki Murakami; Great by Choice, by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen INTERESTS: Opera, driving fast, boxing, spending quality time with my family
What was the best advice you ever received? The best advice I ever received was from my father who told me that you are not weak if you acknowledge that you don’t know everything. If you, as a leader, surround yourself with boundless talent from which to draw then you will shine as a group. What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? Because life, in both a professional and personal capacity, is a series of defining moments strung together by time, I am loath to single out one instance or an aha moment where I understood I was on my way to being a leader. For me, it is always a journey with room for growth and many more defining moments. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? My father, so I could spend just a few more minutes with him. PDJ
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Richard L. Neal Jr.
Director, Release Services COMPANY: Microsoft HEADQUARTERS: Redmond, Washington WEBSITE: www.microsoft.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $69.94 billion EMPLOYEES: 90,819 PRIMARY BUSINESS: IT EDUCATION: University of Washington WHAT I’M READING: The Goal, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox INTERESTS: Spending time with family, serving my community, golf and basketball
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? The worst mistake a leader can make is not creating a culture of empowerment that enables their workforce to do their best possible work. What was the best advice you ever received? The best career advice I have ever received came from one of my first managers. He told me to stay true to who I am and to never compromise my personal values. What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? Not knowing it at the time, my defining leadership moment came during my studies while in university when I used my voice to help a fellow learner be heard. Standing up for what is right regardless of consequence is something we all can grow from. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? I would love to have lunch with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to discuss how he would evaluate the realization of his dream. PDJ
Dr. Robert Howard
Manager, Habitability Design Center AGENCY: NASA/Johnson Space Center HEADQUARTERS: Washington, D.C. WEBSITE: www.nasa.gov ANNUAL REVENUES: Government Organization EMPLOYEES: 3,300 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Aerospace EDUCATION: BS, Morehouse College; Bachelor’s, Georgia Tech; MS, North Carolina A&T State University; PhD, University of Tennessee Space Institute; Certificate in Human Systems Integration, Naval Postgraduate School WHAT I’M READING: A-Train: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman, by Lt. Colonel Charles Dryden MY PHILOSOPHY: Be true to yourself, follow your passions, and never give up. INTERESTS: Writing science fiction, jet skiing, chess, creative pursuits
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Thinking that “all there is” is all there is. Everything that exists is created (and once did not exist), whether it is ideas, opportunities, revenue, etc. Do not be limited by what you see in front of you. Find a way to discover, create, and acquire what you need to achieve your goals. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? I would like to have lunch with Kelly Johnson to discuss his philosophies behind Lockheed Skunkworks and some of the challenges he overcame in creating a way to bypass traditional bureaucracy in his company. PDJ
Sr. Vice President, U.S. Shared Services COMPANY: National Grid DL HEADQUARTERS: Waltham, Massachusetts WEBSITE: www.nationalgrid.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $22 billion EMPLOYEES: 27,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Electricity and gas EDUCATION: BS, Pratt Institute; MBA, Fordham University; Executive education, Harvard University WHAT I’M READING: Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making the American Century, by Michael Hiltzik MY PHILOSOPHY: Life is what your thoughts make it. INTERESTS: Tennis, cycling, member of the Board of Trustees for the Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Board of Directors for the United Way of New York City
What was the best advice you ever received? Have the courage and fortitude to confront the brutal facts or tough issues. Then have the courage to change them. What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? It is hard to pick one specific “defining moment.” It happens over time. All leaders are learners and it happened for me when I realized that real leadership is all about influence. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? I would want to have lunch with the Dalai Lama. I would want to discuss how he remains such a positive and optimistic force. PDJ
Marlene Timberlake D’Adamo
Managing Director, Portfolio and Risk Management
Derrick A Thomas Jr. Vice President and Senior Audit Manager
COMPANY: The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. DL HEADQUARTERS: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania WEBSITE: www.pnc.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $15 billion EMPLOYEES: 52,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Financial services EDUCATION: BA, Seton Hall University; JD, Temple University School of Law WHAT I’M READING: The World is Flat, by Thomas Friedman MY PHILOSOPHY: There’s no substitute for hard work. INTERESTS: Gardening, cooking, art
COMPANY: The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. DL HEADQUARTERS: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania WEBSITE: www.pnc.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $15 billion EMPLOYEES: 52,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Financial services EDUCATION: BS, University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana; MAS, University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana WHAT I’M READING: The Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life, by Dr. Charles F. Stanley MY PHILOSOPHY: “There is no stopping what a man can do if he does not care who gets the credit.” INTERESTS: Golf, travel
What was the best advice you ever received? Make sure that as you escalate matters, those decisions are made by people who have the ability to do so with the big picture in mind. What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African-American community today? Access to a great education continues to be a major issue that impacts communities across the country. The problems associated with poor education affect people’s wealth, their health and their quality of life, as well as their contributions to society. We as a society must provide the best education possible to every child regardless of socio-economic status. What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? My advice would be the same for any emerging business leader—never forget that business is conducted in a global environment. Do not fail to consider the global impact of your decisions. PDJ
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Failure to encourage, inspire and motivate your team. You won’t find a successful leader with an uninspired team. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? Thurgood Marshall—lawyer, civil rights activist, and Supreme Court Justice. I would love to discuss how he remained focused on his goals and made difficult decisions in the midst of adversity. Secondly I would ask him, if he could do anything over again, would he do or approach anything differently and why? What business leader has inspired you the most and why? My father because I understand the sacrifices, challenges, and setbacks he experienced in order to provide for his family. It required dedication, commitment, and a non-negotiating belief that the work he put in today would reap rewards tomorrow. PDJ
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
Gerri Mason Hall
Market VP Human Resources COMPANY: Sodexo DL HEADQUARTERS: Gaithersburg, Maryland WEBSITE: www.sodexousa.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $8.0 billion EMPLOYEES: 120,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Daily life solutions EDUCATION: BA, Vassar College; JD, George Washington University Law Center WHAT I’M READING: The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson MY PHILOSOPHY: Presume positive intent absent evidence to the contrary. INTERESTS: Issues pertaining to women and young ladies of color
What is your most rewarding career accomplishment? Seeing the success of individuals with whom I took a risk and promoted when others would not. There have been several and they are thriving. What was the best advice you ever received? Protect your brand. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with and what would you like to discuss with them? William Shakespeare on his collection of works. I’d want to put the issues of authorship to rest. What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African-American community today? Insufficient preparation for the global economy. What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? Fully develop your emotional intelligence and D&I acumen, and understand that diversity is not limited to race or gender. PDJ
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Col. Bernard B. Banks Deputy Department Head; Professor
COMPANY: United States Military Academy HEADQUARTERS: West Point, New York WEBSITE: www.usma.edu PRIMARY BUSINESS: Military education EDUCATION: BS, USMA; MPA, Harvard University; MBA, Northwestern University; MSA, Central Michigan University; MSS, U.S. Army War College; MA and MPhil, Columbia University; PhD, Columbia University WHAT I’M READING: Mojo, by Marshall Goldsmith MY PHILOSOPHY: Leadership is life. Live your life well and more importantly help others to do the same.
What is your most rewarding career accomplishment? Being selected to serve as a tenured faculty member and future department chair at West Point. What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Believing they possess all the answers. What was the best advice you ever received? Listen more than you speak and be open to the ideas of others. What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? Graduation from West Point and receiving a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army. What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African-American community today? Self-efficacy and education. What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? Dare to pursue your dreams in a rigorous manner. PDJ
Lt. Col. Michele N. Thompson-Shoats Logistician
COMPANY: United States Military Academy HEADQUARTERS: West Point, New York WEBSITE: www.usma.edu PRIMARY BUSINESS: Military education EDUCATION: BS, Morgan State University; MBA, Penn State University; MS, Trident University WHAT I’M READING: Conversations: William Jefferson Clinton, by Janis F. Kearney; Trail Blazers, by Redia Anderson and Lenora Billings-Harris MY PHILOSOPHY: Attitude defines your Altitude. INTERESTS: History, cooking, travel
What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? When junior leaders and officers would bring their friends to me for advice and tutelage; this showed me that my subordinates trusted me enough to expose me to people outside of my organization. I am honored to know that people trusted the advice I gave them. What business leader has inspired you the most and why? Bernard “Bernie” Marcus, an American pharmacist and retail entrepreneur, who saw a need and founded Home Depot. A true American success story, who typifies the fact that you never know when opportunity will knock—just be ready when it does! Stay ready, stay hungry! What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? Take stock of talent in your organization. Do not be afraid of taking chances. Always take time to coach, teach and mentor people. By giving away those pearls and gems of wisdom you are investing in the future. In order to receive you must give. PDJ
Vice President and Senior Wealth Advisor, The Private Bank COMPANY: Union Bank, N.A. DL HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco, California WEBSITE: www.unionbank.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $84 billion EMPLOYEES: 10,977 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Banking EDUCATION: BA, University of Arizona WHAT I’M READING: Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson MY PHILOSOPHY: I live by the best advice that’s ever been given to me. Always, always, always do the right thing! INTERESTS: Volunteering for my favorite charity, AbilityFirst, for which I serve as a Board Member; international travel; competitive tennis
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? The worst mistake a leader can make is putting self-interests ahead of those who entrust him or her to lead. Leadership is about responsibility. If a leader fails to recognize others’ needs and desires, then the fibers that hold teams, families, and friendships together will eventually dissolve. What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? African-American business leaders should lead based on where we, as a group, want to go in life, and not only on where we have been. I hope for a time when we are not striving to overcome our past, but when we are living our lives with the knowledge that we are equal to everyone at every level. PDJ
William A. Ampofo II
Senior Vice President, Regional Manager COMPANY: Union Bank, N.A. DL HEADQUARTERS: San Francisco, California WEBSITE: www.unionbank.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $84 billion EMPLOYEES: 10,977 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Banking EDUCATION: BS, BA, California State University, Chico; MBA, Golden Gate University; Certification, Pacific Coast Banking School, University of Washington WHAT I’M READING: How Successful People Think, by John C. Maxwell MY PHILOSOPHY: The Golden Rule–Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. INTERESTS: Reading, dancing, basketball
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Underestimating the power of intuition is the worst mistake a leader can make. That small voice is there to guide us. Not tuning in or ignoring it can be costly in many ways. What business leader has inspired you the most and why? Oprah Winfrey inspires me. We’re the same age and she has accomplished so much in her life. It doesn’t appear that she will be stopping any time soon, and she’s beginning another chapter of her life. What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African-American community today? The greatest issue facing the African-American community is poverty. The root cause is connected to marital stress, health problems, lack of education, psychological functioning, and crime. As a result, African Americans are unable to advance from the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. PDJ
Director, Global General Procurement COMPANY: United Technologies Corporation HEADQUARTERS: Hartford, Connecticut WEBSITE: www.utc.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $54.3 billion EMPLOYEES: 208,200 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Diversified manufacturing EDUCATION: BS, Adelphi University; MBA, George Washington University; Executive Education Certificate in Management, University of Virginia WHAT I’M READING: Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson MY PHILOSOPHY: Do things with a purpose, give maximum effort and learn from your mistakes. INTERESTS: Basketball, tennis and golf; mentoring students as well as young professionals; vacationing with extended family during the summer
What was the best advice you ever received? I can remember vividly the day my parents dropped me off at college, my father told me that beyond getting a degree, make sure I learned as much as possible along the way. That resonates with me to this day as I take this approach with each assignment. What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? I developed leadership traits at an early age, starting as an athlete in competitive sports. At 25, I lived and worked as a professional in Singapore for a year, playing a significant role in a major integration project at our Pratt & Whitney division. This experience helped me gain confidence by demonstrating my leadership skills and change agent capabilities on a complex global project. PDJ
AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
Executive Vice President and President of Walmart West Business Unit COMPANY: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. DL HEADQUARTERS: Bentonville, Arkansas WEBSITE: www.walmartstores.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $421.8 billion EMPLOYEES: 2.1 million PRIMARY BUSINESS: Retail EDUCATION: BA, Stanford University; Master’s of Management in Finance, Marketing, and Management Policy, Northwestern University WHAT I’M READING: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin MY PHILOSOPHY: Every person you encounter has something positive to contribute. Take the time to find out what that is in the people you meet. INTERESTS: Anything having to do with my wife and sons, music, soccer, education
What is your most rewarding career accomplishment? Any time someone I’ve managed gets promoted. What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Losing touch with your customers and your associates. Also, letting your ego get in the way. What was the best advice you ever received? Stay humble, balanced and be sure to listen to your front line associates because they already have all the answers. What was the defining moment in your life/career in which you understood that you were a leader? In my youth—the first time I was asked to be captain of my soccer team. What business leader has inspired you the most and why? Lawrence Jackson, because of his courage and his ability to care more about people than any other leader I’ve ever known. PDJ
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer COMPANY: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. DL HEADQUARTERS: Bentonville, Arkansas WEBSITE: www.walmartstores.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $421.8 billion EMPLOYEES: 2.1 million PRIMARY BUSINESS: Retail EDUCATION: BA, Converse College; JD, University of Florida WHAT I’M READING: The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson MY PHILOSOPHY: “To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required.” INTERESTS: Reading, being a basketball mom
What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Failing to engage in active listening. What was the best advice you ever received? A mentor once admonished me to “never confuse efforts with results.” What business leader has inspired you the most and why? Indra Nooyi, the Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo most inspires me. She is a beacon for diverse women everywhere. She understands why diversity matters in a global environment. Indra has rich life experiences that have truly set her apart from her peers. What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? I would encourage them to find something that you are passionate about and do it. Your reward—monetary or otherwise—will flow from that passion. PDJ
Vice President InterPlan & National Accounts Planning COMPANY: WellPoint, Inc. DL HEADQUARTERS: Indianapolis, Indiana WEBSITE: www.wellpoint.com ANNUAL REVENUES: $58.8 billion EMPLOYEES: 37,000 PRIMARY BUSINESS: Health benefits EDUCATION: BS, University of Tennessee, Knoxville WHAT I’M READING: Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson MY PHILOSOPHY: Keep priorities in order: faith, family, work. INTERESTS: Playing saxophone, reading, coaching youth basketball
What was the best advice you ever received? Do all you can while you can because there will come a time when you wish you could and can’t. What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the African-American community today? High school graduation rates for African-American males. I believe that all children should be given the opportunity, appropriate resources, and environment in which to learn. The achievement gap can be bridged when parents are consistently involved first and foremost, and when we invest resources in early education that extend the same opportunities for African-American males— and all children—to learn. What advice would you give the next generation of African-American business leaders? Be innovative, embrace continuous change and technology, and remember to help others who are less fortunate. PDJ
UNLEASH YOUR IDEAS, AND MAKE YOUR MARK. At UnitedHealth Group, diversity isn’t just a corporate buzzword. It’s the way we work, and it comes through in everything we do. From the high-performing people we hire, to the health care services we provide, we advocate the possibilities of unique thinking. Our mission is to help people live healthier lives and every day, our efforts bring the advantages of the largest single proprietary network of physicians, hospitals, health facilities and caregivers in the United States to millions worldwide. Our employees have diverse cultural backgrounds, beliefs, perspectives, and lifestyles but they all have one thing in common - their ability to excel. UnitedHealth Group is a diversified health and well-being company whose 80,000 + employees are helping to heal the healthcare system every day with a greater dedication to Integrity, Compassion, Relationships, Innovation & Performance. A goal with this kind of magnitude requires the brightest, most forward-thinking minds around. We have them here. And they’re making a difference. Make your mark of distinction at greaterthancareers.com or from your mobile phone at workatuhg.com. Connect with us: facebook.com/uhgcareers
Diversity creates a healthier atmosphere: equal opportunity employer M/F/D/V.UnitedHealth Group is a drug-free workplace. Candidates are required to pass a drug test before beginning employment.© 2010 UnitedHealth Group. All rights reserved.
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Artwork by Artville
T’S TEN O’CLOCK ON a Tuesday morning. Rose sits at her desk in the secretary pool, but her mind is clearly elsewhere. Suddenly, she jumps to her feet and runs out of the room. Her boss notices but doesn’t comment. Twenty minutes later, Rose returns to her desk. Her eyes are red from crying, but her focus has improved. She slips on her headset and begins typing a letter that her boss had dictated earlier that morning. January/February 2012
Helping Employees with
Thrive in the Workplace By Debra Stang
ose’s story is a simple example of how, with a little flexibility, mood disorders can be accommodated in the workplace. Mood disorders are mental health problems that profoundly affect a person’s emotions. The Harvard Mental Health Letter, released in February 2010, which addressed mental disorders in the workplace, estimated that about six percent of the population in the United States meets diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode, and one percent can be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The letter also cited studies showing that in workplaces where depressed employees received adequate treatment, the number of job-related accidents, sick days, and instances of employee turnover declined, while the number of hours worked and the overall productivity of the workplace went up. For those that are committed to helping employees with mood disorders thrive in work place—and consequently creating a better environment for all of your employees— there are some steps one can take.
Provide an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Adequate Mental Health Benefits
An EAP allows employees to anonymously access a third-party mental health provider for a limited number of visits at the company’s expense. Employers who advertise their EAP and encourage employees to use it go a long way towards demonstrating a tolerance for mental health issues in the workplace. Employers also need to be sure that their health insurance policy covers treatment for mental illnesses. Jason Evan Mihalko, a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, states that a good mental health benefit is “the most cost effective benefit for employers to buy.” Unfortunately, it is often the first benefit that gets cut when finances are tight.
Educate Your Staff about Mental Illness
The sum of what most people know about mental illness comes from Hollywood and televised court cases involving lurid crimes. As a re-
sult, people who have mental illnesses are often feared and stigmatized. Karen Muranko, a mental health worker who has a history of panic disorder, says she never disclosed her illness to her bosses because she feared losing her job. “I’d go out to my car, have a panic attack, and go right back to work,” she remembers. Looking back on what might have helped her, Muranko urges employers to contact their local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI; www.nami.org) and request a speaker to provide a staff in-service on mental health issues. Addressing these issues at a staff meeting or other public forum is another way that employers can communicate their desire to help employees with a mental illness. In addition, an employer should train frontline managers on how to respond appropriately to employees with mood disorders who request reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Avoid Making Assumptions about the Employee’s Needs
If an employee comes to you to disclose a mood disorder, don’t jump
HELPING EMPLOYEES WITH MOOD DISORDERS THRIVE IN THE WORKPLACE
in to suggest solutions. Instead, listen to the employee’s requests. Remember that each employee’s needs are unique, and that what has worked well for another employee with the same problem may not adequately address the needs of this employee. Peter Zawistowski, a contractor who has lived with bipolar disorder for more than thirty years, relates that during manic episodes he becomes easily overwhelmed. He finds it helpful when employers give him a daily to-do list as opposed to a complex long-term assignment. He also requires regular break times when he can get away and clear his head for a few minutes. With these two interventions in place, he has prospered at work. “If someone is capable of coming in to work on a regular basis,” he says, “I would trust them to know what they need.” Lynne Eisaguirre, a former employment attorney and the author of several books about maintaining good relationships in the workplace, says that mood disorders usually cause sporadic rather than continuous symptoms. “Lots of people working with mood disorders do not need any kind of special accommodations,” she says, adding that an employee is most likely to require accommodations when a mood disorder is initially diagnosed, or during a flare-up of depression or mania.
Limit Your Discussions with the Employee to Work-Related Concerns
Your focus should always remain on the employee’s ability to do his or her job. If performance at work or behavior towards co-workers becomes unacceptable, take the employee behind closed doors and
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Lots of people working with mood disorders do not need any kind of special accommodations...an employee is most likely to require accommodations when a mood disorder is initially diagnosed, or during a flare-up of depression or mania.” — Lynne Eisaguirre
express your concerns about jobrelated issues. During this conversation, you can make a neutral statement like, “If any of this is caused by personal issues, we have an excellent EAP which can help you work things out.” With this type of encouragement, the employee may disclose having a mood disorder and request reasonable accommodations to help with his or her job performance. Always take requests for accommodations seriously and discuss them as soon as possible with the human resources department and with upper level management who will decide whether a given request is “reasonable” and make appropriate arrangements with the employee. People with untreated mood disorders can create havoc in the workplace; people who receive the treatment and accommodations they need can number among your most creative and productive employees. Does your organization provide an environment that encourages employees with a mental health disorder to communicate honestly about their job-related needs? Some employers joke that they would prefer not to know about such issues, but as Eisaguirre used to remind her business clients, “You don’t want the first notice that something is wrong to be the subpoena that lands on your desk.” January/February 2012
Blue Period All statistics courtesy of the National Institute for Mental Health
20.8% | of U.S. adults have
experienced a mood disorder over their lifetime of these cases are labeled severe
WOMEN ARE 50% MORE LIKELY THAN MEN TO EXPERIENCE A MOOD DISORDER IN THEIR LIFETIME
50.9% | of those with disorder are
ALMOST 2/3 OF LOCAL JAIL INMATES HAVE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
16.5% | of U.S. adults have experienced
depression over their lifetime
Avoid that kind of nasty wakeup call and help your employees thrive by taking steps to bring mental health awareness into your office. PDJ Debra Stang is a freelancer writer based out of Merriam, Kansas. She received her BA and Master’s from the University of Kansas.
Creating Boomer-Friendly Offices:
Recognizes Companies for the over Set
By Grace Austin
s the population ages, so does the workforce. With unsure economic times and the threat of dwindling Social Security, many baby boomers are choosing to stay in their jobs past retiree age or return to the workforce. Workplaces are finding themselves adapting to the changing needs and skills of aging employees. AARP recently released their tenth annual 50 Best Employers for Workers over 50 list. Scripps Health, Cornell University, National Institutes of Health, First Horizon National Corporation of Memphis, and West Virginia University filled out the top five. The list takes into account recruiting practices, training opportunities, education and career development, workplace accommodations, alternative work options, employee health and pension benefits, and benefits for retirees. “Scripps Health, Cornell and other employers on the list consistently recognize the value of, and have demonstrated exemplary policies for older workers,” said Jean Setzfand, AARP’s Vice President for Financial
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Security in a press release. “These companies and institutions deserve to be honored after their years of progressive practices that both meet the needs of mature workers and benefit their organizations as well.” The top company, Scripps Health, is based out of San Diego, California, and runs hospitals and clinics all over the country. Its seventh year being featured on the list, Scripps provides innovative programs for its over50 employees, including extensive health benefits and an informative retirement toolkit. The company also actively recruits mature employees through senior placement agencies. “We are very proud of AARP’s selection of Scripps as number one in the country,” said Chris Van Gorder, CEO of Scripps Health. First Horizon National Corporation, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, is in the banking and financial industry. The company emphasizes flexibility for their workers, whether through offering benefits to part-time workers or unconventional transitional retirement options. “[This list] is not the endpoint. It is a symbol of what we really aspire to: engaged employees that are committed to the long-term health and growth of the company,” said John Daniel, Head of Human Resources at First Horizon. George Mason University is featured on the list for the fourth time. AARP has recognized the institution for their life planning series and retirement packages that include complimentary tickets to basketball games and performing arts events. “We’re really looking at the full spectrum of employees and trying to provide information and resources and programming that are going to help you at all stages of your
“But there is something special about senior members...as they can bring both education and experience to the job.” — Chris Van Gorder, CEO of Scripps Health
life as well as when you’re age 40 or 50 or older,” said Janet Walker, Coordinator of Work Life and Communications at George Mason. Above else, George Mason emphasizes flexibility in the workforce. “We are a very flexible university. We offer flex time, compressed schedules, job-sharing, and telework. People have an opportunity if they have a family need [to take a leave of absence] because families come first. We try to maintain a flexible environment for people of all ages,” continued Walker. Most of the companies on the U.S. list either fall into the health care or education sectors. This can probably be attributed to proximity of beneficial resources and an emphasis on industry-related principles. In other words, health and well-being are stressed in the health care sector, while universities and educational institutions traditionally emphasize learning and growth. “Those two sectors recognize how important it is to have people of all ages and more women than perhaps other, more traditional models of employment,” said Linda Harber, Associate VP of Human Resources and Payroll at George Mason. Many companies find obvious benefits in seasoned employees, particularly their increased education and experience.
“We value all of our employees and each person provides enormous value to our organization and patients regardless of age. But there is something special about our more senior members of the team as they can bring both education and experience to the job,” said Van Gorder. Daniel further attests to the strength of mature workers at First Horizon. “Older workers represent experienced people and they’ve been around our company a long time and really know our customers. If you are a business customer, you’ve got someone you’re dealing with for a long time. They’re seasoned, they know the community, and they know the customers,” said Daniel. The challenges that surround older workers are often due to their tenure and loyalty. Mature workers may have lost the outside perspective a younger or newer employee may have. “[Older workers] tend to not have the benefit of multiple companies. If you’ve been in a company a long time you haven’t had the benefit of being in other cultures, which helps you appreciate yours even more,” said Daniel. Being an age-friendly environment is important to diversity-conscious organizations and institutions. “The older, more mature, experienced workers do bring a certain impact on the culture that’s just beneficial,” said Daniel. We have some longer-term employees who say ‘I’ve been through three financial crises; [the economy] is going to come back.’ They bring a certain perspective.” Adds Walker: “Anytime when you have a diverse environment what’s great is the opportunity to learn from each other and see different things and share different knowledge bases.” PDJ
Takes pride in diversiTy
aT pnC, we Take pride in our diversiTy. when we foster an inclusive culture, our employees feel valued and empowered to focus on their strengths, honor their differences and celebrate their contributions. By working together, we can better meet the needs of customers, communities and shareholders in our increasingly diverse marketplace. Find out more at pnc.com/diversity
ACHIEVEMENT is a registered mark of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. ÂŠ2011 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. CON PDF 1211-023-59622 All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association.
FROM THE EXPERTS
HOW MY MENTOR INSPIRED ME TO LIVE BY THE WORDS OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. by Linda Jimenez
Chief Diversity Officer & VP – Diversity & Inclusion, WellPoint, Inc. DL
“ Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
HIS MESSAGE FROM DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. HAS STAYED WITH ME THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. While there have
been many people who have influenced me in my life— and my career—I have been very lucky to have one mentor in particular who helped me along the way, inspiring me to live my life according to Dr. King’s motto. This Latina mentor made a very strong impression on me early in my career when I was struggling to make some important career decisions. While working on a big case, I was introduced to Vilma Martinez, a legal consultant and a remarkable woman. Growing up as a Mexican American in Texas during the 1940s, Vilma Martinez experienced the effects of racial prejudice firsthand. She was discouraged from trying to obtain a college education because of her ethnicity. However, she persevered and earned a BA from the University of Texas at Austin, and an LLB from Columbia Law School. Vilma served for nearly a decade as head of one of the most prominent advocacy organizations in our country—the Legal Defense and Educational Fund of the NAACP. Later, Vilma became General Counsel and President of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Since 2009 she has served as the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, as well as a partner in a private law firm. Back then, Vilma Martinez saw my potential and encouraged me to pursue my career aspirations without forgetting my humble beginnings. With her guidance I learned to play to my strengths as a Latina, creating a strong network and using it to connect with others and gain personal and professional success. She taught me to embrace change and take risks, and she showed me that I was already a respected leader at that time. But the most valuable lesson I learned from Vilma was that no matter what path I choose in life I have a responsibility to help others—just as she helped me.
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
At the time, I was a young Latina mother with three small children and a thriving career as an employment law attorney for a large grocery retailer, but I was finding it difficult to balance these two competing roles. Vilma’s message to me was to seek out ways to make a difference in the lives of others—and to empower them to create their own destiny. I eventually chose a path outside the corporate world and for many years I balanced a part-time virtual job with my company while raising my three children. Vilma’s advice—and Dr. King’s words—continue to resonate with me today, and even now I use them to guide my decisions. No matter what I do for a living, or how I do it, I know that at the core of my being it is my duty to help others. My own true purpose is to serve the needs of someone else. I am grateful for Vilma and for all the special people who have shaped my life and helped me achieve success. Whenever my thinking gets chaotic or my motives seem to be a little off, I reflect on Vilma and I ask myself: “What are you doing for others?” Then I put aside my fears and mental chatter and remember my purpose. The more I give, it seems, the more I get. I encourage you to pause to reflect on those who have influenced you and to find opportunities to serve others in whatever way moves you—whether it’s to be a mentor or coach, to volunteer for a worthy cause, or to give back to others who need help in their life’s journey. This year, think about Dr. King’s question as it applies to your life, and ask yourself, “What are you doing for others?” PDJ
Linda Jimenez is a native of San Antonio, Texas, and attended the University of Texas at Austin where she received her BA with honors. She is also a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and has spent 20 years specializing in labor and employment law.
MAKE AN IMPACT WITH A CAREER AT SHELL. LETâ€™S BUILD A BETTER ENERGY FUTURE. At Shell we believe that every individual has something valuable to offer. We understand that the more diverse the workforce, the wider the variety of ideas we bring to the table. If youâ€™re ready to tackle the energy challenge and make a real impact on the world, join a company that values diversity and emphasizes the quality of life for its employees and their families. At Shell, we offer: n
Alternative Work Schedules
Health and Wellness Programs
Work and Family Programs n
To learn more and apply, visit www.shell.us/careers.
BE PART oF THE SoLUTIoN. @ShellCareers
Shell is an equal opportunity employer.
Training and Development
Work that makes a difference.
Opportunities that expand your horizons.
A culture that embraces diversity.
Are you ready for what’s next in your career? At Booz Allen Hamilton, our ability to help clients solve their most challenging problems and achieve success in their most critical missions hinges on our people. We also believe diversity of backgrounds contributes to more innovative ideas, which in turn drive better results for clients. Booz Allen’s commitment to an inclusive environment incorporates facilitating understanding and awareness, and creating initiatives to improve the quality of work life for our staff. From our long-standing relationships with organizations such as Girls Inc., Society of Women Engineers, and League of Black Women, to supporting events such as Women in Clearable Careers, we understand diversity is central to who we are and what we do. If you’re looking to do work that makes a difference at a firm that’s committed to helping you achieve your professional and personal goals, Booz Allen could be what’s next in your career. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready for what’s next. www.boozallen.com/careers We are proud of our diverse environment, EOE/M/F/D/V.
FROM THE EXPERTS
HARNESSING AUTISTIC TALENT: HOW THE STEM TALENT GAP CAN BE FILLED by Pamela Arnold
President, AIMD DL
“ Diversity is not about how
we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” – Ola Joseph
ECENTLY, A COLLEAGUE, Lisa Horuczi Markus
of Catalyst 9, and I were engaged in a discussion on how the term “diversity” is defined by different generations. Specifically, how the definition may be characterized by Generation Z (aka Net Generation)—those born after the year 2000. Lisa shared an experience that illuminated the fact that this generation expands the definition beyond color and ethnicity only. While facilitating a diversity session at San Juan Elementary School in San Juan Capistrano, CA, with a student body that was half Hispanic/Spanish as a first language, and half white/ English as a first language, this reality surfaced. In the followup sessions, the most commonly asked question was “Am I African American?” For these students, diversity was more about how you think rather than how you look.
Neurodiversity and the Workforce
Embracing each person’s uniqueness is a key strategic requirement for building and retaining a talented workforce. An area of diverse talent that may be currently overlooked is neurological diversity or neurodiversity. This is a term used to describe people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and autism—general terms used to describe a group of complex disorders of brain development. As Thomas Armstrong writes in The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain, this term originated in the late 1990s by autism advocates Harvey Blume and Judy Singer. According to the research and data from The Action for Autism organization, the current and future workforce already includes the neurodiversity population with indications it is increasing: • 1 in every 91 children in the U.S. is autistic • 1 in every 70 boys is autistic • Students with autism increased 528% from 1992-2002 (According to the U.S. Dept. of Education) • Autistic students growing at rate of 22.69% • +3% of U.S. population impacted by autism • 80–90% unemployment rate among Autistic adults
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Pursuing the Promise of Diversity Summit
During The American Institute for Managing Diversity’s summit “Pursing the Promise of Diversity,” HP Chief Technology Officer Phil McKinney and his daughter, Autism expert and Speech Pathologist Tara Roehl, made a strong business case for why autism may be work-place strength. “High-functioning ASD adults are the perfect fit for highly-detailed, extremely-technical work, provided the customer-facing part of their jobs is modified,” said Roehl. Increasing awareness of neurodiversity is more than a diversity checklist to-do; it may be an essential way the U.S. talent gap in STEM could be addressed. It’s well known that high-tech employers struggle to fill roles like computer programmer and other STEM high-detail, highfocus jobs. What is untapped is the growing talent pool of high-functioning autistic adults that could be a good fit for these highly-skilled and highly-tedious jobs—provided social aspects of the job are addressed properly. A neurodiversity intervention is necessary to bridge the gap between the autistic talent pool and the needs of the corporation.
Power of Diversity
Bringing together unique perspectives has a significant impact on innovation, which leads to successful business results. In order to successfully build highly effective and talented teams and retain talent, the culture has to be built. Diversity management helps leaders make quality decisions in situations or environments where there are similarities and differences and helps to create innovative teams. According to Mike Stanton of Action for Autism, the essence of neurodiversity is to “accept the difference—then find ways to work together.” We have the opportunity to learn and apply this to everyone. This formula for success will ensure that organizations are tapping into the diverse talent that may have been overlooked, thereby providing opportunities for innovation and creativity that translates into business and community results beyond anyone’s expectations. PDJ Pamela W. Arnold is President of the American Institute for Managing Diversity, Inc. The organization is a 501(c)(3) public interest nonprofit dedicated to advancing diversity thought leadership through research, education, and public outreach. AIMD works to strengthen our communities and institutions through effective diversity management.
AT BANK OF THE WEST, WE VALUE ALL EMPLOYEES. At Bank of the West, we value the unique blend of backgrounds and diversity of thought our employees contribute. Different perspectives generate innovative ideas, which makes us stronger. In todayâ€™s competitive banking environment we must stay a step ahead of the rest and our employees are a key component. For career opportunities, visit us online at bankofthewest.com.
Equal Housing Lender. ÂŠ 2011 Bank of the West. Member FDIC.
FROM THE EXPERTS
HIRING SERVICE-DISABLED VETERANS: AN OPPORTUNITY NOT TO BE MISSED by Nadine Vogel
President, Springboard Consulting LLC DL
CCORDING TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PERSONNEL AND PROCUREMENT STATISTICS, tens of
thousands of veterans serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and surrounding duty stations have lost a hand or limb, been severely burned, blinded, have lost hearing, been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a traumatic brain injury (TBIs), or other service-connected disabilities. Although these service-disabled Vets may require an accommodation in the workplace, many are ready and able to work in the private sector. While most employers are familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which protects veterans with disabilities, many are not as familiar with The Uniformed Services Employment Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which has requirements for re-employing veterans with and without service-connected disabilities. Although USERRA and the ADA both include reasonable accommodation obligations, USERRA requires employers to go further than the ADA by making reasonable efforts to assist a veteran who is returning to employment in becoming qualified for a job. What this means is that the employer, regardless of size, must help the veteran become qualified to perform the duties of the position whether or not the veteran has a service-connected disability requiring reasonable accommodation. Additionally, reasonable accommodations may be available under USERRA for individuals whose service-connected disabilities may not necessarily meet the ADA’s definition of “disability.” Though not required, an employer may decide to give a veteran with a service-connected disability a preference in hiring. In fact, federal agencies may use specific rules and regulations, called “special hiring authorities,” to hire individuals with disabilities outside the normal competitive hiring process, and sometimes may even be required to give preferential treatment to veterans, including disabled veterans, in making hiring, promotion, or other employment de-
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
cisions. Even if a veteran has a visible disability, an employer cannot ask questions about when, where, or how the injury occurred. Unfortunately, these vets get asked such questions quite often, leaving them in the uncomfortable position. Disabled veterans represent a rich talent pool. They have been trained in military specialties that offer knowledge and experiences transferable to the civilian workforce. Disabled veterans are loyal employees who have proven they can commit to a job and an organization, and they certainly know the meaning of discipline and teamwork. With all these positive attributes, they should represent a sought-after talent pool. Unfortunately this is not so. In response to this problem, Congress enacted The Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits. These credits provide businesses that hire unemployed veterans with a maximum credit of $5,600 per veteran, and for businesses that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities with a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran. These tax credits were included in the American Jobs Act and were signed into law by President Obama on November 21, 2011. Everyone knows the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce. Successful reintegration of service disabled veterans into the civilian labor force should be a core component of any CDO’s strategic plan. In 2010, 8.7% of all veterans in the U.S. were unemployed. Of this group, the most likely to be and remain unemployed were and continue to be veterans with service disabilities. Join those companies embracing veterans in realizing the potential of these talented individuals and the business imperative to hire them. PDJ
Nadine Vogel is President of Springboard Consulting LLC. Springboard is considered a global expert; working with corporations, governments and organizations on issues pertaining to supporting the disability community in the workforce, workplace and marketplace. She is also the author of Dive in: Springboard into the Profitability, Productivity and Potential of the Special Needs Workforce.
I’m part of somethIng bIgger than myself – and valued for what I contrIbute.
careers for everything you are
At Verizon, we empower you to do your best. And that begins by situating you in a collaborative and dynamic environment to support you in all that you do. With our commitment to your individual development here at Verizon, you’ll take your career to the next level. Take the lead at verizon.com/jobs. You can also like us on Facebook at facebook.com/verizoncareers for information on career opportunities and upcoming events.
Verizon is an equal opportunity employer m/f/d/v.
Addressing Bullying at Work
By Jacqueline Munson and Christopher Thompson, Cisco ULLYING IN THE workplace erodes con-
fidence and stifles the free exchange of ideas and information that are vital for innovation. We are very cognizant of the impact bullying can have and address the issue in many ways. Cisco actively works to promote a sense of individual responsibility through leadership development courses and “Safe Space” training. These courses equip employees with the skills and confidence to address bullying or any hostile behavior to ensure everyone knows what is and what is not acceptable in the workplace. The goal is to foster a culture where people are free to disagree, an environment where employees know they have the right to bring their entire selves to work without fear of retribution. Policies designed to maintain a high-quality work environment that supports and respects every individual underpin a no tolerance approach for harassment of any kind. In the case of an incident, there are multiple reporting avenues that generate an investigation and ensure appropriate actions are taken to resolve each issue. One aspect of bullying is the psychological impact it has on its victims. To reach out to those who are being bullied and harassed, employees from around the world came together and contributed a video to the “It Gets Better Project” on YouTube. They delivered very personal messages to convey that it’s possible to find a place where “diversity is valued and seen as a strength,” and “life will get better; in fact, it can get great.”
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Two employee resource groups: the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Advocates (GLBT&A) and Cisco Disabilities Awareness Network (CDAN), joined together in November to increase awareness of bullying through education and open discourse at an event with the Stand Up Foundation. The event was broadcast both internally and externally online to ensure everyone, regardless of location, had an opportunity to learn and benefit from the insights. The event complemented work being done with high schools across the country, bringing students together, in a virtual forum, to collaborate and formulate solutions that address cyber-bullying. Creating a culture where alternative viewpoints, perspectives and ideas are not only welcomed but sought out is important. In practice, offering flexible work arrangements that allow employees to observe religious holidays, encouraging them to wear pink on “Out and About” day, creating opportunities to bring their children to work, and sponsoring No Name Calling Week are some of the ways to support and celebrate the ‘whole selves’ of employees. Striving to create an inclusive culture is important because when everyone is contributing, there’s no limit to what can be created and accomplished together. PDJ Jacqueline Munson drives the Inclusion and Diversity strategy and Christopher Thompson is a Senior Director in the Engineering Group and Global Leader of the GLBT&A ERG. For more information on Cisco’s inclusion and diversity efforts, please go to www.cisco.com/go/diversity.
Adopted Daughter Increases Advocacy Against Bullying
By Sandis Wright, Program Director, WellPoint, Inc.
Y LIFE CHANGED forever two and
a half years ago when my partner Brent and I adopted our daughter, Olivia. Being a parent has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me, and one filled with many opportunities to continue my own learning and growth. Now, more than ever, I realize how important it is for me to be an advocate for my daughter. Since we are a Caucasian, same-sex couple with an AfricanAmerican daughter, I am aware that Olivia may be at an increased risk to be bullied—particularly as she enters the school system. While I experienced verbal abuse when I was in school because I was different, I didn’t have a name to describe the experience. There also weren’t any policies in place in my school to protect me—and others like me—from bullying. As a parent, I feel an increased personal responsibility to do whatever I can to promote awareness of bullying, to impact positive change and to ensure a better future not only for my own daughter but for all children. I believe that children should be able to grow, learn, and thrive in a safe and healthy environment. We are fortunate to have Olivia enrolled in a child care center that recognizes and celebrates differences among families. I interviewed several of the teachers up front, and was lucky to find a center that was affirming not only to same-sex couples but also to racially-diverse families and families with children who are “differently-abled.” While Olivia is in a safe, inclusive environment now, I know we may not always have the chance to screen her educational setting, especially if she enters the public school system. So, as that time draws closer, I will need to partner with our public school administrators, asking questions about their bullying policies and advocating for support of safe schools legislation. The safe environment I look for in a school also applies to the workplace. I am fortunate to work for a company that is committed to creating an inclusive culture that promotes diversity. As a founding co-chair of WellPoint’s Associate Network for Gay
“ I believe that children should be able to grow, learn, and thrive in a safe and healthy environment.” and Lesbian Equality (ANGLE), I’m proud to serve as an advocate for my LGBT colleagues, promoting an inclusive work environment. WellPoint’s “Safe Space” program encourages all associates to “bring their whole selves to work.” Last year, ANGLE joined forces with Lambda Legal and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to sponsor “School Age Bullying: Awareness, Action and Assistance,” a tele-seminar that received rave reviews from participants, including our Safe Space straight allies. As a parent, a professional and a member of the LGBT community, I believe it’s my personal responsibility to be a positive force for change, to create a safe and affirming environment for my daughter and other children, and to be a champion of diversity and inclusion for my co-workers so everyone can be safe just being themselves. PDJ Sandis Wright is a founding co-chair of WellPoint’s Associate Network for Gay and Lesbian Equality (ANGLE). He has been with WellPoint for five years, and has worked in the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) system for 16 years, including positions at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and BCBS of Maine. January/February 2012
Keeping Employees from “Going Postal”
By David L. Coles, Global Senior Manager, KBR Employee Assistance Program V ERY YEAR, THERE are headline-grabbing
instances of employee homicide at places of employment. In the U.S., for example, the Department of Labor reports there were more than 500 cases of workplace homicide in 2010. It is readily assumed that the number of employees who are bullied, harassed, threatened or attacked at work reaches into the millions. Companies today are sensitive to the need for providing employees with a work environment that is safe and secure. The reason is simple. Apart from the direct toll on human life, aggressive acts cause untold financial loss from resulting lawsuits and damage awards, workplace disruptions, insurance premium escalations, declines in employee productivity, workforce retention issues and customer anxiety. Aggressive behavior can generally be defined as an intentional action by a person (or group) that exposes another person to a real or perceived risk of physical harm. Such a definition could include verbal, written or physical behavior that intimidates, threatens, harasses, coerces, abuses, or assaults an employee, visitor or other person engaged in a business relationship with the company. Aggressive behavior can also include stalking and harassing phone calls or emails. The perpetrators of workplace aggression can be internal or external to the company. Examples of internal perpetrators can range from employees who are bullies to those who use escalated forms of aggressive behavior. External perpetrators can include aggressive spouses, ex-spouses or significant others of employees; customers or the general public; job applicants; or random aggressors. To reduce emotional and financial impact, proactive companies develop and implement effective policies that clearly prohibit workplace aggression. These policies are usually backed up with procedures to receive and evaluate employee reports of questionable or aggressive behavior. Such evaluations are often performed by specially trained, multi-disciplinary “threat assessment teams,” comprised of company representatives from organizational security, human resources, legal and employee assistance program (EAP) professionals. Such threat assessment teams must be prepared to convene at all times of the day so response activity will not be delayed. In addition to bullying, other concerning actions can include employees who email co-workers with the threat to “go postal” or commit an act of self-harm if work stress
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
does not diminish, or domestic bullying/violence situations that have the potential to spill into the workplace. In these and all other such incidents, the critical first decision is whether it is an emergency situation, in which case the proper response is to first dial 911. Short of that, the response process consists of quickly gathering preliminary facts, temporarily interrupting the potential for escalation and stabilizing the situation while completing fact-gathering activities. Then, depending on the specific situation, the threat assessment team takes action to resolve the incident over the long term. This can include everything from helping perpetrators get help or insight into their actions, to meeting the physical and emotional needs of victims, to instituting progressive discipline or even separating perpetrators from the company. Apart from policies and procedures, company management should explore reasonable ways to sensitize managers and front-line supervisors to the issue of bullying and other aggressive situations, recognizing the challenges of communicating with supervisors on projects in remote locations, contingency operations, or short-term assignments. Employees need to be encouraged to contact a member of management if they hear or see something threatening. When serious aggressive incidents do happen, management should seek to provide trained trauma response or EAP professionals to provide individual and workgroup counseling as needed to help affected parties recover from the incident. Prompt reporting of aggressive behavior and prompt response benefits the company, its employees and its stakeholders. It requires employees to always be aware of the potential for aggression, know the company resources and emergency procedures, and make use of the company’s no-tolerance policy toward aggression. PDJ David Coles has worked with KBR’s corporate internal Employee Assistance Program (EAP) since 1991. He serves as a subject matter specialist for crisis management activities, such as Critical Incident Stress Debriefings (CISD), is a member of the company’s team for responding to threat of violent situations, and KBR’s worldwide crisis response team for incidents such as employee job-related deaths, riot/insurrection and in-country evacuations.
Controlling Bullying is Important to Student Well-Being By Stephen Dunmore, President, Sodexo Education - Schools, Sodexo, Inc.
N MY ROLE as presi-
dent for Sodexo Education-Schools, I have the privilege of overseeing our work improving student well-being and achievement at close to 500 schools districts nationwide. One of my goals is to help schools improve the learning environment; to do this everything we do must be focused on students and their well-being. Educators, administrators and parents know that student achievement is linked to a child’s well-being. Students perform best when their needs are met. One of the most important needs is emotional well-being. In today’s world there are too many factors that can affect emotional well-being; one of the most concerning is destructive bullying. This is why we must continue to monitor bullying and the effects it has on children and also assess why it is happening. According to a recent study, The Impact of School Bullying on Racial/Ethnic Achievement, presented at the American Sociological Association’s 106th annual meeting, high achieving African Americans and Hispanics are often targets of bullying, causing their GPA to drop an average of 0.3 to 0.5 respectively between ninth and twelfth grade. This alarming statistic demonstrates how the ramifications of bullying can be long-lasting and affect a victim’s ability to attend
“ To stop bullying in schools, we all need to get involved by reporting abuse, educating students, and providing support to victims.” college due to lower grades and limit their career choices. The continuing challenge is how to identify and control bullying. With an increasing trend in cyberbullying, it has become more difficult for adults on the frontlines, (teachers, school counselors, principals, administrators and student nutrition team members) to witness or find evidence of bullying. While cyberbullying may not be as visible as bullying that turns physical, the psychological damage can be even more devastating. To work toward a solution, we must engage and constantly communicate with children. Showing that we care will open up the lines of communication. We must be good listeners and learn to read body language. We
can’t be afraid to have a conversation about bullying with them and ask direct questions about their activities and social life. The more we become involved, the easier it will be to identify behavior that is not typical. To stop bullying in schools, we all need to get involved by reporting abuse, educating students, and providing support to victims. At Sodexo, we continue to evaluate this ongoing challenge and how we can make a difference. Last January, 200 student nutrition program mangers received training on identifying behaviors and issues that arise in lunchrooms. We plan to expand this program as part of our continued commitment to the well-being of the students we serve across the country. It is just one way we hope to make a difference and help these children achieve their highest potential in life. Join us and become part of the solution. I encourage you to think about what you or your company can do to help prevent bullying. PDJ
Stephen Dunmore has a long history of providing exceptional leadership for complex operations. As the leader of Sodexo’s service operations in approximately 500 public school districts in the United States, he oversees the cultivation of healthy, positive environments for hundreds of thousands of students and teachers every day. He was appointed to this role after serving in Sodexo’s Health Care market for four years. January/February 2012
Global Diversity VP of Editorial Services Damian Johnson sat down with CEO of QED Consulting, Alan Richter, who has more 20 years of experience with global diversity. Richter not only explains global diversity but the business case for diversity and how your company can benefit. Q. Can you describe for readers what global diversity is and why it’s so important to U.S. corporations? Global diversity is simply diversity looked at globally. One way to look at this is geographic diversity: 194 countries around the world, and languages and cultures, etc., and then there’s looking at the dimensions of diversity globally, so we’re not just fixated on
Global Trends on the Horizon
By Nereida (Neddy) Perez, VP and Chief Diversity Officer, Ingersoll Rand Being a diversity practitioner has never been more exciting from demographics, social, political and business perspectives. Being a member of management and part of a corporation has also never been more complex. Within a matter of seconds today you can reach the global market place. People in most parts of the world have either seen or have access to information like never before. Based on a recent study of more than 100 chief diversity officers, in order to be successful CDOs need to have strong cultural competencies, financial business acumen, a strategic mindset, technical savvy, knowledge of human resources, and the ability to influence change. In a separate study Diversity Best Practices confirmed that these skills were important as well. Aside from these global competencies, there are a number of trends that diversity practitioners need to be mindful of when developing and executing diversity strategies within their companies. These areas of potential impact include: Demographic Shifts: The U.S. is not the only country struggling with managing four generations, (for the first time in history,) in the work place. France, Belgium, and several other European countries are in a similar situation. Emphasis on these demographic shifts has slowed down in the corporate space because companies are still coping with the down turn of the economy. Female Invasion: Women are now a majority of the population in the workforce in many countries, although they are still not advancing professionally or economically at the same rate. In countries like India, China, and parts of Africa, women are facing significant challenges in the workforce, such as direct discrimination, and social and economic disparities. In Europe, six countries have set goals to support the advancement of women. Religions Differences: Religious differences are not only the major cause of economic and political unrest in the Middle East but it is also exists in Asia, Indonesia, India and even in the U.S. Creating an understanding of religious differences will be the next major challenge for diversity practitioners. Read more Global Trends on the Horizon at www.diversityjournal.com
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
gender, religion, age, race, or sexual orientation. It’s all of those and some of the hidden components of diversity, like personality, thinking-style, teamstyle, generational diversity, and functional diversity, which is often totally overlooked. So it’s both across all of the dimensions and looking across the globe, literally. Q. The world has been doing business across the globe for millennia. Is there so much competition now that we need to understand this much about other cultures to get their business? I wouldn’t only put this into a competitive context, but also a cooperative context. We are talking about world peace here, and diversity is a very important component of developing world peace. It’s cooperation and friendly competition in business across the globe. I think the key issue is that the world has shrunk. We are in the 21st century with the internet and instant communication. Whereas 20 years ago, to be a global player required so much infrastructure. Today, individuals can be global players through the incredible access the internet provides. The world has shrunk to the point where the seven degrees of separation is now 4.7. People are actually closer together now than they imagined before, with Facebook and LinkedIn. The world is flattened as a result of that. The hierarchies of the past are gone. Q. CDOs are now often told to undergo training to have a global mindset rather than a cross-cultural
mindset. Will you explain the slight nuances between the two? I think it’s a matter of degree. Crosscultural suggests you are moving from one culture to another. Global suggests multi-cultural. It doesn’t matter whether you are speaking with Canadians or the Chinese; you have the skillset and the competency to understand the dimensions of culture, to find ways to find inclusivity across differences. No one can be totally global, but the more practice and experience you have working across a handful of them, the better you will be able to adapt to all the new ones you encounter. It’s about building a multi-cultural mindset as opposed to a mono-cultural mindset. Q. Are there any key competencies that you are finding a lot of organizations are doing well at; are there any they are faltering at? There’s a lot of heart out there, there’s a lot of sensitivities, wanting to be fair. Sometimes they don’t have the adaptable skills, they don’t know how to communicate, negotiate, and often they don’t have the facts about themselves, they are not self-aware enough, they don’t understand differences, and most importantly they don’t have objectivity about the world. They see the world through these bias-lenses; they are not self-aware of their bias, which colors their perceptions. Seeing the world from other perspectives is so powerful. The more pairs of glasses you can look at the world through, the richer the world is, and the more relativistic you understand the world to be. Learn to be relativistic and multi-cultural is key. Q. There are companies that are looking to go global. Can you give a step-by-step implementation? Why are so many companies having difficulties with this? It’s not easy, it’s very complex. First
Read more Best Practices in Global Diversity at www.diversityjournal.com
Best Practices in Global Diversity
By Shaun Hawkins, Chief Diversity Officer, Eli Lilly and Company As firms become increasingly affected by globalization, managers face the challenge of moving away from an ethnocentric mindset. How does your organization specifically train diversity leaders to think globally? Because Lilly is a large global company, thinking globally already is a part of the way we approach our work. We also see global development opportunities as essential for our leaders, not just those with diversity in their titles. As a practice, we transfer employees from around the world for development. In fact, 50 percent of our current top leaders at corporate headquarters in Indianapolis are from outside the United States. In addition, more than half of our employees work outside of the United States, and they are an integral part of teams planning our HR and diversity initiatives and sharing best practices. We all learn from each other. One of the challenges organizations face with global diversity is identifying what type or scope of diversity is important and relevant in specific countries. Can you take us through the process of how your organization determines this scope? With Lilly products marketed in 143 countries globally, we employ a diverse, global workforce. For our employees globally, embracing diversity means understanding, respecting, and valuing differences, including but not limited to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, work style, national origin, and age. From a corporate perspective, we emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusion and integrate those principles into our global policies, programs and trainings. That said we know that diversity means different things around the world, and thus our affiliates consider the corporate perspective and then customize their own plans based on local demographics, issues and culture. It is understood that in some parts of the world it is illegal to compile racial data of employees. How does this affect your ability to measure diversity in these areas and what other resources do you use to show change is taking place? We know that diversity and inclusion are key drivers of employee engagement. Thus, we gain a lot of knowledge studying the results of an extensive survey we send annually to our employees. The Pulse survey has served as a scorecard for tracking corporate initiatives and progress on engagement, teamwork, accountability and getting to action for the past six years. In this survey we gain detailed understanding of how an employee “experiences” the company, specifically gaining insight as to whether a workgroup is seen to value diverse ideas and perspectives, an employee can be one’s self at work and whether there is a safe environment to speak up and share contrarian views.
you need to understand the business case. You have to understand what diversity you are working with, how diversity can improve the bottom line, and then you have to build an inclusive mindset, and there are a lot of barriers with that. And then it’s being able to build that multi-cultural competency. These things take time. It’s far quicker to work in homogenous groups. The greater the diversity, the longer it will take. Sometimes it can be painful to get folks to reach a consensus. I like to say, ‘no pain, no gain.’ But you can reach much deeper reJanuary/February 2012
sults, more creative results if you can leverage the diversity. All companies are interested in being innovative, and that is a big part of success today. PDJ Alan Richter is the president of QED Consulting, a 23-year-old company based in New York. He has consulted for corporations and organizations for many years in multiple capacities, primarily in the areas of leadership, values, culture, and change. WWW.DIVERSITYJOURNAL.COM
Digital Diversity New Technology for MS, Parkinson’s Sufferers
WellPoint has partnered with eSSENTIAL Accessibility to offer an online solution that assists individuals who have difficulty typing,
moving a mouse, or reading a web page. With the help of eSSENTIAL Accessibility, WellPoint is taking a major step to enable visitors with physical disabilities to access health plan and benefit information, including an online doctor finder tool as well as claims details and
wellness materials. Website visitors click on an icon to download keyboard and mouse replacement solutions for free, including a webcam-based hands-free movement tracking system, a page reader, predictive typing and other customizable options. The online
FROM OUR FOLLOWERS
tools can be used on a standard PC by people who have dexterity challenges or reading difficulties arising from a variety of conditions, including stroke, paralysis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, dyslexia and other issues.
@DavidMcLauren: Tolerance is essential in cultural diversity. Celebrate it everyday! #diversitygold. @AXA_Equitable: Andrea Nitzan adapts 2 change, stays positive and is now a 2012 @diversityjrnl #Women Worth Watching®! @GetToKnowBDO: Huge thanks to Diversity Journal for recognizing BDO’s efforts in diversity communications with the 2012 Diversity Leader Award.
Barbara French writes: Congratulations Lori! It’s great to have a role model like you at Juniper Networks!
Lori Cornmesser - Juniper Networks James Smith writes: Martha Delahanty has been an inspiration to me as well as my team. She has been a business partner for many years and I have seen her operate in the credo. It is a way of life. She has demonstrated tremendous and fearless leadership skills and is highly respected by many of her peers, by people who work for her and people who just know of her. She is definitely “A Women Worth Watching.” Martha Delahanty - Verizon Communications Inc.
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
— The fear and thus dislike of anything that is perceived as foreign or outside of one’s country or culture.
@Mentorings “You can’t be successful on your own. The collective brainpower of a highly connected #team isn’t only #powerful, but also exhilarating.”
For professionals who seek to reach new career milestones, CSC offers the ideal environment — a dynamic culture where innovation flourishes. Visit CSC’s career site at http://careers.csc.com to explore opportunities to join one of the world’s most successful IT business solutions providers. CSC is an Equal Opportunity Employer, M/F/D/V.
Odds and Ends IN MEMORIAM:
William L. Waller, former governor of Mississippi, died November 30, 2011 at the age of 85. As a prosecutor in 1964, Waller twice tried to convict the segregationist Byron De La Beckwith of murdering the civil rights leader and NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers. The case was dropped in 1969, but Evers was convicted of the murder in 1994 and later died in prison. In 1971 Waller forged a coalition of poor whites and newly enfranchised blacks to become governor of Mississippi. Waller, a Democrat, used his governorship from 1972 to 1976 to appoint blacks to administrative boards and commissions for the first time in post-Reconstruction Mississippi. Waller named a black as a top adviser during his tenure. He raised three historically black colleges to university status, and he abolished the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, which had fought integration.
HOW DO YOU KEEP
Those that have worked in the diversity field for years understand this. Others that constantly hear the phrase being touted on television and at conferences tune it out—and thus it’s meaning. So how do you keep diversity fresh? How do you keep from the inevitable burn-out that comes with diversity overload? As with anything that can become stale, the challenge is to keep the material updated and relevant. By updating the message and the ways it is communicated periodically, one can avoid losing people on the topic. Try varying the type of outlet communicated through, using new technology whenever available. Polls, whether in person or online, can create useful information that can be related in easy-to-read infographics and statistics. Ask for employee advice and feedback. Receiving input from employees and colleagues will not only diversify the message and keep it fresh, but it will offer a way for employees to share their opinions and feel like their opinions and thoughts are wanted in the workplace. Above all, keep it fun! Use visual aids and other resources with images and interactive opportunities whenever possible. It may sound like you’re creating a presentation for children, but use the same theory: keeping the message of diversity relatable and relevant will help you convey an important topic to employees. A colorful presentation that engages the audience and keeps the mood light does more for conveying the message than a drab, boring, and serious presentation. PDJ
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
“A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used. Powerlessness and silence go together.” — Margaret Atwood (Novelist)
DID YOU KNOW?
Gap has approximately miles of storefront windows all over the world.
Southwest Airlines serves million bags of peanuts each year.
The original Apple logo was Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree.
After racking up a late fee on a video rental, software executive Reed Hastings came up with the idea of Netflix. Company name Zippo came from a derivative of Zipper; inventor George Blaisdell liked the sound of the word.
continued from page 15 Streaming 19%
PDJ SURVEY DATA
vey take ur
consum e rs
#1 Diana Ross #2 Barbara Streisand #3 Cher #1 Madonna #2 Whitney Houston #3 Tina Turner #1 Alanis Morissette #2 Mariah Carey #3 Sheryl Crow #1 Lady Gaga #2 Beyonce #3 Pink
70s 80s 90s 00s
Above, the artists who received the most votes as “the most influential women in music” for each decade.
Bonnie Apodaca Director, Business Management Operations How do you define leadership? It’s an aspect of teaming that guides others in a significant way. What’s the worst mistake a leader can make? Not listening enough. I’ve made that mistake and regret it. You can learn something from every person you come in contact. Leadership is not a one person act.
EDUCATION: BS, University of Colorado; MBA, University of New Mexico WHAT I’M READING: Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein MY PHILOSOPHY: For every situation there is a right leader. You grow as a leader by finding the right approach for each situation. I’m on a continual journey to understand what approach to take for various situations. INTERESTS: Bicycling, walking, spending time in the mountains
What risks should a leader take? First, both you and the people who work with you will make mistakes. Be okay with that possibility. Secondly, share enough about you so that others can understand your strengths and weaknesses. They can then shore up your weaknesses with their strengths. Given the chance, would you do anything differently? I am always curious about the path not taken. I wish I could travel along many of the paths not taken just to have the knowledge and experience from them. But I have no regrets at all in that I learn and keep going. PDJ COMPANY: Sandia National Laboratories
HEADQUARTERS: Albuquerque, New Mexico
EMPLOYEES: 8,600 full-time; 1,200 other
PRIMARY BUSINESS: National Security Laboratory
Diversity History Photograph credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
JANUARY 23, 1907:
Ellis Island opened on January 1, 1892. The island synonymous with American immigration remained open until 1924. Over 12 million immigrants went through a 3-7 hour inspection process to become an American. Fun fact: The island was originally built on a landfill.
January 1-3: The Japanese New Year begins at midnight on December
31 with 108 bell tolls from Buddhist temples, which symbolize the 108 human sins in Buddhism. Sending post cards is a notable custom, as well as traditional feasting and the playing of Beethoven’s Ninth symphony.
Charles Curtis, of Kaw, Osage, and Pottawatomie ancestry, was sworn in as the first Native American U.S. senator from Kansas. From 1928-1933, he also served the nation as vice president under President Herbert Hoover.
January 6: Three King’s Day (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic) is
celebrated to symbolize the feast of the Epiphany, when the Three Kings visited Jesus in Bethlehem bearing gifts. Similar to Christmas in the U.S., children receive gifts. Instead of leaving milk and cookies out, children collect hay and straw and place it under their beds, symbolizing food for the Kings’ horses. JANUARY 16: WORLD RELIGION DAY
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
February 21: The United Nations’ International Mother Language Day annually celebrates language diversity worldwide. The day of observance is rooted in the killing of four students on February 21, 1952 in Bangladesh, when they campaigned to officially use their mother language, Bengali. PDJ
BOLD denotes Advertiser
A-10 Clinical Solutions, Inc.......www.a10clinical.com.............................45 - 46 AARP........................................ www.aarp.org........................................64 - 65 Accenture............................ www.accenture.com.......................................... 47 Aflac......................................... www.aflac.com.................................... 8, 47, 48 Agence Presse France Foundation.....foundation.afp.com............................ 10 Agent Anything.................www.agentanything.com...................................... 39 Akraya, Inc.............................www.akraya.com.............................................. 8 Allegheny College................www.allegheny.edu.......................................... 36 Always Prepped..............www.alwaysprepped.com...............................38 - 39 Amazon.................................www.amazon.com........................................... 34 American Express......... www.americanexpress.com...................................... 8 American Institute for Managing Diversity....www.aimd.org...................... 8, 74 Andrews Kurth LLP.......... www.andrewskurth.com......................................... 8 Apple.......................................www.apple.com............................................. 86 Army and Air Force Exchange Service.....www.shopmyexchange.com.......... 8 AXA Equitable Life Insurance.....www.axa-equitable.com............................. 84 Bank of the West..........www.bankofthewest.com................................ 8, 75 BDO USA, LLP......................... www.bdo.com........................................... 8, 84 Best Buy................................www.bestbuy.com........................................... 35 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC......www.bcbsnc.com................................. 8
Boehringer Ingelheim.....www.boehringer-ingelheim.com............................. 48 Booz Allen Hamilton........ www.boozallen.com..................................... 8, 73 Brinker International...............www.brinker.com.............................................. 8 Burger King Corp....................... www.bk.com.................................................. 8 Caesars Entertainment Corporation......www.caesars.com........................ 8, 48 Catalyst...................................www.catalyst.org........................................ 8, 22 CBRE Group, Inc......................www.cbre.com.............................................. 49 CDW LLC.................................www.cdw.com................................................. 8 Charles Schwab............... www.aboutschwab.com....................................... 49 Chevron.............................. www.chevron.com...................................... 8, 41 Chrysler Group LLC....... www.chryslergroupllc.com..................................8, 11 Cigna.......................................www.cigna.com............................................. 49 Cisco Systems, Inc..................www.cisco.com.......................................... 8, 78 Citi ...........................................www.citi.com.................................... 8, 50, 63 Cleveland Municipal Court......www.clevelandmunicipalcourt.org...........36 - 37 Cleveland-Marshall College of Law......www.law-csuohio.edu....................... 36 Columbia Law School........ www.law.columbia.edu........................................ 70 Comcast Corporation........... www.comcast.com............................................. 8 Cornell University................... www.cornell.edu............................................. 64 CSC......................................... www.csc.com.................................... 8, 50, 85
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CSX Corporation...................... www.csx.com............................................... 34 CVS Caremark......................... www.cvs.com................................................. 8 Deloitte LLP........................... www.deloitte.com.............................................. 8 Dimock Community Health Center......www.dimockcenter.org....................... 24 Eastman Kodak Company...... www.kodak.com................................... 8, 50, 51 Eileen Fisher......................www.eileenfisher.com......................................... 21 Eli Lilly and Company................www.lilly.com............................................... 83 eSSENTIAL Accessibility......www.essentialaccessibility.com........................ 84 Fannie Mae.........................www.fanniemae.com........................................... 8 First Horizon National Corporation.....www.fhnc.com.................................... 64 Flint Strategic Partners.......www.flintpartners.com........................................ 66 Freddie Mac....................... www.freddiemac.com........................................... 8 Gap, Inc..................................www.gapinc.com............................................ 86 General Electric......................... www.ge.com................................................ 35 General Motors..........................www.gm.com............................................... 32 George Mason University.........www.gmu.edu............................................... 65 Gibbons P.C....................... www.gibbonslaw.com........................................... 8 Girls Inc.................................. www.girlsinc.org......................................20 - 21 Halliburton...........................www.halliburton.com........................................... 8 Harris Corporation...................www.harris.com......................................... 8, 51 Highmark Inc........................www.highmark.com.......................................... 51 Howard University..................www.howard.edu............................................ 20 HP ............................................ www.hp.com................................................ 74 ING Foundation.............www.ing-usafoundation.com................................... 21 Ingersoll Rand.......................... www.irco.com......................................... 52, 82 Intelliworks.......................... www.intelliworks.com......................................... 38 ITT Corporation..........................www.itt.com.................................................. 8 JackThreads.......................www.jackthreads.com........................................ 40 JBK Associates, Inc......www.jbkassociates.com................................. 8, 90 JP Morgan Chase............www.jpmorganchase.com..................................... 52 Juniper Networks.....................www.juniper.net............................................. 84 KBR...........................................www.kbr.com............................................... 80 Kelly Services....................www.kellyservices.com......................................... 8 Kent State University................ www.kent.edu............................................... 10 Kettering University...............www.kettering.edu........................................... 32 KeyCorp.................................... www.key.com................................................. 8 KPMG LLP..............................www.kpmg.com................................... 8, 52, 53 Lockheed Martin Corporation......www.lockheedmartin.com......... 8, 17, 73 Louisiana State University......... www.lsu.edu.................................................11 ManpowerGroup............. www.manpowergroup.com....................................... 8 ManTech International Corporation......www.mantech.com............................ 34 Marsh & McLennan Companies......www.mmc.com......................................... 8 Marsh, Inc............................... www.marsh.com............................................. 53 Medco Health Solutions......www.medcohealth.com....................................... 8 Mercer....................................www.mercer.com............................................ 53 Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund....www.maldef.org.... 70 MGM Resorts International......www.mgmresorts.com................................8, 11 Miami University.....................www.muohio.edu.....................................26 - 31 Microsoft...............................www.microsoft.com.......................................... 54 Moss Adams LLP.............. www.mossadams.com.......................................... 8 Mott Community College.......... www.mcc.edu............................................... 32 MWV........................................www.mwv.com....................Inside Cover, 1, 8 NASA / Johnson Space Center......www.nasa.gov......................................... 54 National Alliance on Mental Illness......www.nami.org.................................... 61 National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People.....www.naacp.org....... 70 National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship.....www.nfte.com......... 38 National Grid................... www.nationalgrid.com............................. 8, 55, 89 National Institutes of Health...... www.nih.gov................................................ 64 Nationwide Insurance......... www.nationwide.com......................................... 10 Netflix...................................... www.netflix.com............................................. 86 New York Life Insurance.....www.newyorklife.com...... Inside Back Cover, 8 Newell Rubbermaid.......www.newellrubbermaid.com..................................... 8 Northrop Grumman.......www.northropgrumman.com............................... 8, 34 PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., The.....www.pnc.com........... 8, 55, 69 Princeton University............. www.princeton.edu........................................... 39 QED Consulting................www.qedconsulting.com................................82 - 83 Raytheon Company.............. www.raytheon.com............................................. 8 RBC Wealth Management......www.rbcwm-usa.com........................................ 8 Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.......www.rkmc.com................................ 8 Royal Dutch Shell................. www.shell.com......................................... 8, 71 Science Applications International Corporation.....www.saic.com................... 8 Sandia National Laboratories.....www.sandia.gov......................................... 87 Scripps Health........................ www.scripps.org............................................. 64 Sidley Austin LLP....................www.sidley.com..............................................11 Sodexo.............................. www.sodexousa.com................................ 3, 8, 56 Southern Company.......www.southerncompany.com................................... 34 Southwest Airlines...............www.southwest.com.......................................... 86 Springboard Consulting LLC......www.consultspringboard.com................. 8, 76 Sprint.......................................www.sprint.com............................................... 8 Sun Life Financial...................www.sunlife.com............................................ 92 Target...................................... www.target.com............................................... 8 The Lifetime Healthcare Companies......www.lifethc.com................................ 8 The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.....www.rockhall.com....14 - 15 The Sierra Group............. www.thesierragroup.com...................................... 35 Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.......www.toyota.com.................................. 9 TWI, Inc...................................www.twiinc.com......................................... 8, 72 U.S. Military Academy............. www.usma.edu.............................................. 56 Union Bank N.A...................www.unionbank.com......................................... 57 United States Air Force Academy......www.usafa.af.mil................................... 8 United Technologies Corporation......www.utc.com........................................ 57 UnitedHealth Group.......www.unitedhealthgroup.com......................... 8, 59 University of Michigan - Flint .....www.umflint.edu......................................... 32 University of Texas at Austin......www.utexas.edu.......................................... 70 University of the Rockies........www.rockies.edu.............................................. 8 US Airways, Inc................... www.usairways.com............................................ 8 USAA....................................... www.usaa.com.............................................. 34 Vanguard........................... www.vanguard.com..................................... 8, 13 Verizon................................. www.verizon.com................................. 8, 77, 84 Virginia Tech............................... www.vt.edu................................................. 38 W.W. Grainger, Inc................www.grainger.com............................................. 8 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc......www.walmartstores.com........ 8, 10, 11, 21, 23, 58 Waste Management, Inc.. .....www.wm.com / www.thinkgreen.com................ 8 WellPoint, Inc.....................www.wellpoint.com.........7, 8, 10, 58, 70, 79, 84 West Virginia University........... www.wvu.edu............................................... 64 Wheelock College................www.wheelock.edu....................................24 - 25 Wounded Warrior.......www.woundedwarriorproject.org................................ 76 Year Up................................... www.yearup.org......................................18 - 19 Zippo Manufacturing Company......www.zippo.com....................................... 86
| QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
We sat down with Tasha Kitty, Program Director of Talent, Acquisitions, and Management at the home office of Sun Life Financial in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The Wellesley location employs approximately 1600 employees. Q. Why is diversity important in every workplace? Diversity is important because that’s where innovation happens. Without diversity, you would get like-minded thinking. It breeds innovation. At its grass roots, diversity is going to help you get that way. Q. Why is important for Sun Life to be LGBT-friendly? It’s important for us to support our employees. It’s important for us to support our customers. It’s important for us to be in that space, because that’s the space where we live and work. Q. What specific initiatives have you and/or Sun Life spearheaded that have helped you retain such strong LGBT numbers? We do a various amount of things, some internally and some externally. In itself, it’s a diverse amount of initiatives. Internally, we do have an LGBT employee resource group, called GLOBE (Gays, Lesbians and Others Building Equality.) It focuses on internal and external initiatives on the employee population at large. We have worked closely with PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), which is one of our community partners. We’ve revamped our policies to not only include sexual orientation but transgender and gender expression. We’ve updated our health insurance as well to include transgender benefits. We also have a domestic partner plan for health insurance, and we’ve hosted the World AIDS quilt. Externally, we march annually in the Boston Pride Parade. We also have some of our employee resource group members go to the ‘Out is Equal’ National Conference. We work closely with the Walham House, which is a subset residence from the Home for Little Wanderers. It is one of two LGBTQ houses for teens in the U.S. We volunteer to clean up and sponsor their home at-large.
PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL
Q. Where do you recruit LGBT employees? What do you look for? You recruit them where you recruit any other employee. We don’t go anywhere for an LGBT person specifically. Our hope is to recruit LGBT employees at any career fair. That’s why when we go to our career fairs, regardless whether it is specifically designated for that community group or not, we like to display that we have received 100% on the HRC corporate quality index. You can recruit an LGBT employee anywhere, it’s all about the face you put on the company and making sure that company is one that cultivates and contains top talent anywhere. Q. You mentioned the Human Rights Campaign’s “Best Places to Work for LGBT employees” Index. What thoughts do you have on the HRC? We are very proud that we received 100% on the HRC Corporate Equality Index over the past three years, and we’re definitely working hard. That organization is great in that it continuously challenges companies to continue that rating. We’ve shown the past few years that we are an LGBT-friendly organization and that we’re continuing to work on it. Q. Has being LGBT-friendly always been important to Sun Life Financial? When did it become imperative to be LGBT-friendly? As soon as we launched our diversity initiatives in 2006, we’ve always had LGBT be a topic at the table. Prior to that, we didn’t have any diversity initiatives. The company has definitely embraced it from the very beginning of our stages of launching our diversity initiatives. Before that, we’ve always been open to not just LGBT, but any community as well. Q. What advice/tips do you have for other companies and workplaces to retain their LGBT employees? It’s not just diversity and inclusion. And inclusion is so important. It’s hard to de-couple the two because you need to make sure that you’re not just there but that you have a voice and a place at the table. And I think we do that really well here, and feeling that you have that place is really important to retaining employees. I think it all starts with having an inclusive culture where you are not just here, but you are here and heard. PDJ
SEE IN US WHO YOU ARE
At New York Life we believe that people’s differences can be their greatest attributes. We recognize that employees’ unique qualities often lead to innovation, positive change, and a more productive and dynamic workplace.
For more information about a career with New York Life visit us at www.newyorklife.com/diversity NEW YORK LIFE. THE COMPANY YOU KEEP.® © 2010 New York Life Insuranace Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010 EOE/M/F/D/V
African American Heritage Issue + Women Who Rock + Young Entrepreneurs with Big Ideas + Mood Disorders in the Workplace + Creating Boomer Fr...
Published on Jan 1, 2012
African American Heritage Issue + Women Who Rock + Young Entrepreneurs with Big Ideas + Mood Disorders in the Workplace + Creating Boomer Fr...