Â® Fall 2018
The Vectren Corporation Case Study: THE HUMAN EQUITY ADVANTAGE
Inside this issue > The Future is Fernanda > Value Protocols Vanquish Unconscious Bias > Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Struggle in Corporate America
15th Annual Innovations in Diversity Awards
A celebration of leadership, vision, and commitment
Everyone has a unique perspective. We see the value of an inclusive and diverse culture.
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Lists are an easily accessible way to convey useful or interesting information—grocery lists, lists of U.S. Presidents, our daily “to do” lists. There are acknowledgements at the beginning of books and credits at the end of movies. And there are lists of dos and don’ts …. In PDJ’s exciting 2018 fall issue, we’re proud to acknowledge a long list of extraordinary people who have dedicated their careers to Diversity, Inclusion, and Human Equity, and who have contributed their expertise to creating the content presented in the following pages. We honor these dedicated professionals and recognize their ongoing efforts. We also offer our sincere gratitude. For more than 20 years, we have encouraged diversity-focused individuals to share their experiences with Profiles in Diversity Journal and our readers. Many have done so—many have contributed more than once, and some have contributed often. The following is a list of the people who made this issue possible. Yes, there are others who work on teams and behind the scenes to make things happen. And to those unnamed individuals, we also extend our heartfelt appreciation and thanks. Gilda Martinez-Alba Todd Adams Ibanca Anand Joel Barker Joseph Dawson Don Dobos Donald Fan Jiang-Ping Fan Teresa Fausey Edie Fraser James Gorman
Barbara Hockfield Undraye Howard Edward Hubbard Myra Hubbard Alecia Maragh Erika Matallana Michele Meyer-Shipp Sherri Neal Corie Pauling Gary Smith Janet Smith
Michael Stuber Lori Sutton David Toth Steve Toth Amy Ward Daniel Weidman Stephen Young And all of their team members and back up support
We honor the companies that participated in our 15th Annual Innovations in Diversity Awards. Innovation and continuous improvement are desirable goals. Each of the companies we are recognizing in this issue has taken innovation to the next level, put their particular innovation into action, and achieved impressive results. And they have agreed to share their innovation with the rest of us. We thank you. Also in this issue, Vectren Corporation shares an intriguing case study about its journey toward Human Equity. This 22-page study, which begins on page 16, discusses Vectren’s initial goals, strategy, processes, and lessons learned. It also introduces the key players responsible for making Human Equity at Vectren a reality. That’s just a peek at what this issue of PDJ has in store for you. Enjoy. We wish all a very happy and peaceful Holiday Season!
James R. Rector, Founder and Publisher, and the incredible team at Profiles in Diversity Journal
IN THIS ISSUE
01 | 07 | 16 | 38 | 48 |
PUBLISHER’S COLUMN EDITOR’S COLUMN THE VECTREN CORPORATION CASE STUDY: THE HUMAN EQUITY ADVANTAGE TOP TEN INNOVATIONS IN DIVERSITY AWARD WINNERS INNOVATIONS IN DIVERSITY AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE
96 | CORPORATE INDEX
38 TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE 16
The Vectren Corporation Case Study: The Human Equity Advantage This case study examines the human equity strategy implemented at Vectren Corporation over the past five years. Learn how and why this industry leader implemented the new human equity strategy, what has been accomplished so far, and the company’s plans going forward.
Top Ten Innovations in Diversity Award Winners PDJ presents its Top 10 Innovations in Diversity Award winners—diversity leaders and organizations who have created some truly new and exciting programs in the areas of diversity and inclusion, and human equity. Maybe you’ll find the idea your company has been looking for.
Building relationships that help build the world Your trust, your future, our commitment MUFG wasn’t built in a day. We’ve spent over 350 years committed to serving businesses and communities by building lasting client relationships that have made us a leading global financial group. With operations in more than 50 countries, over 1,800 locations, and over 150,000 experienced professionals, MUFG empowers clients with comprehensive financial solutions. Gaining continued success in their industries, our clients are building their futures, one day at a time. Learn more at mufgamericas.com
MUFG Union Bank, N.A.
A member of MUFG, a global financial group
©2018 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The MUFG logo and name is a service mark of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., and is used by MUFG Union Bank, N.A., with permission. Member FDIC.
TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE 42
HCA Brave Conversations HCA Healthcare’s BRAVE Conversations is a platform that encourages participants to share their opinions, thoughts, fears, and concerns in a safe and respectful setting. Find out how this initiative is bringing about change and empowering HCA employees at all levels.
IVY Planning Group: The Power of Difference Pipeline IVY Planning Group’s Power of Difference Pipeline provides specific strategies to accelerate the rate of progress toward race and gender equity in leadership. Find out how the program is improving the workplace environment, employee satisfaction, and the bottom line.
Innovations in Diversity Awards of Excellence Read about the innovative D&I programs, studies, events, and more from 17 companies who are committed to making their workplaces even more diverse, inclusive, and equitable. Their efforts are changing the way we live and work.
Accelerating Minority Business Growth in Cleveland, Ohio The Business Growth Collaborative is a catalyst for equitable economic growth in Cleveland, Ohio. See how the BGC helps small businesses—particularly, minority and women-owned concerns—gain access to resources and capital, and increase visibility.
Impact the future with HCA Healthcare HCA Healthcare offers unparalleled growth opportunities to leaders at every career stage, in a huge range of clinical and nonclinical settings. Over 1,800 sites of care in 20 states, along with internationally recognized administrative, financial, healthcare research, IT, consulting, and project management expertise.
Avery King Military Affairs Talent Acquisition Lead
Carla Worthey Assistant Vice President Talent Acquisition & Development
Our featured colleagues are among the hundreds of HCA Healthcare leaders who bring patient-centered, community based, high quality healthcare to life every day.
Erika Matallana Manager, Cultural Communications & Language Services
Learn more at HCAHealthcare.com/Careers
TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE 54
Freddie Mac Sees Autism as an Asset in the Workplace Read about Freddie Macâ€™s highly successful Autism Internship Program. It matches business needs with the unique capabilities of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The program is a win-win for both this previously untapped talent pool and the organization.
Innovative Research Sheds New Light on LGBT Homeownership In 2018, Freddie Mac commissioned a first-ofits-kind study to better understand the LGBT experience, with respect to housing in the United States. Find out what the survey uncovered with regard to homeownership, discrimination, and safety concerns for this population.
Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Struggle in Corporate America After many years of committed effort, corporate America is still dealing with discrimination, stagnation, fatigue, apathy, and disparity in the workplace. Contributor Donald Fan discusses why and how weâ€™re stuck and what we can do to move ahead.
Fostering Racial Diversity as part of a Commitment to a Healthy and Equitable Society The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities recently launched Building Organizational Capacity for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Learn how this unique program helps organizations attract diverse talent and create cultures where diversity, equity, and inclusion can thrive.
EDITOR'S COLUMN Here’s to Seeing Things in a New Way “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Max Planck, founder of quantum physics and Nobel Prize winner (or possibly an ancient Taoist) There seems to be some doubt as to whether the above quotation can be attributed to Planck, but it’s good anyway, and makes sense when talking about quantum physics. After all, experiments have shown that matter (at least, at the subatomic level) behaves differently when an observer is present—the things being observed actually behave differently. It also describes how innovation occurs: somebody somewhere at sometime looks at a situation in a new way, from a different perspective, with fresh eyes. There are myriad examples of how someone saw things differently—and changed our experience of reality. After all, with the exception of the members of the Flat Earth Society, we take for granted that the earth is an orb. So we don’t mind getting on a ship and sailing across the ocean. It never occurs to us to think we might fall off the edge of the planet. We also believe in gravity and that space travel has happened. Thanks, ancient Greeks. The quotation also contains a bit of wisdom reflected in the programs conceived and created by this year’s Innovations in Diversity Award winners. The organizations and diversity leaders that continue to move diversity, inclusion, and human equity forward have definitely looked at the world around them in new ways. Being open-minded, curious, and thoughtful enabled them to gather information, observations, and ideas, and make a “quantum” leap to a new level of understanding. And their willingness to venture down a new path, explore new methods, and share their “leap” with the rest of us, changes the way we all see things—the way we understand other people and gain insights into our own thinking. We owe these innovators a debt of gratitude, and PDJ honors 27 of them in this issue. Their ideas and innovations can help take your organization’s diversity, inclusion, and human equity programs to new levels. Also, don’t miss the many intelligent articles by D&I thought leaders, an insightful contribution from an innovation expert, and an in-depth case study from Vectren Corporation about their experience implementing Trevor Wilson’s human equity strategy. It’s all in this issue of PDJ. Have a joyous holiday season and wonderful New Year! Teresa Fausey Associate Editor, PDJ
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The Future is Fernanda One bank’s student banking program is helping high school students get a big head start on their careers—and adding talent to the bank’s own team in the process. Also, you’ll learn how this employer is developing strategies to recruit and retain the next generation.
Herd Mentality: How Can We Be Less Swayed by Conformity Bias? Unconscious bias takes many forms and expresses itself in different ways. This article presents real-life examples of bias and discusses ways each of us can work to get outside our comfort zone, see the world from different perspectives, and free ourselves from the grip of our own unconscious biases.
Moving Beyond First and Second Generation Diversity Scorecards According to this author, current diversity scorecards must evolve beyond simply counting heads. Learn about the logic model-based predictive analytics and processes that he says will more accurately generate strategic outcomes and intended transformational impacts.
The Ball is Rolling: Recruiting Underrepresented Students What do you do when your university campus is becoming increasingly diverse, but your particular college is behind the diversity curve? Find out what Towson University’s College of Education did—where they looked for possible solutions and which initiatives they put in place.
HIGH-IMPACT CAREERS START HERE
daho National Laboratory promotes a vibrant culture of inclusive diversity that fuels growth and drives innovation. Through strategic collaboration, employees apply skills that significantly contribute to solving the nationâ€™s most critical safety and security challenges. Our employees utilize world-class scientific technology to push the limits of creativity in ways no other entity can. If you want a high-impact career, INL is where you belong. Visit our career website today to find out how to join our team.
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Women in the C-Suite: Are We Closing in on Gender Parity? As of October 2018, five% of CEOs and 24% of board members in the United States were women. These numbers may sound discouraging—and they are worse for women of color—but there is hope. Find out what can be done to improve the odds and level the playing field.
Innovation at the Verge: Putting Our Differences to Work in the 21st Century According to this futurist author, the verge—the place where differences meet—is the place where radical innovation is born. It’s where we encounter the new and different, and where the lack of competition allows us the breathing space to try new things and ponder possibilities.
Value Protocols Vanquish Unconscious Bias Individual value protocols—a set of unchanging behaviors you create—combine your personal values with business strategies. Establishing equitable value protocols is critical for managing unconscious bias and optimizing individual performance in the workplace.
New Research about Groupthink Proves D&I Adds Value … AND QUESTIONS WIDESPREAD D&I APPROACHES The author uses a recent study as a jumping-off point for a discussion of how tenure within a group can result in groupthink, overconfidence, and poor decisions. Diversity lessens groupthink and overconfidence, and introduces fresh ideas, which often leads to better decision-making.
Joel Barker Author, Futurist, Keynote Speaker
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People on the Move Find out what’s happening with your colleagues across the country or the globe. See what they’re doing, where they’re going, and how they’re continuing to pursue their passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
‘Dechert Heroes’ Named a Top 10 Innovation in Diversity
At the core of our firm’s culture is a dedication to seeking and nurturing diverse viewpoints and experiences in order to develop the highest caliber of talent, leadership and service. Dechert Heroes, the firm’s military affinity group, embodies this commitment. Comprised of lawyers and business professionals, Dechert Heroes was established to address issues of interest to military veterans, active duty service members, reservists and their families. We are proud that Dechert Heroes has been named one of the Top 10 Innovations in Diversity.
THANK YOU to all the people who helped make this issue possible!
Working together with you for a successful 2019!
Profiles in Diversity Journal would like to express our appreciation to everyone who partnered with us throughout 2018! We are extremely grateful for your efforts to provide us with important content that continues to help our society grow and evolve. Looking at 2019 we're excited to continue promoting more great content and utilizing our platform to promote diversity and inclusion.
The Vectren Corporation Case Study: By Alecia Maragh
his case study is an examination of the human equity strategy implemented at Vectren Corporation (hereafter, Vectren), a multibillion-dollar energy holding company headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, serving customers in Indiana and Ohio. The implementation process, rolled out between 2014 and 2018, was an organization-wide endeavor that involved 90 taskforce members, the leader of the initiative, and six executive leaders, all supported by an external consultant, Trevor Wilson, who is the creator of human equity. Interviews with all six members of the executive team and the director form the backbone of this case study and are a rare opportunity to understand firsthand the lessons learned, milestones, challenges, and successes from the Vectren experience. The transformative human equity processâ€”an approach created and developed by Wilson and documented in his book The Human Equity Advantage: Beyond Diversity to Talent Optimizationâ€”led to improved business outcomes and a significant cultural shift at Vectren.
Vice President, Human Resources
Chairman, President & CEO, Vectren Corporation
Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Human Equity
Photo Credit: Michael Gray
The Human Equity Advantage
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Vice President, VUHI Safety and System Integrity
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and External Affairs Officer and Corporate Secretary
The Vectren Case Study: The Beginning Ahead of Vectren’s Strategic Leadership Forum in December 2013, there had been a concerted effort by the company’s senior executive team to brainstorm strategic solutions to four key challenges: 1. To build a culture focused on customer satisfaction by ensuring that the company’s workforce of 1,900 employees was more representative of its diverse client base of one million customers. This strategic goal was particularly important, considering the shifting demographic trends in Indiana and the rapidly changing utility industry. 2. To attract and retain workers for a company headquartered in a small city where younger workers increasingly looked elsewhere for career opportunities. This issue was of particular concern, as there is a direct link to decreased productivity when there are gaps and mismatches in the talent attraction and retention process. 3. Continued investment and improvement in the relationship with the six unions that represent a large portion of the company’s workers, as they are key stakeholders in the success of the company. 4. Finally, training and development of equitable 18
THE COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, AND HUMAN EQUITY, HAS RESULTED IN IMPROVED BUSINESS RESULTS SUCH AS INCREASED EMPLOYEE-ENGAGEMENT SCORES AND PRECEDENT-SETTING SHARE PRICES. IN THE PROCESS, THE COMPANY HAS BECOME A BEST-PRACTICE LEADER FOR DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, AND HUMAN EQUITY.
and inclusive leaders within Vectren. This had principal importance due to the impact that leadership behavior can have on the work environment. All four challenges had implications for the future viability and financial performance of the company; however, a golden thread had not been identified to connect or resolve these challenges in a meaningful way. The December 2013 Strategic Leadership Forum, featuring a presentation by Wilson, proved to be a pivotal moment in moving ahead on these urgent strategic initiatives. Wilson revealed how the concept of human equity, defined as “the process of maximizing total human capital,” could be key to the future success of Vectren and exactly how the company might benefit from it. The success of the human equity management model in other companies (including its role in catapulting Coca-Cola’s South Africa division
to the top-performing division worldwide) led Vectren to initiate its own catalytic process that turned their four major challenges into four pillars of focus that underpin the company’s human equity strategy. To date, this has been a four-year journey for Vectren, during which several initiatives, including the commitment to diversity, inclusion, and human equity, have resulted in improved business results such as increased employee-engagement scores and precedent-setting share prices. In the process, the company has become a best-practice leader for diversity, inclusion, and human equity. Vectren has committed to becoming a Level 4 organization on the Equity Continuum, a five-point scale introduced in Wilson’s first book, Diversity at Work: The Business Case for Equity. The Equity Continuum (later updated to the Human Equity Continuim) provides organizations with an efficient
assessment tool to rate their diversity, inclusion, and human equity initiatives. Achieving a Level 4 designation requires a pledge to move beyond the group-based focus of diversity towards the individual focus of human equity. Vectren: An Unlikely Poster Child for Human Equity What made Vectren’s experience remarkable was that the company did not match Wilson’s “typical” client profile. According to Vectren’s chief executive officer, Carl Chapman, the company was an unlikely poster child for human equity management, as it is located in a small city of 120,000 persons, based in the conservative Midwestern United States, and is a regulated utility company. Notwithstanding any perception of what the ideal company for human equity might be, there was a heavy investment by the company in the strategy, particularly as it related to the investment of executive leadership time and reputational capital. The decision was made that the CEO would serve as the overall strategy champion, and that the chief operations officer, chief financial officer, chief legal officer, and human resources vice president would lead the four pillars. Furthermore, the human equity strategy was incorporated into the company’s Corporate Plan
in 2016, entrenching it firmly as a key strategic initiative, germane not only to fostering the right culture, but also to the company’s financial success and overall performance. The objective of the human equity strategy was to transform the company into a diverse work environment, where each employee felt valued, included, and an integral part of the organization’s success. What followed over the subsequent four years has been the highest employee engagement results in Vectren’s history (a 20 percent jump), and the external recognition of the company as an employer and supplier of choice. The company has also reported a record share value; improved relationships with its key stakeholders, including its customers and unions; and the appointment of the first director of diversity, inclusion, and human equity in North America. Prior to the implementation of the human equity strategy, Vectren’s initiatives around diversity and inclusion were like those of many other organizations—demonstrating a sluggish conversion rate in translating the team’s efforts into measurable results. A clear business case for diversity had been articulated by the company prior to 2014, but there was little evidence that there had been a fundamental shift in the culture since the
Reese Hamilton Director, Customer Service Co-Chair–Development Sub-Task Force
1) Tell me more about your experience being a part of your specific task force. What was your role? What was the culture like and the relationships between the task force members? What relation, if any, did this have with your position at Vectren Corporation? As the co-lead for the Development task force, the members of the task force worked extremely well together as everyone on the team was passionate about employee development. For me, the work done by the Development task force was particularly relevant. My dept. is generally thought of as the point of entry to the company. As such, a significant part of my role in the company is to develop employees so they will be prepared to succeed when advancement opportunities are presented. Working on the Development task force afforded me the opportunity to formalize some of the development activities that have been implemented in the department to the broader Vectren organization. 2) How were you connected with or why were you interested in this particular task force? I was particularly interested in the Development task force because I truly believe that a company’s greatest assets are its employees. Investing in employee development ensures that employees grow and as employees grow, the company becomes stronger—a cycle that is worth repeating again and again.
diversity work began. Initial efforts began in 2008, with the launch of a Diversity Action Council. In 2012, Vectren set the goal of being a leader in diversity, relaunching the Diversity Action Council to jumpstart results. Notwithstanding these efforts, the company actually reported a decline in the diversity of its workforce, which was not able to be readily explained since employee engagement surveys were not reported through a diversity lens. The company had a vision of the desired end goal, but the roadmap to get there had demonstrable gaps. Human Equity within Vectren In hindsight, the human equity strategy at Vectren has been a good organizational fit, with tangible, positive results. However, the process began with a stroke of serendipity. It all started with a book left behind by a customer in a hair salon in Indianapolis, some 170 miles from Vectren’s headquarters in Evansville, Indiana. Lori Sutton, then manager of diversity at Vectren, stumbled upon Trevor Wilson’s Diversity at Work on her first visit to the salon in 2012 and was immediately drawn to it, as she had come across Wilson’s work during her research a few weeks earlier. Sutton brought the book back to Ellis Redd, then vice president of human resources. Together,
they used the book as a guide for diversity efforts at Vectren. By 2013, they contacted Wilson and asked him to evaluate the progress the company had made. He shared with Vectren’s leadership the evolution of his thinking and practice, outlined in his new book, The Human Equity Advantage. Wilson explained how Vectren could go beyond the limitations of its diversity initiative to realize far more transformative and impactful results, using a strategy founded in the principles of human equity and the updated Human Equity Continuum. The Human Equity Advantage documented best practices developed by TWI Inc. in working with companies such as Coca Cola®, Ernst & Young, and The Home Depot®, and provided a clear roadmap for Vectren to follow. At this point, Wilson was invited to present at the pivotal December 2013 Strategic Leadership Forum meeting on the essence of the human equity concept, the evolution of the approach, and the compelling business case for it. For Vectren, the rest, as the saying goes, is history. Human Equity: The Essence and Evolution Human equity is defined as the process of optimizing total human capital. Key to its success is a positive psychology approach
to people management and talent differentiation—the understanding that “unique differences in each individual can contribute to a sustainable competitive advantage.” It is founded on the following six principles: • Equity is not equality. • No group has a monopoly on bias or discrimination. • Representation alone is an inadequate measure of success. • Actions speak louder than words. • The strategy must strive for equity for all. • Human equity is a business imperative—not just the right thing to do. In The Human Equity Advantage, there is a clear recognition of the phenomenon of “diversity fatigue,” the diminishing interest in a company’s diversity efforts because they have not led to any significant change in business results. In the book, Wilson examines ten problems with the current diversity model, chief among them being that “diversity focuses on groups rather than the individual.” There is also a strong call to action for a shift to human equity, “which allows for talent differentiation, differential investment in high performance, and the opportunity to discover and play to the strengths of the employee.”
The updated Human Equity Continuum incorporates traditional diversity and inclusion, recognizes their limitations, and places them at the left of a scale that ranges from Level 0 (at the far left) to the ideal of a Level 5 at the far right of the continuum. Companies are assigned a score based on where their human resources (HR)
strategy lands on the spectrum, with the median organization located between Level 1 and Level 2. Suddenly, companies that thought of themselves as progressive employers, thanks in part to their diversity and inclusion programs, are revealed to be less than optimal in their HR and talent management strategy. A shift to a human equity
approach will move them to the right of the continuum, with corresponding improvements in business outcomes, including attracting the best talent, retaining the best talent, succession planning, improving workforce contentment and effectiveness, enhancing market positioning, and responding to evolving client needs.
“DIVERSITY FOCUSES ON GROUPS RATHER THAN THE INDIVIDUAL.” THERE IS ALSO A STRONG CALL TO ACTION FOR A SHIFT TO HUMAN EQUITY, “WHICH ALLOWS FOR TALENT DIFFERENTIATION, DIFFERENTIAL INVESTMENT IN HIGH PERFORMANCE, AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO DISCOVER AND PLAY TO THE STRENGTHS OF THE EMPLOYEE.”
Designing the Human Equity Strategy at Vectren Underpinning the design of the human equity strategy at Vectren were the Human Equity Index and the Total Equity Solution process. The implementation framework is shown in the graphic above. The Visioning Stage In 2015, Vectren’s senior executive team initiated and executed the visioning process. Central to the process of creating a shared vision was the explanation, clarification, and discussion of the foundational principles of human equity. The human equity strategy was also contextualized within Vectren’s larger culture and infrastructure (its core values, mission, vision, and purpose; and its internal engagement, communication, and performance management processes and systems). This
was followed by goal-setting and scope-focusing sessions, where it was determined that the shared vision was for the company to become a Level 4 organization, to be perceived as an employer and supplier of choice for all (no matter their background, culture, or experiences) and build a culture driven by human equity. In the process of determining the areas of focus within the vision, Vectren’s senior leadership team recognized that to create the cultural shift needed for the strategy to be sustainable and integrated, it had to be led from the top. It would also require the broad support and ownership of wide sections of the organization through the formation of task forces and subgroups. To ensure accountability in the process, measurement was key. Discussion centered around
the additional qualitative and quantitative data that would be needed to set targets and identify tasks that could achieve the shared vision. The Validation Stage The second stage in developing the human equity strategy also began in 2015. Validation refers to the process of gathering the necessary supplemental data and setting a baseline to measure and evaluate progress. A needs assessment was conducted and an honest fact-finding review was done of the company’s current position on the continuum (as a precursor to determining potential opportunities for growth). During the validation stage, Vectren was assessed on the following criteria, known as the Equity Index: Internal Quantitative, Internal Qualitative, External Qualitative and Leadership Behavior.
Internal Quantitative This metric is a headcount of different demographic groups (most commonly gender, race/ ethnicity, veterans, and individuals with disabilities) to evaluate an organization’s ability to attract and retain employees from diverse backgrounds. This is often carried out annually, and has formed the basis for compliance-driven companies (Level 1 and 2) to assess their success. At Vectren, diversity numbers had declined. While it was agreed that simple numerical representation was an incomplete measurement in building a culture that valued diversity, there was also a consensus that the trend could be an indication that there were more complex issues that needed to be addressed. Furthermore, there are a number of regulations that govern minimum diversity representation in order for companies to be deemed compliant, so it was essential that Vectren monitor this metric. However, the company remained committed to its goal of becoming a Level 4 organization, with the implication that Vectren would evolve beyond mere compliance or affirmative action goals, to become a true leader that was defined internally and externally as an employer of choice.
Internal Qualitative This metric is employed to assess employees’ perceptions of their work environment. The
most common tool used for this purpose is the engagement survey, which provides a macro-level indicator to the executive team about the health of the company. It is often helpful for companies to know the ratio of actively engaged to disengaged employees, but there is no additional information about which groups are actively disengaged. Vectren determined in 2014 that it would be in the company’s best interest to have additional data disaggregated to better understand employee concerns and trends. In addition to the employee engagement survey, there was the continued use of exit interviews and the modification, incorporation, and sensitization of other tools—pilot stay interviews, succession planning results, scorecards, and performance reviews— which were designed to increase the number of information points to be used by the company to understand, troubleshoot, and resolve any issues.
External Qualitative Vectren had long been regarded as an industry leader around issues related to safety, and wanted to drive the same level of recognition for diversity and inclusion. The company aspired to be externally recognized as an employer and supplier of choice for all, and a best-practice leader in this domain. It started to compare itself to a global database of organizations that had used Wilson’s Equity Continuum to measure their overall progress
Molly Harris Senior Business Partner Co-Chair–Attraction & Selection Sub-Task Force
1) How were you connected with or why were you interested in this particular task force? As a human resources professional, the Attraction and Retention Task force aligned well with my professional passion of finding and engaging the right talent for Vectren. 2) What was the process of learning about human equity for you? Prior to joining Vectren, I was involved in company-wide diversity initiatives within another organization and knew that Vectren was a community leader in diversity and inclusion. However, after becoming a Vectren colleague and a task force co-lead, I was able to fully understand and appreciate the human equity journey of Vectren. Moving from diversity and inclusion to human equity has opened my eyes to appreciate the whole person, not just a colleague or candidate’s knowledge and skills as it relates to their job title.
on diversity, inclusion, and human equity. This allowed Vectren an external benchmark to assess the impact of the new strategy.
Leadership Behavior To monitor the success and progress of the human equity initiative, Vectren needed to measure the competency level of leaders in behaviors that have been shown to create equitable and inclusive work environments. A tool known as The Equitable Leadership Assessment (ELA) was identified to evaluate leadership behavior, starting with the senior executive team. The collected data was then reported, both individually and as a group, in nine core competency areas related to human equity. In addition, there were two pilots of the ELA for 100 individuals at the leadership level (supervisor, 24
manager, director, and vice president) to begin establishing the Vectren norm for the nine competencies. The information gathered from the ELA would indicate the extent to which Vectren had equitable leaders in place, who capitalized on individual strengths while valuing diversity and inclusion. This would be instrumental in developing more formal leadership training, mentorship, and coaching at junior levels of the organization to improve leadership accountability. The Opportunity Stage In 2015, presented with the wealth of data from the validation stage, leadership at Vectren was able to identify and implement the infrastructure of their human equity strategy and processes, and develop specific tactics to
improve performance on the four pillars they had earlier identified as essential to the strength and future of the company: 1. Talent Attraction and Retention 2. Culture and Environment 3. Customer Focus, Supplier Diversity, and Recognition 4. Leadership Development Key to monitoring progress in these four strategic pillars was ensuring that they were matched to the respective goals and metrics from the Equity Index (Internal Qualitative, Internal Quantitative, External Validation, and Leadership Behavior). To take advantage of the transformational potential of its human equity strategy, and to position itself for success,
the company delineated key roles and responsibilities as follows: • Executive Vice Presidents Rick Schach, Susan Hardwick, and Ron Christian, and Vice Presidents Ellis Redd and Jim Francis, were chosen as Pillar Champions, based on their areas of interest and/or functional expertise. • The Pillar Champions had the operational support of Diversity, Inclusion & Human Equity Director Lori Sutton, who served as overall coordinator of the strategy and provided operational leadership to achieve results. • Each Pillar Champion, along with Sutton, was tasked with the Pillar’s alignment to the strategic imperatives and with establishing a task force responsible for the development of the project charter, determination of the execution timeline, and assignment of tasks and responsibilities. • Quarterly and monthly meetings were scheduled, and other reporting mechanisms set up, with progress reported to corporate human equity strategy champion, CEO Carl Chapman, who was responsible for providing presidential oversight of the initiative. Wilson was contracted as the external consultant to provide guidance for the first two years. By 2016, implementation of the strategy was underway,
and by 2017, full ownership of the project was passed to Vectren, with leadership from Sutton; additional internal staffing was secured to provide supplemental support. The Transformation Stage As important as data and metrics are to understanding the impact and effectiveness of a human equity strategy, nothing conveys the transformational power of this approach better than the firsthand insights and critical analysis of the executive team. These leaders have the greatest decision-making power, responsibilities, and access to information about the strategy. Overall Strategy Champion: Carl Chapman In June 2010, Carl Chapman was named president and CEO of Vectren. Prior to this position, he had held several other leadership roles at the company and with Indiana Gas/Indiana Energy, a predecessor company of Vectren, where his career in the energy industry began in 1985. As the overall champion of the human equity strategy, Chapman was responsible for providing strategic direction, and in his interview, he shared the larger context that guided and shaped the new culture at Vectren.
The company had long been committed to fostering a diverse work environment, but was facing a big challenge with the declining numbers of employees from diverse backgrounds (and little indication from exit interviews of the reason for this trend). Leadership knew that tracking these numbers was not enough. Prior to the implementation of the human equity strategy, Vectren had set an objective of moving beyond meeting basic compliance standards, and leadership viewed the process of setting the internal quantitative targets in the short term as a necessary but incomplete step. Much more than simply setting targets, the company wanted the respect for diversity and human equity to be deeply ingrained in the company’s culture—a core value that would change the way they did business, and improve business results. When asked if the company had achieved this culture with the rollout of the human equity strategy, Chapman reported that it was an ongoing process with great strides already made, additional challenges to be tackled, and an enduring commitment to building a diverse workforce. He also shared that human equity complemented other positive aspects of the company’s culture, notably its commitment to an information-driven environment built on integrity and accountability that serves its four key constituents (the “four C’s”): customers, colleagues, communities, and capital (investors).
Nancy Conder Director, Compliance & Quality Assurance Co-Chair–Retention Sub-Task Force
1) Tell me more about your experience being a part of your specific task force. What was your role? What was the culture like and the relationships between the task force members? What relation, if any, did this have with your position at Vectren Corporation? I was a sub-team lead for the Retention team. The task force members understand the importance of people to the organization—how finding the right talent for the right role and providing challenges and opportunities for that talent will keep the organization engaged and thriving. I participated in continuous improvement with Human Resources related to enhancing attraction and retention practices prior to this task force. 2) How were you connected with or why were you interested in this particular task force? Prior to coming to Vectren, I didn’t stay within a company or an industry for much longer than six years. I am always looking for new challenges and opportunities to keep me learning and growing as a leader. This particular task force is focused on what that means for each individual. It helps leaders within the organization engage with their potential and current employees differently to enhance the human equity culture and maximize the organization’s overall potential.
When asked what made the human equity approach resonate so strongly with him, Chapman acknowledged that it reinforced core values from his upbringing: that everyone is valuable and should be valued. By focusing on the individual, the strategy enables the company to articulate the message that Vectren is committed to attracting, retaining, developing, and showcasing individual talent, and a diverse workforce is critical to achieving this. When asked how the company articulated the business case for human equity to the board of directors, Chapman indicated that this strategy was part of a much larger conversation about succession planning and customer satisfaction (a key component in a client-facing industry) that had been initiated several years earlier. He noted that the message was well received once the board of directors understood that the human equity strategy was the next step in the evolution of the conversation on diversity and inclusion. When asked what were the key lessons learned in the implementation process that he would share with another company considering a similar transition, Chapman responded that it was important that the company understood that this was a long-term investment to build an enterprise-wide architecture that would lead to a transformative shift in the cultural paradigm. This is a large undertaking that
requires significant resources. In the case of Vectren, a dedicated individual was assigned to manage the entire process—first, external consultant Wilson, and then, internal champions and resources. As Wilson relinquished more control of the project, there was an increase in the human and financial capital provided to Vectren’s diversity, inclusion, and human equity director. Chapman explained that it was critical to create a solid business case at the outset and continually communicate the right message to all stakeholders to be better positioned to allocate the appropriate resources. Additionally, to create the necessary organizational architecture, sufficient leadership capital had to be invested. At Vectren, this required assigning pillar champions at the highest level of the company so that the message was crystal clear: Every employee at Vectren—from the top down— would be accountable for creating and nurturing a culture in which diversity and human equity are not only valued, but expected. The implementation process continued with further investment in the executive leaders themselves, to enhance the competencies necessary to create and drive a culture of inclusion. Chapman explained that the ELA, with its emphasis on self-reflection and its peer review process, had helped him and his team of executive vice presidents to develop greater knowledge about, and commitment to, the accommodation of difference and their openness to it.
To ingrain this mindset and these values at all levels of the company, the decision was made to conduct similar ELAs for other leaders as part of their future evaluation and succession planning processes. When Chapman was asked about the impact of the work that the company had done over the past four years, he stated that the number of minority professionals employed by Vectren has doubled since 2012. He reported that the company has achieved substantial progress, especially in the areas of employee safety, customer safety, and activities in neighboring communities. Vectren also provides a strong return on investment for their investors, as evidenced by delivering the highest total shareholder returns of all companies in the electric utility industry for the five-year period ending September 2018. Chapman went on to say that the company had experienced a dramatic increase in its engagement scores, which he attributed to their efforts to engage employees in a different way. Vectren’s journey to a culture of human equity has not always been easy and required an enormous investment of organizational effort, but the effort has clearly paid large dividends for the company—in business results and in lasting, transformational change. Chapman made it clear that this was a total team effort, noting that “the team elected together to do this.” He quoted his life mantra, based on a Rick Warren quote, “It is not about me,” and credited the
VECTREN’S JOURNEY TO A CULTURE OF HUMAN EQUITY HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN EASY AND REQUIRED AN ENORMOUS INVESTMENT OF ORGANIZATIONAL EFFORT, BUT THE EFFORT HAS CLEARLY PAID LARGE DIVIDENDS FOR THE COMPANY—IN BUSINESS RESULTS AND IN LASTING, TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE.
leadership team’s devotion, investment of time, willingness to “come together often to solve big-picture and culture issues,” and their resolution to “get to our target of looking like the communities where we live, work, and serve.” Leadership Development Pillar Champion: Rick Schach Rick Schach was named executive vice president and COO for Vectren in June 2016. Prior to assuming his current role, he served as senior vice president of utility operations and president of Vectren Utility Holdings, Inc. Schach began his career in the industry in 1994 as director of application development at Indiana Energy, a predecessor company to Vectren. Schach was responsible for overseeing the Leadership De-
velopment pillar in the rollout of the human equity strategy, which included ensuring that managers and supervisors were trained and well equipped to manage, coach, mentor, and develop an inclusive workforce. To accomplish this, the pillar integrated the Human Equity Index into its work plan to ensure leaders are focused on the individual skills and development needs of those who report to them. Schach outlined the importance of the Leadership Development pillar to the success of the overall human equity strategy and referred to the Equity Index, which estimates that leadership accounts for 65 percent of the strategy’s success. In the human equity management model, a core component of leadership development is the ELA, which allows the individual to engage in a process of self-reflection and awareness regarding his or her leadership style and the competencies necessary to support a culture of inclusion. As the
THE OVERALL SUCCESS OF THE PILLAR WAS DUE TO THE COMMITMENT AND SUPPORT OF THE TASK FORCE MEMBERS. THEIR LEVEL OF PASSION AND DRIVE WAS REMARKABLE AND WAS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. HE EMPHASIZED THAT THE TIME THEY HAVE DEDICATED TO THE STRATEGY, WHILE BALANCING THE DEMANDS OF THEIR FULL-TIME POSITIONS, HAS NOT GONE UNNOTICED. Leadership Development pillar champion, Schach led the initial ELA pilot and provided guidance for the process of expanding the ELA throughout all levels of the leadership group. When asked about how he chose his task force, Schach indicated that he had two criteria: competence and passion for diversity. He primarily looked for competent leaders who had been involved in the Diversity Action Council. Schach said that he volunteered for this pillar based on his own passion for developing leaders and the fact that he had benefited from mentorship and sponsorship throughout his own career. In a task force dedicated to leadership development, he sought to lead in a manner that would continue to groom task force members to become better leaders in their own right. Critical to the process of leadership development was providing an empowering environment that allowed capable people to do their best work, while providing the
guidance needed for their growth. The task force had a governance structure to ensure accountability and was divided into the following three subgroups with specific activities and deliverables assigned: 1. Leadership accountability 2. Leadership training 3. Leadership mentorship and coaching In sharing his key takeaways, Schach advised that patience would be an important virtue for pillar champions to have, as the process, and even the tools designed to facilitate it, may initially be perceived as daunting. He pointed out that the process is more effective if the company assigns its best and brightest to the orientation and decision-making process. He warned against the siloed approach of relegating the process solely to HR, and suggested that Vectren’s approach of ensuring buy-in of top leadership may be most effective. He also noted that Vectren was proud of its progress and reputation,
and is happy to share that with other companies. Long regarded as a leader in public and employee safety, Vectren has openly shared best practices on safety management systems and would be open to sharing with other organizations lessons learned about human equity in the same way. When asked what he was proudest of in relation to the human equity strategy, Schach replied that it is not uncommon in organizations for strategies to be filed away or for the implementation to taper off. This was not the case at Vectren, because the company had developed “a set of processes, people, and a culture that excites the whole organization.” Although the human equity strategy was initially driven by the executive leadership team, “it has taken on a life of its own and doesn’t need us to drive it.” The implementation was designed to encourage widespread organizational buy-in, and he hopes that human equity will continue to be ingrained into the company’s organizational culture well into the future. Lastly, he shared that the overall success of the pillar was due to the commitment and support of the task force members. Their level of passion and drive was remarkable and was very much appreciated. He emphasized that the time they have dedicated to the strategy, while balancing the demands of their full-time positions, has not gone unnoticed.
Talent Attraction and Retention Pillar: Susan Hardwick Susan Hardwick is executive vice president and CFO of Vectren, and has leveraged her financial acumen and leadership skills to contribute to the continued growth of the multibillion-dollar company. Since she started at Vectren in 2000, she has worked her way up, first to vice president and controller, then to senior vice president and CFO, and most recently, to executive vice president.
As the company’s first female executive, she has made herself a driving force behind Vectren’s diversity, inclusion, and human equity initiatives. She has been instrumental in the identification, development, and promotion of underutilized talent—selecting and grooming a number of women and minorities, for example, for key leadership roles. For her efforts, Hardwick has received a number of accolades and awards, including being named one of 158 Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal, receiving the Torchbearer Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Commission on Women, and being honored as Indianapolis Business Journal’s CFO of the Year—all in 2016.
In the male-dominated utility industry, where female CFOs are a rare phenomenon, Hardwick preaches and practices her mantra that hard work is key. She recounts that a strong work ethic was instilled in her by her mother, because Hardwick was born with one arm. As a child, she was expected to do the same chores as her brother; now, as an adult, she does not take kindly to excuses for not achieving results. Her work ethic cascades down to her direct reports and was evident in the performance of her task force, where targets and timelines were not only met but routinely exceeded. Within the human equity strategy, Hardwick was responsible for overseeing the Talent
Jalaja Narra Analyst, Agile Applications IV Co-Chair–Leadership Mentoring & Coaching
1) Tell me more about your experience being a part of your specific task force. What was your role? What was the culture like and the relationships between the task force members? What relation, if any, did this have with your position at Vectren Corporation? I learned a lot and cannot put it all into words. I am very honored to be the co-chair of the Leadership–Mentoring & Coaching sub-task force. Everybody feels important and valued when you are part of a group like this. It is the realization of why and how you can add value that makes a difference. We had members from different areas within the organization as part of the task force and worked closely with colleagues that we had never worked with before. Initially, our team had difficulty understanding how we could add value. With great guidance, training, discussions, and vetting processes, we were able to understand our leader’s vision. A big thank you to our leaders involved in this effort for their patience in educating us through this process. I have a profound respect for mentors and coaches now. It is a great experience that helped me find and make lasting relationships. We are very excited to see this in action! 2) What has been your greatest takeaway or lesson learned? My greatest takeaway.... Everybody should be treated equally—that was human equity to me before. Everybody should be treated fairly—this is human equity to me today. Human equity, I realize, has a lot of depth and character to it. Everyone is different and has a story, a different story. They are the heroes of their own story. Acknowledging these differences, rather than ignoring, and treating them accordingly is what matters. 30
Attraction and Retention pillar. In her capacity as the CFO, and a certified public accountant, Hardwick was aware of the importance of this pillar to the company’s bottom line. Since 2014, Vectren has said that “people are what differentiate a high-performing company from a low-performing company.” In fact, the consulting firm 1McKinsey noted, “It’s remarkable how much of a productivity kicker an organization gets from top talent” and went on to estimate that superior talent is up to eight times more productive. In her interview, Hardwick indicated that the cost of turnover (from the threat to productivity, as well as the resources invested in recruiting and replacing talent) makes this pillar of critical importance. She remarked that the efforts of many companies to attract and retain talent are like “trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.” To remedy this, the Talent Attraction and Retention Pillar engaged in more intentional hiring and retention processes, such as using the Human Equity Talent Model to expand hiring criteria to include more intangibles and conducting “stay” interviews, particularly with high-potential employees and those in groups, departments, or teams where high internal turnover exists or absenteeism is an issue, to better understand why people remain with the company.
Using the human equity tools available to her through the company initiative, Hardwick identified one of her key virtues as fairness, and said that she had been drawn to this pillar because “when you do your best work but you are not treated fairly, employees become disengaged.” The presence, or even the perception, of discrimination and bias can be directly linked to a company’s inability to attract and retain talent in general, and to underutilized talent in particular. The headcount metric—frequently used in typical diversity programs—is a lagging metric, companies may not be aware of how much talent is really being underutilized until it is too late. For Hardwick, the human equity approach became a key strategy in fostering an environment of fairness and inclusion. She embraced it as a complete solution to the challenge of engaging employees in order to develop their full potential and contribute to the success of the company. In addition to Hardwick’s role as the champion for this pillar, she has served as a powerful internal advocate for the strategy. She has used her skills and her passion to build a strong Vectren workforce staffed with hardworking top talent, all supported by an unbiased internal system that treats and rewards employees fairly. In fact, Hardwick could be seen as the ideal candidate to serve as an internal advocate for human equity, as she was viewed within
“THE WAY THE GROUP WORKED WAS AN INSPIRATION TO ME AND CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH WITH THIS EFFORT IS SO IMPORTANT TO EVERYONE. PEOPLE NEED TO BE HEARD, TO BE SEEN, FOR WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT TALENTS THEY BRING.” – Susan Hardwick
Vectren as a brilliant and committed leader with a strong work ethic. Her position as an executive vice president and CFO gave her the necessary executive capital to be a powerful influencer, and her expertise with the talent management issues that fell within her pillar gave her firsthand insight into the challenges that impacted frontline staff, as well as potential and recent hires. In the words of Wilson, Hardwick had the four characteristics of an outstanding human equity champion: “Brains, heart, hands, and feet. She had the brains to understand the impact of the human equity intervention on Vectren’s bottom line; the heart to totally empathize with those who may feel they are unfairly treated; the hands to reach and keep this item on the executive agenda when more urgent, competing priorities would inevitably rise; and the legs to walk the talk as an equitable leader.” When asked what she was proudest of, Hardwick expressed
her admiration for the enthusiasm and accountability of her task force. “The way the group worked was an inspiration to me and clear evidence that what we are trying to accomplish with this effort is so important to everyone. People need to be heard, to be seen, for who they are and what talents they bring. The task force was that voice and their enthusiasm for carrying the message to make this a more equitable workplace was the key to success. They have proven that this human equity strategy does make a difference, at all levels, by all measures,” said Hardwick. Customer Focus, Supplier Diversity, and Recognition Pillar: Ron Christian With more than 35 years in the utility sector, Executive Vice President Ron Christian assumed the role of chief legal and external affairs officer for Vectren, after serving as
executive vice president, chief administrative officer, general counsel, and secretary. Prior to joining Vectren, he was vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Indiana Energy, Inc., a predecessor company to Vectren, as well as vice president, general counsel, and secretary for Michigan Consolidated Gas Company. He volunteered to be the champion for the Customer Focus, Supplier Diversity, and Recognition pillar because of its external-facing orientation, which was a major function of his role. When asked about the importance of the pillar, Christian stated that customer satisfaction is a critical component of a company in the service sector, particularly considering the cultural paradigm shift Vectren was undertaking with the human equity strategy; there would now be an even higher expectation of quality customer engagement. To meet this objective, Vectren’s services had to meet the needs of all target markets and have a positive impact on customer satisfaction. This meant monitoring customer feedback from diverse groups and being recognized externally as an advocate for diversity, inclusion, and human equity. He emphasized that nearly 15 percent of the company’s customer base is diverse, and that it is important for the workforce to be representative of its customers, because it impacts the external perception of and satisfaction with the company.
In addition, Christian noted that Vectren will need to be attractive to millennials and the younger generation to remain relevant to its customers and stay ahead of disruptive forces. The industry is in a state of transition because of technological changes, the increased use of renewables, and an aging population in key positions. Vectren has recognized the need to diversify its workforce to face these challenges headon and, Christian notes, the culture of human equity is attractive to the younger generation and next wave of employees, who are drawn to organizations that value diversity in demographics, diversity of thought, and other areas. When asked about the impact of this pillar on the company, Christian pointed to the external engagement efforts that Vectren had made with the American Gas Association, Edison Electric Institute, and the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce to champion the benefits of human equity. He explained that Vectren felt it had a responsibility to share the best practices it had learned through the process of implementing human equity, and to be an inspiration to other organizations: “We are a Midwest-based, conservative company that has taken this
concept, and that illustrates to anyone with the will to do something like this, it can be done.” He indicated that he was proudest of the work that the task force had done collectively. Subdivided into union, customer, and supplier subgroups, they conducted gap analyses to evaluate best practices from a union perspective, employed a focus group to understand customer needs, and conducted focus groups with suppliers. He was also proud of the breadth of involvement in the task force. Including a wide span of employees from different levels and from various areas within the company—ranging from officers to gas specialists from the local union—was a major factor in the progress made on human equity. He added, “My hope is that we have planted a seed, so that the organization will carry it forward and be able to take it to the next level.” Reflecting on his lessons learned from the process, Christian said that it is important to ensure that there is the direct engagement of task force members with the pillar champion, over and above the regular quarterly reports and meetings. He also advised that companies provide their leaders sufficient time to grasp the concepts, since human equity is an evolutionary
idea beyond diversity. The transformative change involved in a human equity strategy requires major effort and a lot of organizational patience; engaging the expertise of pioneering consultant Wilson, and building understanding with the leadership team before implementation, were key to the success of Vectren’s initiative. Culture & Environment Pillar: Ellis Redd (previous VP of HR) Vice president of safety & system integrity for Vectren since June 2017, Ellis Redd previously served as vice president of human resources for 10 years. Redd’s career with Vectren has spanned more than 17 years. Redd explained that human equity was viewed by the company as an evolution of diversity and inclusion, because it created a space for everyone to be valued and involved rather than focusing on specific groups. He also noted that it is a shared responsibility to build the best organization possible, and that there had been a deficiency in the diversity and inclusion discourse in the past, as it has the tendency to make dominant groups (e.g., white males) feel excluded. In his estimation, this was a counterproductive approach, and he championed human
equity as a cutting-edge approach to addressing this and other issues. Redd believes that the human equity approach brought the conversation of a diverse and inclusive workforce to the forefront in a new and productive way, building on it by providing the necessary framework, gap analysis tools, and implementation methodology. He explained that the company was experiencing a shifting workforce that was pushing the culture into a new future, with changing outlooks and expectations of the workplace. Implementing human equity was key to accommodating these differences and creating a work environment where every individual is valued and every aspect of every employee’s talent can be captured to drive the success of the company. In his words, in a world where “you are moving forward or falling behind,” it is critical to source the time, tools, training, and opportunity that allow everyone—including leadership—to evolve. When asked why it was important for the vice president of HR to lead this pillar, Redd replied that the HR function has the greatest responsibility for driving culture and environment. This pillar was a critical component of the strategy, facilitating and underpinning all the other pillars. Therefore, in selecting
the task force, there was careful deliberation to ensure that it represented the necessary diversity of thought and experience, including gender, race, age, geographic location, sexual orientation, job function, and academic background. When asked what piece of advice he would share with his human resource counterparts in other companies interested in embarking on a similar journey, Redd suggested that they gather adequate data in the form of engagement surveys, exit interviews, and other reference points to get everyone talking about the merit of the opportunity. After all, he added, “In God we trust, everyone else brings data.” He noted that the research and assessment tools provided by Wilson’s human equity management model— particularly the Shape V and ELA tools—add credence to the strategy. He also advised that it would be beneficial to gain an understanding of the importance of culture, and that learning how to define, recognize, and foster the right culture is critical to the survival and success of any organization, whether it is a church, a not-for-profit, or a company. This may include conducting a pilot survey to assist with culture definition.
Alyssia Oshodi Senior Specialist, Communications Co-Chair Business Resource Groups
1) What has been your greatest takeaway or lesson learned? This has been a learning experience—not only about Human Equity, but about working together with my colleagues to move our organization to the next level on the equity continuum. As a member of the Human Equity task force, I and many of the others, already had a thorough understanding of diversity and inclusion, and were quickly able to support the transition to the concept of Human Equity. But introducing Human Equity to others at Vectren and being able to witness those who didn’t quite “get it” start to understand the concept of focusing on the individual and optimizing the intangible assets an individual brings to the workplace has been rewarding. 2) What did you tell your colleagues who weren’t on the task force about why your subgroup was important? I serve as co-chair of the Business Resource Group (BRG) subgroup, and we’ve conducted research and developed a plan to implement BRGs at Vectren. Implementing BRGs at our organization reinforces the commitment to Vectren’s corporate goal of being a leader in diversity, inclusion, and human equity. These groups would provide a forum for colleagues to come together to connect and build relationships, while also supporting Vectren’s overall business objectives. They would not only encourage different perspectives, but also provide opportunities such as attraction, development, retention, and business outreach. www.diversityjournal.com
Redd also noted many organizations have value statements saying that people are their greatest asset, but the reality does not always match up. By creating an environment where people feel valued and challenged, and feel that growth and development opportunities are open to all, employees are more likely to see a company as an employer of choice. When asked what he was most proud of, he replied, “I am the proudest that what we started has continued to move forward and that the journey didn’t die.” Culture & Environment Pillar: Jim Francis (current VP of HR) Jim Francis started his career with Vectren in 2001. He had worked with a predecessor company since 1991. He was named vice president of human resources for Vectren in June 2017, after serving as vice president of safety & system integrity. Before becoming the champion for Culture and Environment pillar in 2017, Francis was one of the co-chairs for the Talent Attraction and Retention pillar. Francis advised leaders considering implementing a human equity strategy to invest
time in using the tools to better understand their own strengths and areas of improvement, as it will improve their performance as leaders. He said that in the past, “We would have a conversation about diversity and nothing would change. With human equity, we learned to explain the why. By “starting with why,” you make the pitch personal. Human equity encourages the use of the human equity tools, such as SHAPE V, to talk about individual needs, development plans, and the future. All of these things assist team members and move them to a more tangible understanding of human equity. The result is a more meaningful, effective, and personal dialogue that supports champions in advocating for more inclusive environments. Francis explained that his movement among various departments allowed him to understand how different areas of the company complement each other and interact to create a holistic impact. He pointed out how seemingly simple processes—such as the manner in which the company writes its offer letters, rejection letters, and job postings—can be both indicators and enablers of the organization’s culture. He advocated for using the human equity tools in recruitment and team selection to ensure alignment of processes, communication, and culture. He noted that a major impact of implementing the human
equity strategy has been in the deepened relationship between colleagues, which leads to a better and more productive work environment. The human equity tools provided leaders with the ability to identify and leverage the innate leaders on their teams, and to discover what is missing, even in terms of intangible assets, to further build and strengthen a diverse, multitalented team. Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Human Equity: Lori Sutton Lori Sutton is the director of diversity, inclusion and human equity for Vectren, and was manager of diversity and inclusion prior to the rollout of the human equity strategy. Sutton began her career at Vectren in 2006, before joining HR in 2011, and has held several roles within the Accounting Business Unit. According to Sutton, Vectren had developed several initiatives around awareness training on diversity and inclusion prior to 2013, but saw greater value in developing a more integrated strategy with Wilson’s pioneering human equity approach. The advice she offers to any company with a similar portfolio is to understand that managing this kind of transformational change requires a shift in mindset
and culture, and that this shift may take time. To enable the shift, it is essential to secure support from senior executives and board members. Once leadership is onboard, it is necessary to build the support among front-line managers, because they will have an impact on the lived experiences of the employees. She also emphasized assigning adequate resources and suggested that integrating oversight of the rollout into the HR function may be the best way to ensure that there is not a disconnect between strategy and implementation. If people are an organization’s most valuable assets, you must align the diversity and inclusion strategy to the HR department’s mission and vision. According to Sutton, one of “the major barriers to Vectren’s previous diversity initiatives was that they were often misunderstood as affirmative action. To move beyond that limited perspective, it is important to have difficult conversations about biases, barriers, and systemic issues.” She noted this role requires you to have true passion, confidence, stamina, and a commitment to lifelong learning. Topics in this area are always changing—sometimes daily— and you have to be in it for the long haul to be successful. As organizations try to build truly inclusive environments, a human equity management model, with its messaging around maximizing strengths and an individual approach, allows employees to see them-
selves as agents in, and beneficiaries of, the process. In the past, Sutton explained, diversity and inclusion efforts were not strategically developed. In many cases, they were focused on training and programs, and although these were very important elements, there was no true alignment. With her primary experience in accounting and financial analysis, she began to challenge the work and the metrics around success. She began to research best practices, attend conferences, and seek out certifications to build her own competencies. She is proud to say that the process of driving the success of the strategy at Vectren led her to drive herself to present a well-rounded approach. She credits the success of the 10-year journey to all of the members of the Diversity Action Council, Human Equity Task Force, senior leadership, and the board. She also acknowledges the ambassadors throughout the company. Sutton highlighted the importance of being strategic when selecting a strong task force and keeping them engaged throughout the process. She recalled that she invited more than 90 people to take part in the task force, and no one declined. This was, in part, because the executive leadership had provided their approval and sponsorship. In selecting the task force, there
Christine Keck Director, Federal Government Affairs Co-Chair–Customer Sub-Task Force
1) What has been your greatest takeaway or lesson learned? I had never really heard of “human equity” or if I had heard the term, I certainly couldn’t have defined it prior to being part of this initiative. So for me, the education on what human equity is was eye opening—just understanding the term and how it is related to, but significantly different from, diversity and inclusion. A light bulb went off in my head one day, when I grasped that a core component of human equity is recognizing the unique attributes, characteristics, and backgrounds we each have (as in diversity and inclusion), but that in human equity, it’s being intentional about leveraging and maximizing those to the benefit of both the person and the organization. In other words, it’s going well beyond just noting or categorizing differences—it’s actually using, embracing, and leveraging them. 2) What do you believe the impact has been? What has made you the proudest? There has certainly been an elevated awareness and understanding in our company of what diversity, inclusion, and human equity are because of this initiative and an increased recognition of the importance of embracing these concepts. I’m proud that we are a leader—most certainly in our industry—in focusing on these priorities and working to promulgate them throughout our organization.
was an emphasis on ensuring that decision makers and influencers were at the table from the start. She said, “Getting people engaged is the easy part; keeping them engaged with their work commitments was harder. Nevertheless, 80 percent stayed engaged in the task force and have assisted with developing and implementing a nationally recognized strategy.” She remarked that her own professional trajectory is an example of human equity in action, as her interests, values, and attitude coalesced more around relationship management and developing people than would be expected from someone with an MBA and a career in accounting. She noted that this career pivot was one of her best decisions: “I can truly see that the work that I am doing is impacting other people, and that is very rewarding. It goes back to what my parents taught me—keep God first, never forget where you come from, and always take someone with you.” Sutton is proud that Vectren has become a recognized leader in diversity, inclusion, and human equity, and has won several awards from the Evansville Human Resource Association and the Vanderburgh County Human Relations Commission. For her work, Sutton received the USI Phenomenal Women Award in 2014, and she was selected for the Diversity Leader award in 2017 by Profiles in Diversity Journal. In addition, she was one of 12 finalists for the Southwest Indiana Chamber Athena Award in early 36
2018 and was recently selected as a Top Executive in Corporate Diversity and Inclusion by Black Enterprise magazine. She added, “I am most proud that I stepped out on faith, not knowing where this journey would take me. I have been working in this area since 2008 when I joined the Diversity Action Council, and it has been very fulfilling work. It is a wonderful feeling when the work you are doing is impacting individuals internally and externally. It means a lot when someone comes up to me and thanks me. I have truly been blessed to move my position from a paycheck to a career, and now a calling (Human Equity– Attitude towards Work/SHAPE V).” External Consultant on Human Equity: Trevor Wilson Wilson, long known as a global diversity strategist, started his career in the public sector advising the premier of Ontario, Canada, on issues of human rights, employment equity, and multiculturalism. He is the creator of human equity and launched the human equity model in his 2013 The Human Equity Advantage. Wilson remarked that one of the most valuable takeaways from the human equity management process at Vectren was that the data revealed a gap between how leaders perceived their leadership skills and how others perceived
them from a diversity, inclusion, and human equity perspective. In fact, company leadership scores were lower than the average global 10-year norm. The value in this finding was not in the numbers themselves. The real value was that, in many cases, this was the first time the leaders were using a metric to assess their own behavior as it pertains to diversity, inclusion, and human equity competencies. Leaders were being evaluated by their employees on nine competencies related to human equity: • openness to difference • equitable opportunity • flexibility • dignity and respect • commitment • knowledge and understanding • change management • ethics and integrity • leveraging innate talent He recalled debrief sessions in which leaders stated, “Nobody has ever asked me this before.” This realization could be an indicator of a deepening sense of engagement. Wilson also noted that the democratic nature of the human equity initiative can have a multiplier effect and result in a significant cultural shift throughout the organization. Wilson points to three quotes that together inspired him to develop the concept of human
THE NEXT STEP IS TO ASSESS PROGRESS, USING AN INSTRUMENT KNOWN AS THE HUMAN EQUITY ASSESSMENT TOOL (HEAT), WHICH WILL ALLOW VECTREN TO OBJECTIVELY DETERMINE WHETHER THE COMPANY HAS ACHIEVED ITS OBJECTIVE OF BECOMING A LEVEL 4 ORGANIZATION. equity: Marianne Williamson’s “Your playing small does not serve the world”; Robert Collier’s “You are to leave the world a better place than you found it”; and Neale Donald Walsh’s “Then you become a wiser one …who knows of truth and life. Of what is important…of what is really meant by such terms as integrity….” CEOs and other company leaders have often remarked, “Our human resource is our most important asset,” and Wilson points out that for the first time, human equity provides the tools, methodology, and insight to bring this quote to action. He advises companies not to start an initiative if they lack the commitment to changing their culture in a transformational way: “Commitment is like ham and eggs; the pig is the one that is committed, the chicken is only interested.” He encourages any company considering implementing a human equity strategy to assign a strong inside architect and partner to support the process, as Vectren did with Lori Sutton. Wilson strongly believes that human equity is not only the right thing to do, but best for the
business with the potential for tangible business outcomes. In the case of Vectren, he said, “I am convinced that there is a direct relationship between the human equity intervention and the improved employee engagement scores and share price increase. It is not the entire reason, but I know that it is relevant.” When asked how a company can sustain the gains made so that progress is not lost, Wilson noted, “It’s the old line of ‘what is of interest to my boss fascinates the heck out of me.’” In other words, if human equity is not on the CEO’s agenda, then, by a cascading effect, it will not be on the frontline employee’s agenda. He echoed Carl Chapman’s statement, “Anything that gets measured, gets done,” adding, “Anything that gets reported will have some accountability mechanism behind it, and gets continued.” In Wilson’s eyes, Vectren has made a great deal of progress; sustaining that progress often requires leadership to deal with things that are important, but not necessarily urgent. The Realignment Stage Key elements of the transformation process are still
underway at Vectren. Executive leadership and the 90-member task force have continued to invest time and resources to keep momentum and engagement high. The next step is to assess progress, using an instrument known as the Human Equity Assessment Tool (HEAT), which will allow Vectren to objectively determine whether the company has achieved its objective of becoming a Level 4 organization. Conclusion Over the past four years, the human equity strategy has been designed and implemented at Vectren with the support of the executive leadership and a 90-member task force, all of whom have invested time, reputational capital, and resources to keep momentum and engagement high. The strategy has been a transformative process, leading to improved business outcomes, a significant cultural shift, and a cadre of champions across the organization at all levels who are committed to the process of maximizing human capital at Vectren. PDJ Scott Keller and Mary Meaney, “Attracting and retaining the right talent,” McKinsey & Company website, 2017, retrieved November 7, 2018, https://www.mckinsey.com/ business-functions/organization/our-insights/ attracting-and-retaining-the-right-talent. 1
Alecia Maragh serves as an Account Executive at Wisely. She can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top Ten Innovations in Diversity Award Winners 1. HCA Healthcare: Brave Conversations Introduced: 2018
Read more from HCA on page 42
In brief: Launched by HCA Healthcareâ€™s Cultural Development and Inclusion team, Brave Conversations is a forum that invites employees to share perspectives and discuss complex and challenging topics. The goal of the program is to facilitate thoughtful, productive dialogue in a safe and respectful setting. The model encourages participants to share personal opinions, thoughts, fears, and concerns around issues that might be uncomfortable or difficult to discuss. To date, the team has developed several programs involving more than 1,000 colleagues.
2. Dow Chemical Company: Dow Talent Has All Colors Introduced: 2017
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In brief: In 2017, Dow Brazil hosted “Talent Has All Colors,” an event led by the company’s employee resource group, African American Network (AAN), and aimed at challenging norms within Dow, starting a dialogue around racial diversity, and advancing the idea that the contributions of African American employees will accelerate company success. The event also marked the launch of Toda Cor Alliance, a group supporting the inclusion of afro-descendant professionals in Brazil. Following the event, there has been a dramatic increase in hiring African American interns and a 354 percent increase in the number of AAN participants.
3. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP: Upstander@Weil Introduced: 2015
In brief: The Upstander@Weil program takes the “ally” concept beyond the LGBT community, where it has traditionally been applied, to engender alliances across all levels and demographics within the workplace, encouraging individuals to be allies of and advocates for people and communities with backgrounds different from their own. For example, men can serve as Upstanders for women, Baby Boomers as Upstanders for Millennials, and white people as Upstanders for racial and ethnic minorities. Beyond advancing the firm’s diversity objectives, the program has emboldened employees to assert themselves in the service of diversity.
4. IVY Planning Group: IVY’s Power of Difference Pipeline (PDP) Introduced: 2018
Read more from IVY on page 44
In brief: Despite global diversity, most organizations lack race and gender diversity in executive positions. IVY’s Power of Difference Pipeline program provides specific strategies to accelerate the rate of progress toward race and gender equity in leadership. And organizations that have completed IVY’s PDP have realized increases in diverse applicants and reduced race and gender gaps in hiring, promotion, and retention. D&I and HR gains knowledge and tools, leadership benefits from diverse perspectives, employees feel valued, and the marketplace reacts with trust and confidence.
5. Dechert LLP: Dechert Heroes Introduced: 2018
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In brief: Dechert Heroes, the firmâ€™s newest affinity group, addresses issues important to military veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists, and was set up in the belief that nurturing diverse viewpoints and attracting people from varied backgrounds helps foster a highperformance culture. The group provides pro bono representation, helping with issues ranging from disability benefits and discharge upgrades to military sexual trauma. Dechert Heroes has also connected with Elite Meet, an outfit that helps former Special Forces operatives find their place in the civilian world, and is looking at ways to assist client companies with their own veterans groups.
6. Capital One: Catapult Introduced: 2017
In brief: Offered in partnership with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Catapult is an intensive, seven-month program, with the goal of developing a solution to a self-identified critical business challenge. The ten business owners selected to participate learn from experts on subjects ranging from design thinking, to innovation, to budgeting. The program culminates with business owners pitching the solution to their business challenge to a panel of judges. Participating companies are certified diverse businesses, at least 51 percent minority owned, managed, and controlled. In its second year, the program is focusing on women-owned businesses.
7. Fish & Richardson: Parental Leave Phased Hours Program (PL-PHP) Introduced: 2017
In brief: Fish & Richardsonâ€™s Parental Leave Phased Hours Program supports primary caregivers as they transition between work and leave. PL-PHP provides the equivalent of an additional two weeks of compensated time in conjunction with parental leave (structured as a reduced billable goal). The goal is to help legal staff transition work and manage the demands of home; and to attract, retain, and promote women at the firm. So far, response has been overwhelmingly positive, and everyone who is eligible has taken advantage of the program.
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8. Krungthai-AXA Life Insurance PCL (KTAXA): Voice Insurance Policy Introduced: 2018
In brief: As part of KTAXA’s commitment to protecting customers and empowering people to live better through customized life and health insurance solutions, the company has initiated Voice Policy, an application that allows customers across Thailand, who may have difficulty reading printed policies because they are visually impaired or illiterate, to access insurance policies via audio. The company hopes that providing this innovative service will inspire other companies to champion and embrace diversity and promote a more inclusive society.
9. AutoGravity: Unbiased Lending Introduced: 2016
In brief: Consumers often don’t realize they can shop around for car loans, and data shows that most car buyers select the first terms presented to them rather than explore additional options. AutoGravity provides financing choices based on objective metrics rather than subconscious bias. Not only is AutoGravity the solution for consumers seeking fair financing options, but also for lenders and dealers who want to eliminate unintentional discrimination. AutoGravity’s user base has grown from 600,000+ in 2017 to almost 3 million in 2018, and financing requested from those users has surpassed $3 billion.
10. Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM): Together We Grow Consortium Introduced: 2016
In brief: Founded by ADM, and with the company’s continued funding and leadership, Together We Grow is a consortium of more than 50 industry groups from the public and private sectors, with the shared goal of educating, recruiting, and retaining a skilled, diverse, and inclusive workforce that better reflects the world’s growing population and will be able to meet our evolving food and agricultural needs. To help meet next generation needs, the Consortium encourages student involvement and supports K-12 agriculture education. Our long-term goal is to find ways to expand the world’s food supply.
Image courtesy of HCA Healthcare
By Sherri Neal
Real dialogue, Real Understanding
Bold, Relevant, Authentic, Valuable, and Educational. That’s the foundation of HCA Healthcare’s BRAVE Conversations; a platform that encourages participants to share personal opinions, thoughts, fears, and concerns on a variety of topics in a safe and respectful setting.
Special guest speakers focused on a range of topics including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) generational differences, women’s equality, Latino culture, and a special session with a wounded warrior in honor of Veterans Day.
Since launching in February 2018, HCA has hosted multiple BRAVE Conversation events. From training experiences to live forums with HCA Healthcare’s Chief Human Resources Officer, the BRAVE Conversations model has gained remarkable momentum. The centerpiece of the program includes events for employees who join together for dynamic presentations and dialogue. Five of this year’s events were held at the company’s Nashville, Tennessee headquarters where more than 1,000 employees experienced an hour of open, brave, and respectful dialogue.
We’ve found that talking about real stories can be a more
effective and powerful model for creating a culture of inclusion. This program has allowed us to share our experiences, perspectives and ultimately strengthen our commitment to our mission, which is the “care and improvement of human life.”
from left to right: John Steele, Chief Human Resources Officer, Sherri Neal, Vice President, Cultural Development and Inclusion, Milton Johnson, Chairman and CEO, Justin Constantine, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) and Avery King, Military Affairs Talent Acquisition Lead during a special BRAVE Conversations event honoring Veterans Day on November 1st in Nashville, TN.
A Thoughtful Environment Reinforces a Culture of Inclusion Beyond the large format events at the corporate office, BRAVE Conversations have also occurred in a variety of settings ranging from department meetings to leadership training. HCA Healthcare’s Cultural Development and Inclusion team provides resources to set the tone for those conversations to ensure they are respectful, relevant and impactful. BRAVE Conversations topics have included unconscious bias, generational insights, inclusive leadership traits, and creating a welcoming and inclusive culture. In addition, the model has been used in training and education formats designed for small groups and department meetings. This year, the team has developed multiple successful programs that have introduced BRAVE Conversations to colleagues across the enterprise. This program was born from a real need from our colleagues who expressed a desire to have
HCA Healthcare employees engage in thoughtful and respectful dialogues during a BRAVE Conversations session at the company’s headquarters in Nashville, TN.
an interactive, inclusive, innovative, and safe way to share their thoughts on issues that are top of mind but are sometimes difficult to discuss. In 2019, HCA Healthcare will continue to expand BRAVE Conversations by providing training modules that HR Business Partners and managers can easily facilitate for their
co-located or virtual teams. This expansion approach will complement the team’s work in consulting, training and development for colleagues across the company. The vision for all our programs is to promote a culture of inclusion not only for our teams, but ultimately, to empower our caregivers to provide culturally competent and inclusive care to the patients we serve.
What is a BRAVE Conversation?
The opportunity to share one’s personal thoughts, fears, and concerns in a safe and respectful setting
Courage to share our opinions on topics that might be uncomfortable, but necessary to acknowledge, discuss, and address An immersion experience that allows participants to engage in complex and challenging conversations
Sherri Neal is Vice President, Cultural Development and Inclusion for HCA Healthcare, where she has been responsible for leading the company’s inclusion, equity and cultural competence initiatives for the past 13 years. Her focus on refining diversity and inclusion processes, policies and programs have led to the development of several innovative approaches that have received national recognition.
IVY Planning Group Innovation: Power of Difference Pipeline Formal Launch: 2018
HARNESSING THE POWER OF DIFFERENCE TO IMPACT THE BOTTOM LINE
VY Planning Group was founded in 1990 as a strategy consulting firm. IVY is a PDJ diversity pioneer with a track record that has establish the firm as the “go to” advisor to world-class organizations seeking diversity and inclusion strategy and execution support. In 2018, IVY Planning Group formally launched Power of Difference Pipeline, a program that safeguards organizations from their blind spots and areas of weakness by harnessing the power of diversity to enable business success. In a rapidly changing economy, it is imperative that companies are ready to adapt and move with the market. An organization’s success depends on its ability to recruit, retain, and enable the highest-caliber leaders. Qualified talent comes in a
IVY’s 25+ years of experience combined with their ability to resonate with our senior leadership team accelerated our pace of play to realize the benefits of diversity and inclusion. – Cristy Garcia Thomas, Advocate Aurora Health
wide variety of packages. IVY’s program helps organizations expand their limited networks so they don’t miss top talent, and then sets those leaders up for success. The Power of Difference Pipeline program empowers all parts of the organization to be part of the sustainable growth of the company in a way that they have never before. The best organizations know and understand that people are at the core of why you do business in the first place. The very best of who we are is the same—it’s people with shared experiences and different perspectives. The empowerment allows for organizations and companies to leverage these differences
as a workforce, workplace, and marketplace opportunity. It approaches our differences first and foremost as winning.
Organizations with visible diversity in their executive ranks can demonstrate their commitment to D&I principles without saying a word. A picture of the executive team starts to tell the story. Diverse leadership says to customers, “We care enough about you to hire the very best talent. Your voice is represented in decisions about the products and services we offer you.” It says to employees, “Everyone has the opportunity to succeed here. Bring me your best and it will be
IVY President Janet Crenshaw Smith and IVY Director of Research Dr. Kerri Ferstl collaborated to develop a program to address a pressing need—how to accelerate the pace of play to source, develop, and leverage today’s diverse talent.
rewarded.” It says to the prospective talent pool, “You are welcome here. We have leaders who will understand your unique challenges and goals.” In order for this growth to be sustainable, IVY evaluates the organization’s recruiting and hiring practices against professional best practices and equips the organization with a variety of strategies to help them source, recruit, and onboard the very best talent more effectively. We also want to foster an environment that allows this talent to thrive. IVY evaluates the organization’s culture and climate through a D&I lens and develops a strategy that will help close any gaps in employee engagement,
development, advancement, and retention. The pipeline program impacts CEOs, CHROS, CDOs, and employees with the ambition to become the leaders of tomorrow by helping to ensure equitable opportunities based on merit. IVY represents clients across all industries and across all sectors. Those who have participated have realized increases in diverse applicant slates and reduced race, gender, and other representation gaps in hiring, promotion, and retention metrics. The best organizations understand the business case for diversity and inclusion while in pursuit of their strategic
IVY Planning Group has an established track record of creating extraordinary impact for organizations. They continually innovate and lead! This recognition by Profiles in Diversity Journal is well deserved. – Jocelyn Cooley, SVP HR and Global Talent Acquisition Viacom
We can’t afford to wait 100 years.
– Gary Smith, CoFounder IVY Planning Group
goals. It is at the root of their mission, because at the end of the day, it is about the people. It impacts the bottom line, unleashing difference as a powerful force to achieve superior results.
As the world continues to become more and more diverse, it is imperative for organizations to make sure that they are getting their fair share of the talent pool. The Power of Difference Pipeline is about winning.
When you need the absolute subject matter expert with a well-informed expert opinion, IVY Planning is your very best option. As pioneers of the best D&I practices and solutions, they continue to listen and work to find processes that serve their customers’ needs. Their innovative approaches are continually evolving, as they are bringing on a new generation of IVY consultants to develop new innovative approaches to the stubborn challenges we all face. – Anthony Barnes, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Innovations in Diversity
Awards of Excellence (in alphabetical order)
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): T.E.A.M. Approach to Diversity and Inclusion Introduced: 2017 In brief: The T.E.A.M. (Talent attraction, Education, Acknowledgement, and Marketing) approach provides a framework to guide the decisions AMD makes regarding inclusion endeavors. The principles of T.E.A.M. have helped the company expand the reach and impact of its Employee Resource Groups (ERG) globally, and helps ensure that ERG activities can drive opportunities for individual development, networking among peers, and cultural enhancement. An annual engagement survey shows employees in ERGs, particularly women, are more engaged, satisfied, and positive regarding the organization’s outlook and its diversity and inclusion efforts.
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.: Gallagher Connect Partners Introduced: 2018 In brief: The latest milestone within the company’s U.S. Brokerage division is the formation of Gallagher Connect Partners—an inclusive, collaborative insurance broker and consultant network built on trust and composed of minority, women, and other diverse-certified insurance professionals. Gallagher Connect Partners devotes much of its agenda to networking, visioning exercises, and inclusion activities intended to build trusted partnerships and the belief that we are more similar than we are different despite our diversity. The Partners are maintaining momentum through committees that make joint decisions about how they will communicate, operate, and learn together.
Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership: Business Growth Collaborative (BGC) Introduced: 2014
Read more from COEI on page 52
In brief: The Business Growth Collaborative (BGC) created in 2014, is a partnership of 11 organizations that provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs and business owners. The group’s mission is to support minority business growth by sharing resources, identifying and filling gaps, achieving milestones for businesses across organizations, and streamlining services. As the BGC connects entrepreneurs with resources, the Commission helps larger corporate partners build supplier diversity programs. In the last year, the group has serviced more than 100 new businesses and significantly changed the region’s resource environment.
Dow Chemical Company: Dow Global Disability Strategy Introduced: 2018 In brief: Dow Global Disability Strategy is a company imperative and a guiding principle for Dow, around the globe. The Strategy was developed and driven by the companyâ€™s top management to assure the creation of an environment in which people with disabilities can perform and thrive. The goal is to unlock value through leadership engagement, inclusive company policies, and the impact of the contributions made by people with disabilities. Growing company-wide awareness has resulted in a nearly seven-fold increase in Disability Employee Network membership.
Dow Chemical Company: Dow Transgender Apprenticeship Program Introduced: 2016 In brief: In 2016, Dow began its Transgender Apprenticeship Program in Argentina and Brazil, hiring transgender individuals, 18 to 26 years old with a high school education (complete or studying), alongside partners such as Accenture, SAP and GE. Since then, 11 apprentices have rotated through various functions at Dow and its partner companies. Those who have completed the program have found full-time employment, gone back to school, or taken jobs at government agencies. The visibility generated by the program contributed to a Dow employee deciding to come out as transgender and transition in 2018.
Freddie Mac: Autism Internship Program Introduced: 2012
Read more from Freddie Mac on page 54
In brief: Freddie Mac created the Autism Internship Program to match its business needs with the unique capabilities of people with autism. The program allows the organization to reach a largely untapped source of talentâ€”young adults with autism and college degrees in fields such as computer science, mathematics, and finance. To date, Freddie Mac has recruited 18 interns, ultimately hiring 9 for full-time positions. The Autism Internship Program participants have shown that in the proper environment they can thrive as highly productive employees.
Freddie Mac: LGBT & Housing Insights Introduced: 2018
Read more from Freddie Mac on page 56
In brief: In 2018, Freddie Mac commissioned a first-of-its-kind study exploring LGBT housing insights in the United States. The goal of the study was to understand the diversity within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/gender expansive (LGBT) community. The study found that LGBT homeownership rates are well below average and concerns about discrimination are heightened among members of the LGBT community. The study yielded a robust data set that will enable Freddie Mac and customers to derive tailored action plans.
Gibbons P.C.: The Gibbons Clerkship to Associate Pipeline Program (CAP) Introduced: 2018 In brief: The Gibbons Clerkship to Associate Pipeline Program (CAP), led by Chief Diversity Officer Robert Johnson, assists several highly qualified students from diverse backgrounds, selected by participating faculty and administrators of three area law schools (Seton Hall, Rutgers-Newark, and Rutgers-Camden), to prepare for post law school employment. CAP helps second-year law students prepare for the clerkship hiring process, and helps third-year students prepare for post-clerkship associate hiring process. CAP, though new, is positioned to drive growth in the diversity of the New Jersey judicial and legal communities, as well as that of Gibbons.
HARMAN: Leadership Experience Acceleration Program (LEAP) Introduced: 2018 In brief: In 2018, HARMAN implemented the Leadership Experience Acceleration Program (LEAP), an early-career rotation program designed for future innovators. The two-year program offers rising talent the opportunity to build a strong global network through leadership mentoring and participate in innovative training activities and strategic assignments. This diverse training is driving exponential growth in emerging economies and positioning the company as a leader in connected car technologies. It also provides young talent with the tools to succeed.
HP: “All-American” Family Portrait Introduced: 2018 In brief: HP recently released the results of a new study examining current perceptions of what it means to be an “All-American family.” Two thousand respondents were asked to measure the presence of bias among different types of families and whether they personally identify as “All-American.” Three in four respondents identified the All-American family as white and heterosexual, with children; one in three would be nervous about bringing home a significant other of a different race; and 95 percent say they are close with their families, but one in three have cut ties with a family member due to what they perceive as intolerant views.
KPMG LLP: The Audit 90 Experience Introduced: 2015 In brief: The Audit 90 Experience is an 18 month experience designed to improve the retention and advancement of high-performing senior associate women by providing the support needed to map out and advance their careers at KPMG. The experience provides personal coaching, instructor-led workshops, peer cohorts, and partner mentors. Workshop participants engage in group discussions, career mapping activities, and simulations to dive deep into issues that influence their career and life decisions. Participants learn to identify and overcome fears and obstacles, retention rates improve, leaders gain generational understanding, and talent ambassadors are created.
MetLife: Inclusion Week Introduced: 2014 In brief: Inclusion Week was created to acknowledge and appreciate the skills and talents of all employees, and to ensure that they feel valued and included. The campaign also gives employees access to the continuous learning needed to cultivate a diverse and inclusive workplace. The Week focuses on educating employees about how to create an inclusive work environment; raising awareness and increasing employee engagement around diversity and inclusion; and motivating employees to make diversity and inclusion an integral part of their jobs.
New American Funding: Latino Focus Introduced: 2013 In brief: The Latino Focus Committee is an in-house initiative at New American Funding, whose goal it is to identify and address challenges Hispanic consumers face in their pursuit of homeownership, to enhance the quality of the lending experience among Hispanic consumers, and to enrich the Hispanic community through homeownership. Latino Focus has developed several outreach elements, including Spanish-language educational materials and radio and billboard campaigns, as well as outreach designed to educate the Hispanic community regarding homeownership opportunities.
New York Life: New York Life Hackathon Introduced: 2015 In brief: In 2015, a group of 150 employees voluntarily came together to organize the first employee-led, employee-focused Hackathon at New York Life. Four years later, still a volunteer-driven event, it has reached participation levels of 300 employees across multiple business areas and offices. It is an opportunity to expose all employees to new ways of working, fresh ideas, and other colleagues. The event enables inclusive technology solutions and celebrates diversity of thought by bringing together multidisciplinary teams to solve business challenges.
Stikeman Elliot LLP: Sponsorship and Advancement of Women Program Introduced: 2018 In brief: Because research and our own experience tell us that sponsorship significantly affects career advancement, Stikeman Elliot has committed to increasing sponsorship of its women attorneys. In order to design an appropriate strategy, the firm employed Design Thinking, a human-centered problem-solving technique that requires participants to â€œstep into the shoes of the person who experiences the problem.â€? More than 100 attorneys generated hundreds of ideas regarding how best to provide sponsorship. Leadership will implement the best of them in order to improve the advancement and retention of the talented women lawyers at Stikeman Elliot.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP: Student Diversity Leadership Summit Introduced: 2018 In brief: Sullivan & Cromwellâ€™s Diversity Task Force partnered with Goldman Sachsâ€™s Human Capital Management and Legal Department to create the Student Diversity Leadership Summit for diverse affinity group student leaders from ten law and business schools. The day-long conference focused on how students can best leverage their leadership roles to impact their campuses, as well as the legal and business professions. As a result of the Summit, students grew their networks and additional clients asked how they could get involved. With this added support, S&C can host much larger summits and create a network of individuals dedicated to making D&I a core value.
Tata Consultancy Services: Ignite My Future in School (IMFIS) Introduced: 2017 In brief: Ignite My Future in School (IMFIS) is a pioneering effort to empower U.S. educators, using a transdisciplinary approach that integrates computational thinking into core subjects like English, math, science, art, and social studies. Completely free of cost, the initiative helps students obtain the necessary skills required for 21st century careers by offering educators professional development, instructional resources, and year-round curriculum support. To date, IMFIS has reached more than 3,300 educators and 185,000 students across the United States. By 2021, the goal is to impact 20,000 teachers and one million students, primarily from under-resourced areas.In brief: Ignite My Future in School (IMFIS) is a pioneering effort to empower U.S. educators, using a transdisciplinary approach that integrates computational thinking into core subjects like English, math, science, art, and social studies. Completely free of cost, the initiative helps students obtain the necessary skills required for 21st century careers by offering educators professional development, instructional resources, and yearround curriculum support. To date, IMFIS has reached more than 3,300 educators and 185,000 students across the United States. By 2021, the goal is to impact 20,000 teachers and one million students, primarily from under-resourced areas.
The Business Growth Collaborative (BGC) is a partnership of 11 organizations that provide technical assistance services to enterprises in the City of Cleveland. Over the years, each organization has recognized that inclusion and diversity in our business climate is a key ingredient in the recipe for sustainable regional development. At the same time, there is an awareness of major barriers preventing minority entrepreneurs and small business owners from getting the resources they need to succeed. One of these barriers is a service system that is difficult to navigate.
“We are delighted by the spirit and energy of this group of service providers.” - Brian Hall, Executive Director of the Commission on Economic Inclusion By acknowledging that each organization has its own unique strengths and niches, and by placing the needs of minority entrepreneurs and small business owners at the top of the priority list, many of these organizations realize the necessity to work more closely together and streamline services. This is the sentiment upon which the BGC was founded in late 2014, and upon which it continues to operate today.
Representatives from the BGC organizations meet twice per month to 1. raise awareness about each organization’s area of expertise, 2. identify potential gaps in the larger entrepreneurial support landscape, and 3. discuss specific cases of businesses that would benefit from working with a combination of BGC organizations. This last action item constitutes our Client Support Process, through which we create and execute upon collective milestones for businesses. Since 2016, the BGC has supported more than 120 businesses, 95 percent minority-owned and 65 percent women-owned, in obtaining critical resources for growth. These resources include access to capital, prototype design, legal counseling, business plan development, waived MBE certification fees, and more. “We are delighted by the spirit and energy of this group of service providers,” said Brian Hall, Executive Director of the Commission on Economic Inclusion. “They have spent two years developing processes, systems, and trust which garnered support from our funders, and will benefit the minority entrepreneurial community.” This Collaborative was envisioned and nurtured by a host of supporting
organizations, most notably the Cleveland Foundation, as well as PNC Bank, Key Bank, Cuyahoga County, Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the Gund Foundation. “The foundation is happy to support the work of the Business Growth Collaborative and is pleased with its outcomes so far,” says Shilpa Kedar, program director for economic and workforce development at the Cleveland Foundation. “Without equitable access to business resources and opportunities, our region’s economy will not reach its full potential. The Collaborative’s efforts directly address those gaps.” The vision of the BGC is to catalyze equitable economic growth in the City of Cleveland. According to research from the Kaufmann Foundation, the net job creators since 1980 have been startups and small businesses. By simplifying the search process for
entrepreneurs and connecting them to the best quality resources for their needs, the BGC believes that its collaborative work can speed up the process of wealth and job creation. Moreover, with a primary focus on supporting businesses started and owned by people of color in Cleveland, the BGC hopes to address the systemic economic inequalities which hinder growth in our region. Our network looks forward to continuing our efforts at meeting the needs of our diverse business and entrepreneurial community.
Learn more at www.gcpartnership.com
Freddie Mac Sees Autism as an Asset in the Workplace
Diana McCalla, Dominica Groom Williams, Lauren Collins, and Sarah Crump (Photo Courtesy of Disability Equality Index)
n an effort to hire the best and brightest people to push the company forward, Freddie Mac is committed to exploring every opportunity to hire diverse talent. This is why Freddie Mac created its Autism Internship Program, which matches the company’s business needs with the unique capabilities of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The program allows the company to reach into a largely untapped source of talent— young adults with autism who have college degrees in fields such as computer science, mathematics, and finance. 54
“Individuals with autism have proven that, given the proper environment, they can really thrive and be incredibly productive employees,” said Sarah Crump, Office of Diversity & Inclusion manager at Freddie Mac. Since the program’s inception in 2012, Freddie Mac has welcomed 18 interns into the program, ultimately hiring 9 for full-time positions. “Freddie Mac has benefitted from the expertise and unique traits these interns bring,” said Sarah. Freddie Mac’s groundbreaking work on the program goes beyond simply identifying this untapped
pipeline of unemployed or underemployed individuals—it partners with a network of ASD experts who craft job descriptions for roles that maximize the benefit to the company and help potential interns realize their full potential. “Before I came to Freddie Mac, I struggled to find employment, despite being a highly qualified, entry-level candidate,” said Greg, a quantitative analytics associate at Freddie Mac and graduate of the program. “They recognized everything I had to bring to the table and that autism was a difference, not a detriment.” The program, which is run by Freddie Mac’s Office of Diversity
& Inclusion (ODI), further differentiates itself from traditional internship programs by having no set timeframe during the year. When resumes are submitted, ODI conducts an initial vetting process to identify the most qualified individuals and then collaborates with divisions within the company to create job descriptions that use their talents and ensure the best outcome for the intern and Freddie Mac. Viewed through the lens of a traditional internship program— and traditional hiring practices— Freddie Mac’s program may seem to put the cart before the horse: selecting the person and crafting a job to fit his or her skills, rather than choosing a person to fit a predetermined job description. But that inverse of established practice is what makes Freddie Mac’s program so innovative. “We are recognizing the talents of these individuals that many companies have overlooked,” said Dominica Groom Williams, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Freddie Mac. “We are telling them that they are valued and showing great confidence that they can perform at high levels. We don’t try to put them in a box; we simply embrace their talents and identify the right opportunities.” After selecting the interns and finding their ideal roles, Freddie Mac works to make sure their work environment is conducive to their success during the 16-week program. Their managers are fully trained to aid with the interns’ adjustment to corporate life.
BY IDENTIFYING THE TALENT IN THESE INDIVIDUALS AND PROVIDING THEM REAL WORK EXPERIENCE IN A CORPORATE ENVIRONMENT, FREDDIE MAC HOPES IT CAN BE AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHER COMPANIES TO EMBRACE NEURODIVERSITY IN THEIR HIRING STRATEGY. “Simply put, managers manage better with more awareness and insight, which benefits their team, which benefits the company,” said Dominica. The interns are placed on teams with neurotypical employees, which allows for a learning process on both sides. “Having an individual with autism on a team with neurotypical employees has a profoundly positive impact on perceptions, beliefs, and expectations,” said Sarah. “We see that teams are immediately improved by the traits often possessed by an individual with autism, namely: intense focus and curiosity, the ability to find patterns and anomalies in data, and a value for routine and organization. In turn, our neurotypical employees see that performance comes in different forms and seek innovative ways to foster engagement, learning, and communication to fill the gap in areas where an individual with autism may struggle.” Because of the program’s increased exposure, many potential candidates have begun reaching out to Freddie Mac, a unique and enviable position for the company.
Because of this, Freddie Mac envisions this groundbreaking program growing in the future. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 59 children had a diagnosis of ASD by age 8 in 2014. That is a 15 percent increase since 2012. While there is no reliable estimate of ASD in adults, the CDC reports that “50,000 teens with autism age out of school-based services” each year. By identifying the talent in these individuals and providing them real work experience in a corporate environment, Freddie Mac hopes it can be an example for other companies to embrace neurodiversity in their hiring strategy. Companies, including SAP, Ernst & Young, Ford, and Microsoft have recently developed similar programs. “I just wish that more companies would open up to the idea that having autistic employees isn’t a liability,” said Aaron, an application services employee at Freddie Mac and graduate of the program. “It can be quite an asset. Anyone out there with autism who thinks they don’t have hope anymore or thinks they don’t have a chance in the workplace should reconsider and know that it’s been done.” PDJ www.diversityjournal.com
Innovative Research Sheds New Light on LGBT Homeownership
Angie Wilen (Photo Courtesy of NALC)
o solve a large-scale problem, those with the capacity to help are often at a loss to know where to start. For Angie Wilen, human resources innovation director at Freddie Mac, the natural starting point is to fully diagnose the issue at hand. Understanding, she hopes, can be a catalyst for change. That’s why, in 2018, Freddie Mac commissioned a first-of-itskind study to better understand the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/gender expansive (LGBT) experience with respect to housing in the United States. Further, this study shed light on the diversity within the LGBT community and the influence
of that diversity on housing. The groundbreaking study was conducted by a partnership that included Freddie Mac human resources, the diversity and inclusion team, the Pride LGBTQIA employee resource group, the corporate communications and public relations team, and multiple lines of business. It gave the company “a broader, more nuanced understanding of the LGBT community, more specifically, the unique experiences, attributes, and preferences of each group, and the impact of those on housing trends,” said Angie, a member of the Pride ERG, which educates employees and company leadership regarding issues affecting the LGBTQIA community in the
workplace and fosters a culture of nondiscrimination. The study, commissioned by Freddie Mac and conducted by Community Marketing and Insights, surveyed 2,313 LGBT community members (aged 22 to 72) living in the United States. The research found that members of the LGBT community are less likely to own a home, are more mobile, fear discrimination when buying a home, and prioritize living in LGBT-safe neighborhoods. Specifically, the survey reveals that only 49 percent of LGBT households are likely to own a home—lower than the current national rate of 64.3 percent. In addition, more than four in ten LGBT renters (46 percent)
fear discrimination in the home-buying process, while an additional 15 percent are unsure. “It is particularly concerning to find that LGBT homeownership rates are well below the national average,” said Angie. “In addition, concern about discrimination is considerably heightened in this demographic. It may seem like common sense that minority groups are concerned about discrimination, which it is, but we now have quantifiable data— confirmation. That is what makes this study so innovative and important.” Another innovation of the study was to explore diversity within the LGBT community— for example, finding that gay men and lesbians were most likely to own (52 percent), while LGBT African-Americans (30 percent) and LGBT millennials (23 percent) were least likely to be homeowners. “Too often, the LGBT community is considered through a homogenous lens,” said Angie. “In reality, the personal experiences of those in the community differ based on factors such as age, gender, and race.” The survey also discovered ways the LGBT community is similar to the rest of the country. For instance, the survey found that seven in ten LGBT renters interested in buying a home cite saving for a down payment as a challenge. And like the general population, more than half of LGBT renters either said that
Angie Wilen & David Paisley (Photo Courtesy of Out & Equal)
they didn’t know how much is needed for a down payment, or thought it was above 20 percent. Despite being less likely to own a home right now, LGBT respondents largely had positive attitudes about homeownership. Three-quarters of LGBT renters agreed that owning a home is a good financial investment, and 72 percent of renters said they want to own a home in the future. These findings offer Freddie Mac, and ultimately, its customers, previously unavailable data from which to develop tailored action plans. For Freddie Mac, the first course of action was to update its nondiscrimination policy in its Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide to include sexual orientation and gender identity, which it did earlier in 2018. “Freddie Mac fully supports the principles of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in all our business activities,” the company said in a bulletin to seller servicers. “We are updating the Guide to require all seller/
servicers with whom Freddie Mac does business to practice these principles as well.” The next step for Freddie Mac is to share this data with industry professionals and empower industry leaders to use this previously unavailable data. “We now have awareness about lower homeownership rates and perceptions of discrimination, and about drivers that influence why we see these statistics,” said Angie. “We can now take action.” Since publishing the findings, Angie has hit the road to present them at conferences, such as the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals event, Out & Equal Workplace Summit, and Network+Affinity Leadership Congress, NALC Dallas/Fort Worth. “The first step to growth is awareness,” said Angie. “I’m proud we are bringing awareness to the housing industry, so we can better serve the LGBT community.” PDJ
Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Struggle in Corporate America By Donald Fan
s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) executives and practitioners, we ask ourselves how we can position our companies as employers of choice to attract and retain top talent, and how we can reap the benefits of DEI to enhance innovation and new business
opportunities in the digital era. Those two questions reflect the top concerns reported by business leaders worldwide, according to the Conference Boardâ€™s C-Suite Challengeâ„˘ 2018: failure to attract and retain top talent and the need to create new business models in response to disruptive technology.
Although we are clear about the why and what of our work, thanks in large part to a wave of empirical and heuristic research on the business of DEI, we are collectively struggling with the HOW. After so many years of committed efforts, corporate America is still facing discrimination, stagnation,
fatigue, apathy, and disparity in the workplace. According to “Hiring Discrimination Against Black Americans Hasn’t Declined in 25 Years,” published by the Harvard Business Review (October 2017), the level of discrimination encountered by black Americans during the hiring process has remained unchanged over the past quarter-century. Recent research, conducted by economists from University of Chicago and Stanford University, indicates that less than one fifth of C-suite executives at large publicly traded U.S. companies are women, only twenty-four of the CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are women, and only three are black. The study concludes
that 50 years of economic history proves that inclusive workplaces make us all richer. The researchers estimate that if access to education was fully equal across groups and discrimination was to disappear, U.S. GDP per capita would grow by another 15 to 20 percent, making everyone better off. That is where DEI efforts can contribute to the big picture. We cannot help asking this question: What have we been doing wrong, and what are the major barriers that prevent us from achieving sustainable DEI progress in corporate America? Albert Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” By adopting the
Theory of Algorithms, a conceptual framework for solving a range of problems, this article attempts to identify those blocks and contemplate how we can solve the problems we have identified.
1. Failure of Vision: A Numbers Game vs. a Culture Change Philosophically, we must affirmatively answer this fundamental question: Is DEI a compliance-based numbers game or a culture change that engages and includes everyone in order to attain equality and justice? The reality is that many companies have been pivoting on compliance-based diversity driven by historical context and government regulation.
DIVERSITY WITHOUT EQUITY AND INCLUSION WILL NOT ATTRACT AND RETAIN DIVERSE TALENT, GET THAT TALENT FULLY ENGAGED, FOSTER INNOVATION, OR LEAD TO BUSINESS GROWTH.
Historically, diversity originated with government initiatives. The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 made it illegal for businesses to practice discriminatory hiring or firing. This focus on the moral obligation to address the impact of traditional discrimination led to affirmative action programs, which were introduced in the 1970s. Now companies in the United States with more than 50 employees are required to report their diversity data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on an annual basis. If diversity is imposed through regulation and compliance, corporations tend to chase numbers. We also notice that short CEO tenure impacts DEI in some companies. According to a recent Equilar study, the median tenure of CEOs at large-cap (S&P 500) companies was only five years. The frequent senior executive shifts negatively disrupt the continuum of corporate DEI efforts. An inclusive culture would end a company’s dependence on the presence of a particular CEO for sustainable DEI success; an established inclusive culture would tell us what to do when the CEO is not in the room.
Diversity without equity and inclusion will not attract and retain diverse talent, get that talent fully engaged, foster innovation, or lead to business growth. That is why we witness the “leaky bucket” problem with regard to retaining talented women and people of color (POC). To solve this problem, we must focus on nurturing both an inclusive culture and inclusive leadership. Compared to tracking and reporting diversity data, fostering an inclusive culture is much harder to accomplish. It calls for an unwavering commitment, strategic planning, intentional actions, and unyielding grit. It takes a whole village working collaboratively to achieve changes to mindset and behavior. Strategy for achieving course correction: • Obtain a strong commitment from the CEO and C-suite executives. The tone and message from the very top are determining factors for DEI success. • Craft a narrative that helps leaders explain why DEI is a culture journey with shared interests. This requires
everyone’s participation, rather than a silo call from the chief diversity officer and Office of Diversity. • Include qualitative measures in a DEI scorecard that track employee perception and experience of inclusion, such as an inclusion index (measuring the sense of belonging, uniqueness, and fairness) and a culture index (measuring the alignment between employee experience and the corporate values practiced in the workplace). • Transition DEI ownership to business areas, and support business leaders with consultancy, expertise, resources, and tools. Hold business leaders accountable for advancing DEI and achieving the expected outcome. • Nurture an open environment that welcomes and seeks out different voices, opinions, and perspectives, while creating a compelling group identity that leads to greater cooperation and collective intelligence. The social neuroscientist Jay Van Bavel indicates in his research that diverse teams benefit most from having a group identity. They can use their different insights to solve problems together, without the conflicts that would normally arise.
2. Failure of Strategy: Margin Choice vs. Growth Choice A margin choice focuses on short-term needs and aims for incremental change. When the diversity numbers go down, the company strengthens its recruiting efforts to “buy” diversity. Whereas, growth choice focuses on “growing” diversity by investing in the incumbent workforce through purposeful talent development and providing an ecosystem that supports and advances diverse talent. In the volatile and complex digital age, DEI becomes a strategic imperative and competitive differentiator. While advanced technology and new opportunities can accelerate business growth, there is no substitute for people. The innovation, knowledge acquisition, soft skills, and
agile nature that are wired into our human DNA will help us successfully navigate a rapidly changing marketplace. This long-term growth mentality will unleash the full potential of diverse talent and energize companies around agility, innovative thinking, and continuous improvement. To activate the growth choice, we must be crystal clear about our vision and create a blueprint for what to achieve, where to bet, and how to win. Strategy to win the game: • Form a DEI Executive Council to lead the journey, set objectives, connect all the touch points, and provide direction. Leverage their clout to invite and engage more leaders and employees to champion DEI efforts. • Conduct prescriptive, descriptive, and predictive analysis with leading and
lagging indicators to better understand the organization’s DEI history, lessons learned, and challenges; set up stretch goals for the future. • Increase transparency of DEI data by granting access to business leaders. Leverage DEI data to uncover WHAT (issues that stand in the way), use insight and intelligence to explain WHY (root cause), and commit to HOW (SMART plans to tackle the issues). • Converse with business leaders regularly. Use Bayes’ theory to actually update our beliefs when we encounter new evidence and theories that conflict with what we already know. Validate pre-existing beliefs, while reviewing new evidence (data), by asking if the new evidence confirms our beliefs or if alternatives exist that better explain the challenges
we are facing. Then focus on an action plan to tackle current missing links. • Create an accountability system with explicit measures to gauge progress on a regular basis. Neuroscience and psychological studies show that it is not enough to hold DEI data up as proof of progress. It takes a common motivation and shared purpose to move the needle. • Convey a consistent message through all communication channels. Articulate the narrative at every possible venue and business meeting.
3. Failure of Practices: Standalone Program vs. Holistic Ecosystem Last year, I had a conversation with Dr. Frank Dobbin, co-author of the Harvard Business Review article, “Why Diversity Programs Fail.” Our discussion involved the findings of research based on data collected over three decades from more than 800 U.S. companies and hundreds of in-depth interviews with line managers and executives. “It shouldn’t be surprising that most diversity programs aren’t increasing diversity. Despite a few new bells and whistles, courtesy of big data, companies are basically doubling down on the same approaches they’ve used since the 1960s—which often make things worse, not better. Companies have long relied on diversity
IT SHOULDN’T BE SURPRISING THAT MOST DIVERSITY PROGRAMS AREN’T INCREASING DIVERSITY. DESPITE A FEW NEW BELLS AND WHISTLES, COURTESY OF BIG DATA, COMPANIES ARE BASICALLY DOUBLING DOWN ON THE SAME APPROACHES THEY’VE USED SINCE THE 1960S— WHICH OFTEN MAKE THINGS WORSE, NOT BETTER.
training to reduce bias on the job, hiring tests and performance ratings to limit it in recruitment and promotions, and grievance systems to give employees a way to challenge managers. Those tools are designed to preempt lawsuits by policing managers’ thoughts and actions.” Many of today’s DEI programs are designed with a one-sizefits-all approach, mandatory requirement, or control and commend style. They are based on fixing others’ attitudes. We know that standalone DEI programs and raising awareness do not change people’s mindsets and behavior. Take unconscious bias training as an example. Dr. Brian Nosek, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, in his study reviewing the state of evidence for implicit bias and implications pursuing effective strategies for DEI, states the following: “There is little evidence supporting the effectiveness of implicit bias training in improving diversity and inclusion.” To close the gap between conventional wisdom and effective outcome, we must rethink and
redesign DEI programs by propelling mindset and behavior change, growing curiosity, and teaching management how to solve complex problems in the digital age. More important, we need to build DEI into the talent lifecycle through well-thought-through policy, process, procedure, and practice.
Strategy to bend the curve: • By using design thinking, offer resourceful and supportive platforms that attract, motivate, and retain a large base of employees (top-down and bottom-up), rather than standalone start-stop programs. Some examples include a mentoring/sponsorship platform with well-curated content and discussion guides, an employee resource group/business relations group platform with executive support and system of development with targeted learning and up-skilling opportunities, and a social media platform where employees can share their stories, ideas, and experiences.
• By adopting an agile approach, develop and distribute action-based tools to help managers advocate for DEI and make better decisions. For example, craft a “de-bias” card for each major talent decision scenario (hiring, talent review, promotion, performance evaluation, succession planning) with implicit bias callouts, standard procedure reminders, and a strategy to mitigate the bias. • Instead of pushing a mandatory DEI training, provide an education curriculum and menu from which employees may choose course materials, based on their individual needs. This approach helps reduce the feeling among
users that the training is being imposed on them and increase a sense of personal ownership and relevance.
building grit for success, introduced by Angela Duckworth in her New York Times bestseller Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance: Commit to stretch • Teach inclusive leadership goals with passion; focus on (characteristics, competencies, practices with discipline and behaviors), including how to dedicated efforts; cultivate a model it day to day, and meaningful purpose; and uphold how to lead a diverse team your hope with perseverance. effectively and efficiently. Failure will never beat us if our • Make DEI an integral part determination to succeed is strong of every business and people enough. PDJ decision, rather than an afterthought. Ensure that we have the processes and procedures in place to make it real. The ultimate goal of Donald Fan serves as this effort is to infuse DEI Senior Director in the Global Office of Culture, into the DNA of the business. I’d like to conclude by borrowing the four stages of
Diversity & Inclusion at Walmart Inc.
Fostering Racial Diversity as part of a Commitment to a Healthy and Equitable Society By Undraye Howard, Senior Director of EDI & Engagement, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
hen NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem in 2016, he launched a national conversation about race and equity in the United States that rages on today, whether intended or not. Change is never easy, and America is struggling along a path toward a more fair and inclusive tomorrowâ€”one in which all citizens have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
For the social services sector, this goal is paramount. At the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, a strategic network of thousands of dedicated nonprofit humanserving professionals, we have a vision of achieving a healthier and more equitable society. Furthermore, we believe achieving that vision is dependent on individuals having access to four key building blocks: population health and well-being; education success; economic opportunity; and safety and security.
But for too many people of color, these foundational criteria are often out of reach. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report on health found that people of color face significant disparities in access and utilization of care and, consequently, in health outcomes. In its State of the Work, the D5 Coalition noted a median net worth of $142,000 among white families, as compared to a net worth of $18,100 for non-white families. That same report found a racial leadership gap among organizational leaders, despite
the fact that findings indicate that companies with higher levels of racial or ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to outperform their industry counterparts. In response to these trends, and with an eye to helping engage the human services sector in increasing equity among its leaders and staff, the Alliance launched a training entitled “Building Organizational Capacity for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,” funded by the American Express Foundation. The training cohort includes the selection of 18 organizations to take part in a 15-month process, utilizing a framework developed by the Alliance that identifies Commitments of High-Impact Organizations. Through their participation, organizations are developing and implementing plans that not only address building diverse and representative talent pipelines, but also foster an organizational culture that supports the long-term sustainability of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). UCAN (Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network) is an Alliance member that is already putting EDI into practice. After relocating their headquarters in 2014 to North Lawndale, Illinois, they launched a Strategic Community Relations initiative to advance equity by creating minority supplier spending targets, injecting resources, and offering employment opportunities to North Lawndale residents. As a culturally proficient organization, UCAN is led by a diverse and progressive governing board (51% ethnic minority; 33% female). Diversity also permeated UCAN’s internal spending as they
conducted $1.2 million in business with minority- and women-owned organizations this past year. In terms of supplier diversity, UCAN made a commitment to award a minimum of 50 percent of campus construction and professional services contracts to minority- and women-owned businesses, and ultimately exceeded that benchmark. Today, their success is evident in their growth as the sixth largest employer in North Lawndale.
For example, since 1996, Starr Commonwealth has offered Glasswing seminars, a two-day training that helps companies start the difficult process of racial healing and creating racial equity. Since their launch, they have trained thousands of business leaders from organizations like Kellogg, Michigan State University, Purdue University, and State Farm on the impact of racism on communities nationwide.
The Ruth Ellis Center, a Detroit area social services agency that serves the needs of runaway, homeless, and at-risk LGBT youth, took part in the Alliance’s EDI cohort in 2017. Their EDI plan focused on policy and procedures, capacity building, and communications. Key elements included: 1) addressing implicit bias in performance evaluation and ensuring equitable practices are integrated into recruitment and hiring practices; 2) increasing learning opportunities for staff development on equity issues and conflict management; and 3) updating public-facing materials, including the website, to reflect equity values.
Both the Annie E. Casey Foundation and The Kresge Foundation are also working on the frontlines of advancing equity through the development of equity tools and resources.
Their organization, which is a testament to the life and work of Ruth Ellis, who was respected and loved for her longevity and endurance as one of Detroit’s oldest and proudest African-American lesbians, is built upon a model of equity and diversity, and support for all members of the community. How can other organizations replicate these successes? There are a growing number of resources available to help both nonprofits and corporations achieve racial equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Truly achieving our vision of a healthy and equitable society ultimately requires that organizations—both public and private sector, nonprofit and for-profit— realize the value in a strong, diverse workforce and the racial and ethnic diversity of the communities they serve. This work is critical, since increasingly, the strength and success of an organization can be measured not only by its bottom line, but also by how well equity, diversity, and inclusion are embedded in its everyday way of doing business. PDJ
Undraye Howard is the senior director of EDI & Engagement for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. In addition to his work on equity and diversity with the Alliance, Undraye currently serves as an adjunct professor for several universities in Milwaukee, teaching courses in youth work, ethics and boundaries, human services skills and techniques, and many communication and leadership courses.
The Future is Fernanda By Amy Ward
photo credit: Alan Miyatake Amy Ward, CHRO for MUFG Americas, poses with colleague Fernanda Vasquez, who is going through the company’s Project Management Academy after starting her career in one of the bank’s high school branches.
ernanda Vasquez wants my job, and I’m good with that.
I met Fernanda Vasquez recently at Loara
High School in Anaheim, California, where we have a fully functioning Union Bank branch that was run by 12 students of the class of 2018. The entire group, like Fernan-
da, has big aspirations for their careers and even greater plans to change the world. Fernanda wasn’t one of the student bankers, but she was in their shoes not too long ago.
After graduating in 2014 from Lincoln High School in East Los Angeles, where she was part of our student-run branch program, Fernanda attended UC Irvine and earned her bachelor’s degree in business economics in three years—impressive by any standard. She was such a standout at Lincoln, and at UCI, that we hired her right out of college to be the branch
California in addition to Loara: Crenshaw and Lincoln in Los Angeles, McLane in Fresno, and Mountain View in El Monte. These students aren’t just collecting units and skimming the basics of finance. In fact, during my tour of Loara High School, I was struck by their drive, ambition, and altruism. Jessica, Luis, and their classmates told me they were
semester visiting Loara’s classrooms to teach their peers financial skills that will enable them to make smarter decisions for the rest of their lives. Aaron and Mariam had a passion for helping freshmen open savings accounts for the first time, because they want to save for college. We are fortunate to have a group of highly motivated
BY 2025, MILLENNIALS WILL MAKE UP 72% OF THE GLOBAL WORKFORCE; THEIR ASPIRATIONS AND ATTITUDES WILL SHAPE THE WORKPLACES OF THE FUTURE.
service officer at Loara. Since then, she’s moved from proud banker to a new role in our Project Management Academy program on the IT side of the bank. In two years, Fernanda will be a project manager. As incredible as her journey has been, there are dozens of young people who are where Fernanda was just a few years ago—young women and men working in our student branches, which are active on four high school campuses in
eagerly awaiting acceptance letters from Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins. Sarai, Edgar, and their peers said they were interested in careers in aerospace engineering, business, and medicine. Muniro and Cinthia had already started a nonprofit organization that collects books and charitable contributions for communities in Africa. Rafael, Rami, Cynthia, and Daniel had spent the previous
young professionals representing our bank who are confident, often multilingual, entrepreneurial, financially savvy, and fully employable upon graduation at any bank branch in the country. In fact, we’ve hired dozens of former students from the more than 150 who have worked in our high school branches since the program’s inception in 2010. My visit to Loara High School gave me renewed hope for the people side of banking,
INVEST IN THE NEXT GENERATION BY TEACHING THEM THE PRINCIPLES OF RESPONSIBLE BANKING, EXPOSE THEM TO AS MUCH REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE AS POSSIBLE, BE INCLUSIVE AND ENCOURAGE ALL DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY
particularly for the generation that’s about to enter the workforce. Workforce trends for financial services suggest a progressively reduced need for human capital, giving way to robotics, artificial intelligence, and mobile and other technology-enabled devices. Familiar notions of professional roles, career education, and workplace dynamics will shift dramatically in the financial institution of the future. These trends create a seemingly uncertain career trajectory for our student bankers. But can technology ever truly replace emerging talent with diverse perspectives, innovative ideas, digital competence, and enhanced emotional intelligence? I’d say, “Certainly not.” A Global Banking Outlook report by Ernst & Young, entitled Transforming Talent: The Banker of the Future vali-
dates my viewpoint: “By 2025, millennials will make up 72% of the global workforce; their aspirations and attitudes will shape the workplaces of the future. If banks are to prosper, they must retain leading talent and encourage a culture of ‘intrapreneurism’ by nurturing diversity of thought. A stronger, better banking world won’t be made up of the best individuals, but the best combination of diverse individuals.”
Aligned with these findings, as my HR team develops new strategies to equip the workforce of our future, we understand that we must engage the next generation of talent by appealing to their need for purpose, meaning, and impact in their work, which can only be achieved through inclusion of their unique voices and experiences. The good news is that we have a ready pipeline of incred-
ibly diverse thought leaders in the making through our real-life student-led branch at Loara, where 12 teenage bankers are serving other teenagers, faculty, and staff (customers) under the supervision of an adult branch manager and an adult branch service manager. I see the future in these young bankers, as well as in Fernanda, who is already starting to carve out a career path. As I was leaving Loara, Fernanda could barely contain her enthusiasm about her new role, even while exclaiming that she had just gotten married about an hour before we met! I was astonished to learn that she had taken time away from her wedding day to be present for my visit to the branch, but it only serves to reinforce the dedication of the next generation to achieving their professional goals. I fully expected Fernanda to tell me that she wanted to be a lifelong banker. To my delight, she said that her
dream is to be the head of HR someday. Fernanda has had a few opportunities to see how HR works and she’s drawn to it. Her passion for the profession is authentic and frankly reinvigorating for me. If we’ve helped Fernanda discover that passion through our high school branch program, then we’ve succeeded by every measure. Whether she goes into HR, project management, or banking, I’m glad she’ll be on our team. A young person inspired has an unimaginable ripple effect. The formula we’ve fostered is simple and elegant: invest in the next generation by teaching them the principles of responsible banking; expose them to
as much real-world experience as possible; be inclusive; and encourage all dimensions of diversity. If they are ultimately attracted to banking, we will be fortunate to have them in our profession. If they become physicians, engineers, teachers, or business owners, we can take pride in knowing that we helped them cultivate the values and skills critical for success in any workplace of the future—values like integrity, collaboration, and stewardship; and skills like communication and continuous improvement. Most important is something they have within them: a commitment to service on behalf of others.
We have only to invest in our growing young workforce and empower it to unleash its potential. Fernanda, I hope to see the day when you’re the chief human resources officer for one of the largest banks in the world. The future is yours! PDJ
Amy Ward is Chief Human Resources Officer for the Americas for MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation and its primary subsidiary, MUFG Union Bank, N.A. She is responsible for overseeing all human resources strategy and functions for the company’s operations in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.
Herd Mentality: How Can We Be Less Swayed by Conformity Bias? By Jiang-Ping (JP) Fan, Senior Instructional Design Specialist at Mayo Clinic
hen we talk about diversity and inclusion, one of the roadblocks we need to become keenly aware of is unconscious bias. Unconscious bias takes many forms and expresses itself in different ways. In this short discussion, I will focus on one form of unconscious bias. I will start with two recent incidents that illustrate my point. The first one was a widely reported incident in which two black men, who were waiting for a business associate to show up at a Philadelphia Starbucks, were arrested simply because they wanted to use the restroom before they ordered. Let’s put aside why the police responded the way they did and ask this question: Why did the Starbucks manager call the police in the first place? It’s not uncommon that people meet in Starbucks and sometimes decide to wait for others to show up before ordering. Imagine if you decided to use the restroom while you were waiting at a Starbucks and ended up being arrested. Believe it or not, within just a few months, a similar incident happened again, this time in a CVS store in Chicago. A black woman named Camilla Hudson tried to use a manufacturer’s coupon at the checkout. The store manager assumed it was a fake. Ms. Hudson asked to call CVS’s corporate office to straighten things out. But the store manager simply called 911 instead.
Of course, such incidents show poor judgment and a lack of professionalism on the part of the store managers; they also reflect badly on the companies involved and negatively impact their reputations. When this type of incident happens, there is no doubt that it has something to do with a deeply held bias—in this case, racial discrimination. However, the question I want to ask, and what I believe many people are wondering, is this: Where were the other employees, who were at the scene but disagreed with the decision to call the police? We can assume that some employees saw eye to eye with their managers, but surely not all of them. There must have been some employees who disagreed with each manager’s decision to make that 911 call.
So, why didn’t they say something? If the employees had stood up against those unjustified phone calls, the incidents might have ended very differently. What prevented them from speaking up or taking action? • They might have been afraid of losing their jobs. • They may have wanted to comply with the manager’s decision simply because he or she was the boss. • They might have succumbed to peer pressure. • They were simply too shy to speak up. However, out of a thousand possible reasons, there must to
be this one: They adopted a herd mentality, meaning that since other employees chose to look away, they did too.
CONFORMITY BIAS Herd mentality is a type of unconscious bias. It is formed by blindly following what others collectively think or do, without using independent ethical judgment or reasoning and with no regard for circumstances. Scholars call it conformity bias, and it may be defined as the human tendency to comply with collective ideas or practices rather than exercise personal judgment. There are many causes for conformity bias, including these: • Fear of being singled out • Peer pressure • Concern that disagreement or disapproval may hurt colleagues or coworkers • Loyalty to friends • Submission to authoritative power Examples of conformity bias in the workplace are not hard to find. Say, at a project meeting, the supervisor proposes a change to the project plan with which you disagree. In fact, you think making that change will lead to a delay in the project’s completion. However, since no one else has said anything, you decide to keep your concerns to yourself. Here is another example. One of your buddies makes a bias-based comment about someone, which you think is improper. But because you don’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings, or because you feel a sense of loyalty
to your friend, you simply choose to ignore the comment. Unconscious bias takes different verbal and physical forms, which can affect different people at different times, under different circumstances, and for different reasons. Unfortunately, none of us is immune from biases because they are hardwired in us. Worse still, we cannot eliminate them. The good news is that we can increase our awareness of them, keep them in check, and let our ethical and sensible judgment take charge in the decision-making process. There are many ways to increase our awareness of biases. I propose these three: • Start with your brain: Have an inquiring mind; be curious about different people, cultures, ideas and perceptions, working styles and analytical approaches, etc. When we have a powerful curiosity about the world around us, we have a strong desire to learn. Only knowledge makes us receptive and open-minded. • Get to know this diverse world through engaging in open dialogues whenever possible with people who are different from us. When we talk about differences among people, the first images that come to mind are ethnicity, skin color, and culture. Yet, even if we have the same skin color, or ethnic and cultural background, we can be very different from one another because each of us is unique, not only in external appearance but also on the inside. We each form our own thoughts, follow a particular faith (or not), hold certain political views, and we choose
our life style. We can come to understand these core differences through open dialogue, each of which gives us another glimpse into the things and people around us. Imagine how much we would gain if we talked with a hundred people each year for 10 years. • Mingle with people who not only look different, but think differently, from you. In most cases, we tend to mingle with those who have similar interests, backgrounds, and beliefs; we particularly connect with those who share our ideologies and perceptions. To be sure, we need these similarities and agreements to boost our confidence; however, we don’t learn much from those who always agree with us. If we want to grow and think in new ways, then we must mix with people who offer quite different ideas, and who are ready to challenge our thinking. When we agree to disagree and are ready to embrace differences, we can go a long way toward achieving real diversity and inclusion. It is said that knowledge is power. In dealing with unconscious bias, that power lies in the fact that when we are better informed, we are less likely to be swayed by our implicit biases. PDJ
Dr. Fan works as a Sr. Instructional Design Specialist for Workforce Learning at Mayo Clinic, creating online programs for leadership and employee training and development programs. Currently, she also serves on the Mayo Clinic HR. Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Moving Beyond First and Second Generation Diversity Scorecards By Edward E. Hubbard, PhD, President & CEO, Hubbard & Hubbard, Inc.
erformance measurement in organizations is not something new. However, in the last 30 years or so, organizations have realized that financial measures alone are not sufficient for evaluating the success of an enterprise. In the mid-1990s, the balanced scorecard concept was introduced, forcing executives to take a hard look at how many of their metrics were financial, and then balance out their scorecards with nonfinancial metrics. The balanced scorecard approach also recommended that fewer metrics are better. The number of metrics that companies tracked had been increasing each year for many years, but Kaplan and Norton suggested that no one should have more than 15 to 20 metrics per scorecard. This is still a tough sell for analytical executives who love pouring over hundreds of charts each month. The primary issue that diversity must deal with is very hard for some to imagine and believe: that is, showing diversity’s measurable impact on organizational strategy and the financial bottom line. The ability to utilize a diverse mix of human and other resources to create a unique blend of strategy-focused solutions, by its very nature, creates an innovative competitive process that is difficult to copy, making it a competitive advantage largely invisible to competitors. This notion is covered in detail in
my book: How to Calculate Diversity Return on Investment. What’s Next? Although most organizations have come a long way in introducing better metrics for diversity on their corporate scorecards, there is still a great deal of work to be done. Even the best scorecards need improvement in some key areas to evolve to the next level of performance impact. Metrics in several diversity scorecards
(or unintended consequences) that add value and drive measurable, sustainable change.” Evolving the Diversity Scorecard’s Business Impact Current diversity scorecards must evolve to move beyond simply counting heads. They must elevate their utility to a level that utilizes logic model-based predictive analytics and processes that more accurately generate
The primary issue that diversity must deal with is very hard for some to imagine and believe: that is, showing diversity’s measurable impact on organizational strategy and the financial bottom line. currently focus on “counting activities or outputs” that are transactional in nature (such as employee representation by race, rank, and gender). They do not produce intentional outcomes and organizational transformations.
strategic outcomes and intended transformational impacts.
There is a distinct difference between generating outputs from scorecard action plans and producing strategic outcomes and intended transformational impacts. I define strategic outcomes and intended transformational impacts as “planned, intended measurable results or effects of an action, situation, or event: something that follows due to a planned execution of measurable actions which result in a specific intended consequence
• Analytics is the science of analysis
What are Analytics Analytics come in different types with a specific focus. They can be defined as follows:
• Descriptive Analytics tells what has happened in the past and usually the cause of the outcome • Predictive Analytics focuses on the future, telling what is likely to happen given a stated approach • Prescriptive Analytics tells us what is the best course of action
A basic logic model (Figure 1) typically has two “sides”—process and outcome. The process section describes the program’s inputs (resources), activities, and outputs (direct products). The outcome section describes the intended effects of the program, which can be short term, intermediate, and/or long term. Assumptions under which the program or intervention operates, and the contextual factors can also be included in a logic model. They are often noted in a box below or on the left side of the logic model diagram. Figure 1, below, illustrates the components of a logic model. Figure 1. Layout of a General Logic Model
Descriptive Diversity Analytics can help us understand human capital challenges and opportunities in utilizing a diverse workforce. Whereas Predictive Diversity Analytics helps us identify investment value and a means to improve future outcomes from diversity interventions and initiatives. Logic models are tools for planning, describing, managing, communicating, and evaluating a program or intervention. They graphically represent the relationships between a program’s activities and its intended effects, state the assumptions that underlie
expectations that a program will work, and frame the context in which the program operates. Logic models are not static documents. In fact, they should be revised periodically to reflect new evidence, lessons learned, and changes in context, resources, activities, or expectations. Logic models increase the likelihood that a diversity and inclusion intervention effort will be successful because they: • Communicate the purpose of the program and expected results • Describe the actions expected to lead to the desired results
• Become a reference point for everyone involved in the program • Improve program staff expertise in planning, implementation, and evaluation • Involve stakeholders, enhancing the likelihood of resource commitment • Incorporate findings from other research and ROI-based initiatives • Identify potential obstacles to program operation, so that staff can address them early on
Mapping Diversity Scorecard Questions and Indicators to a Logic Model PROCESS
Are resources adequate to implement the initiative?
Is initiative implemented as planned?
Copyright © 2018 by Dr. Edward E. Hubbard, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved
How many, how much was produced?
Change in culture?
Change in organizational status, brand?
What will be measured
What will be measured
Change in knowledge, policy, climate?
Change in system behavior? Indicators
What will be measured
What will be measured
Mapping Diversity Scorecard Questions and Indicators to a Logic Model Evolving the diversity scorecard requires that we ask key strategic measurement questions and perform specific actions along the logic model path to create transformational outcomes, impact, and change. This is not a generic, random process. It involves possessing specific transformational analytics knowledge, skills, and competencies to correctly drive each outcome phase (initial, intermediate, and long-term) and achieve the
What will be measured
What will be measured
What will be measured
desired change effect and impact. To gain the tremendous benefits that diversity and inclusion offer, our scorecards and other measurement tools must take full advantage of next-level practices, such as the Hubbard Diversity Measurement Sciences and Analytics®, to ensure better predictive accuracy and deliver strategic diversity outcomes and transformational impacts. As diversity practitioners, our utility, organizational value, brand reputation, and success will depend on it! This article is based upon excerpts from the upcoming book: Evolving Your Diversity
Scorecard: Maximizing the Use of Transformational Analytics to Drive Organizational Performance by Edward E. Hubbard, PhD. It is scheduled for release spring 2019. PDJ
Dr. Edward E. Hubbard is President and CEO of Hubbard & Hubbard, Inc., an international organization and human performance-consulting corporation that specializes in techniques for applied business performance improvement, Diversity Return on Investment (DROI®) measurement and analytics.
The Ball is Rolling: Recruiting Underrepresented Students By Gilda Martinez-Alba, Towson University and Judith Cruzado-Guerrero, Towson University
hat do you do when your university campus is becoming increasingly diverse, but your college is behind the diversity curve? That is the question we keep thinking about as we try to motivate underrepresented students to go into the field of education. Children want to see themselves, yet 80 percent of teachers are white, 9 percent are Latinx, 7 percent are AfricanAmerican, and 2 percent are Asian; while white students are the minority.
A brief video and accompanying article titled The Nation’s Teaching Force Is Still Mostly White and Female, available on Education Week’s website, summarizes the state of teacher diversity. Information in the video and accompanying article comes from the National Teacher and Principal Survey (previously, the Schools and Staffing Survey) conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. The Survey also found that the number of male teachers has decreased slightly, the number of Hispanic teachers has increased slightly, and the number of African-American and Asian teachers has remained
constant, since the previous survey was conducted four years ago. In order to address this underrepresentation and lack of diversity among teachers, Towson’s College of Education started by looking at national models for diversifying the teacher workforce—the following five programs in particular: • Pathways to Teaching (Colorado); • Western Oregon University Bilingual Teacher Scholars Program; • California Mini-Corps Program;
• Grow Your Own Illinois; and • Diversifying Tomorrow’s Teachers Together (Indiana). The programs share many similarities. For example, they encourage middle and high school students from diverse areas to go into education, in the hope that they will go back and teach in their communities. This is important for a variety of reasons—growing a strong community, creating positive role models children can relate to, and having teachers that speak the same language as the public school children and their families. The programs also offer college credit for taking education classes in high school, mentors, bilingual teaching endorsements, tutors, financial support, stipends during student teaching, professional development, assistance with job placement, and social networking activities.
TOWSON TEACHING TIGERS It was exciting to discover how some programs succeeded in diversifying their teaching candidates. Our next step was to review what our university had to offer, in order to package it and make it work for our own “Towson Teaching Tigers.” We came up with four initiatives we believe will help us reach our goal: 1. Locate and recruit underrepresented students 2. Support students 3. Provide programming for students 4. Work on retaining teachers in the future
LOCATING AND RECRUITING UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS We began by meeting with the Department of Human Resources to locate and visit schools in diverse locations (including charter schools) within a single county. We offered to provide a recruiting presence at student events, and, in the future, to offer weekend and summer tutoring by undergrads, provide summer teaching institutes for high school students, develop a multicultural recruitment committee (students working with admissions), and further connect with community colleges. We hope to expand this well beyond this one county.
SUPPORTING STUDENTS We also came up with several actions that will help connect College of Education undergrads with high school students: • On-campus visits, with tours provided by College of Education undergrads, that include information sessions about the application process, education programs, and campus life • Funding/fellowships/loan forgiveness information online • Free tutoring for the Praxis® (the required national teaching licensure exams) • Affinity groups, such as the Latin American Student Organization and the Black Student Union, that can help students make connections on campus
• Towson University’s Multicultural Conference for students • Fitness classes to help alleviate stress • Field-based experiences in cultural contexts • English language and bilingual instructional strategies/pedagogy • Career Center services
RETAINING TEACHERS Last, but certainly not least, we thought of possible ways to help retain our teachers once they graduate, including these: • Provide professional development after graduation (such as micro-credentials and Maryland State Department of Education Continuing Education credits) • Assist teachers in finding pathways to leadership • Provide formal opportunities for professional and social interaction with underrepresented teachers at Towson
PARTING THOUGHTS This is a work in progress. We aspire to achieve the level of success the national models we researched have. If you are working on a similar endeavor and would like to connect with us to share your ideas or work with us on research, writing, or presentations, we invite you to reach out to us. We welcome your ideas and look forward to hearing from you. PDJ
Women in the C-Suite: Are We Closing in on Gender Parity? By Edie Fraser
s of October 2018, five percent of CEOs and 24 percent of board members in the United States are women. Women hold 11 to 26 percent of executive positions, depending on the industry. Globally, women hold 14 percent of CFO roles and 7 percent of CIO roles, according to a recent study by Credit Suisse Report.
To improve those numbers and ensure that women achieve parity, business needs to give women more P&L roles at the C-Suite level; support women in building STEM skills (up to 80 percent of jobs today require tech skills and STEM jobs pay women about 96 cents on the dollarâ€”approaching parity with men); and recognize an obligation to advance and train talent already in the pipeline.
According to a 2017 SHRM survey of human resource officers at large companies, women make up just 10 percent of the zero-tothree-year succession pool. And in the three-to-five-year pool, the numbers are only marginally better, at 15 percent. Women of color will be in the majority by 2060, and current data for this group in the workplace
are shocking. African American women hold only 1.3 percent of executive-level positions, with Hispanic women holding only 1.2 percent of C-suite jobs, according to Catalyst, the EEOC, and the S&P. Startup Equity Ownership Carta and investment collective #Angels analyzed the ownership of equity in more than 6,000 venture-backed companies. They found that although women make up 35 percent of equity-holding employees, they hold only 20 percent of employee equity— just 47 cents for every dollar held by men. Founder equity shows an even greater disparity: Women make up 13 percent of company founders, but hold only six percent of founder equity—just 39 cents for every dollar of equity owned by male founders. Progress toward Equity According to a recent survey by Paysa, women leaders are in the minority in all industries. Men make up 84 to 88 percent of leadership in aerospace, automobile, transportation, electronics, and manufacturing companies. The pharmaceutical, food and beverage, insurance, education, health, and real-estate industries account for the highest percentage of women leaders, but they are
still in the minority, holding 28 to 35 percent of management positions. Hired, a marketplace that matches tech talent with tech companies, found that in the last year, women’s representation in the candidate pool has increased by 7 percent. Yet when gender is controlled for, women are still underrepresented 16 percent of the time. When it comes to job title, project managers have the smallest gap at 4 percent—half the size of the gap for software engineering, data science, and design, which is 8 percent.
Gender Disparity by Industry When we study the data of individual industries, we learn a couple of interesting things: entry-level jobs are near equity, but this is not true at higher levels, and pay equity varies greatly from industry to industry. Insurance: According to a 2018 report published by STEMconnector® titled Women in Insurance: Leading to Action, women in the insurance industry still earn an average of 62 cents for every dollar men earn. The reason for much of the pay
The pharmaceutical, food and beverage, insurance, education, health, and real-estate industries account for the highest percentage of women leaders, but they are still in the minority, holding 28 to 35 percent of management positions. And the tech gap is global. In its latest study, Emolument.com analyzed pay data from 11,500 UK professionals to find out more about gender inequalities in the technology industry. Results show two major gender gaps, spread across jobs and companies: the pay gap—with women sometimes earning 28 percent less than men; and the demographic representation gap—only three in ten tech workers are women.
inequity can be found in the industry’s opportunity gap—few women are promoted to senior roles. The report states that despite making up the majority of the insurance workforce, women hold only 11 percent of named executive officer positions, and only 19 percent of board seats. Energy and Comparative Industries: According to a study by the Pew Research Center, women hold 17.3 percent of
non-CEO top jobs in utilities, more than any other sector, and the two industries with the highest percentage of women at the top were gas utilities (30 percent), water utilities (25 percent), and independent power and renewable energy producers (also 25 percent). Five of the 24 female CEOs in the S&P 500 index lead utility firms. However, pay disparity in the energy industries is still 20 percent for women compared to men.
in 2015. However, research done at Case Western Reserve University shows that “women who persist in manufacturing organizations do so because they believe they will achieve, they have challenging and interesting work that leads to promotional opportunities, they have the support of their leaders, and they find meaning in their profession.”
Entrepreneurs and Venture Capital: According to an analysis of 2017 data shared by PitchBook™ senior writer Dana Olsen, “… only 2.2% of all venture capital in the United States went to companies founded solely by women, only 4.4% of transactions went to female-founded companies, and only 11.3% of partners at venture capitalist firms were women.”
Finance: According to Forbes, although 46 percent of financial services employees are women,
Food Science: A 2015 Employment and Salary Survey of 2,500 U.S.-based Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) members shows that women food scientists continue to earn about 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. However, this year, women’s median salaries are growing faster (up by 3.5 percent) than men’s salaries (up by only 1 percent).
According to Forbes, although 46 percent of financial services employees are women, only 15 percent of executive-level roles are held by women. Aerospace and Defense (A&D): Three of the five aerospace and defense contractor CEOs are women. Marillyn Hewson leads Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, with $51 billion in sales and significant stock increase. Since Phebe Novakovic became CEO of General Dynamics five years ago, the company’s stock has seen 100 percent growth. And, Kathy Warden has recently been named 2019 CEO of Northrop Grumman. Still, an Aviation Week survey conducted in 2017 found only 24 percent of the A&D workforce to be female. Manufacturing: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in manufacturing earned only 75.8 percent as much as men
only 15 percent of executivelevel roles are held by women. According to Grant Thornton International, women hold 25 percent of senior management roles in the global financial services industry. There is some good news…. In January 2017, Adena Friedman was named Nasdaq CEO—the first woman to lead a global exchange. And Stacey Cunningham will take over as president of the New York Stock Exchange in May 2019—the Exchange’s first female leader in 226 years. Capital and Investment Funds: Less than 10 percent of U.S. portfolio managers at mutual funds and exchange-traded funds are women.
Tech: According to data from Statista, the U.S. tech industry pays women about 16 percent less than their male counterparts. According to an analysis of 6.5 million employee profiles in 483 companies by salary-data firm Paysa, female managers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Washington, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York City are paid salaries that hover near 10 percent less than men, on average. Some good STEM news: According to The State of STEM Report: Defining the Landscape to Determine High-Impact Pathways for the Future Workforce published by STEMconnector, women can now make close to
equity in STEM jobs—about 92 to 96 cents on the dollar, compared to men. STEMconnector interviewed more than 100 subject matter experts and practitioners to capture the perspectives of stakeholders across the STEM ecosystem and examine “the confluence of gaps that drive the larger concept of a talent gap, including gaps in fundamental skills, postsecondary pathways, geography, demographics, and self-perception and belief….” Gender Diversity and Company Performance According to a report published by the Peterson Institute for International Economics in February 2016 and titled, Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Survey by Marcus Noland, Tyler Moran, and Barbara Kotschwar, “Analysis of a global survey of 21,980 firms from 91 countries suggests that the presence of women in corporate leadership positions may improve firm performance.” The Survey also found that companies in which women held at least 30 percent of the leadership positions had net profit margins up to six percentage points higher than companies with no women in the top ranks. The Power of Parity: How Advancing Women’s Equality can add $12 Trillion to Global Growth,
published by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), found that although attaining parity in the world of work is not realistic in the short term, if all countries were to match the progress toward gender parity of the best performer in their region, it could produce a boost to annual global GDP of as much as $12 trillion by 2025. This would double the GDP growth contributed by female workers in the business-as-usual scenario. Oddly, in spite of the reported value of women in leadership positions, the number of female CEOs in the Fortune 500 (as reported by the Fortune 500) has dropped by 25 percent since 2016. Policy Changes—U.S. and Global Given the return on Investment (ROI) of parity for executive women leaders, it’s just good business to act voluntarily
and stay ahead of looming legal requirements. California enacted a law in September 2018 requiring that, by the end of this year, at least one woman be included on the board of any California-based publicly traded corporation. By 2021, up to three female directors will be required, depending on the size of the board. Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Colorado—have passed resolutions encouraging corporations to promote gender diversity in the boardroom. Major institutional investors are also prioritizing their efforts to foster greater gender diversity within the boards of their portfolio companies. In its latest proxy voting guidelines, BlackRock stated that it “would normally expect to see at least two women directors on every board.” State Street vows to vote against the election of directors at portfolio companies that fail to take adequate measures to address
the absence of female directors. CALPERs and NY Pension have also committed not to invest in, or do business with, companies that do not put women on their boards. In much of Western Europe, there has been a decade-long push by governments for gender parity on boards. In 2008, Norway obliged listed companies to reserve at least 40 percent of their director seats for women on pain of dissolution. In the following five years, more than a dozen countries set similar quotas. In Belgium, France, and Italy, firms that fail to comply can be fined, dissolved, or banned from paying current directors. Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands have set soft-law quotas with no sanctions. Britain has opted for guidelines. The mandates are producing results—the percentage of women holding board seats in Norway stands at 38.7. CEOs Commit More than 84 companies have signed on to Paradigm for Parity as of October 2018. CEOs with their CHROs sign on for progress results on gender equity in senior executive roles. They have committed to: 1. Minimize or eliminate unconscious bias through frequent training 2. Significantly increase the number of women in senior operating roles (short-term
goal of 30% women with ultimate goal of gender parity by 2030); show best efforts 3. Measure targets at every level and regularly communicate progress and results internally 4. Base career progress on business results and performance, not on mere presence 5. Provide sponsors, not just mentors, to women wellpositioned for long term success More than 500 CEOs have signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, promising to take action to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace by doing the following: 1. Making workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion
2. Implementing and expanding unconscious bias education 3. Sharing best—and unsuccessful—practices In order to ensure that their pledge is kept and their actions are effective, the CEOs have further promised to create accountability systems to track progress and to share regular updates. Accenture North America CEO Julie Sweet, whose company has signed on to both Paradigm for Parity and CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, says, “Diversity, I think, has become a real business imperative at the very top with CEOs who are facing massive disruption. That, I think, is why we’re at an inflection point.” Support Organizations Founded in 2014, Million Women Mentors works to
spark the interest and build the confidence of girls and women, so that they may pursue and succeed in STEM careers and leadership opportunities. According to the MWM website, research shows that individuals with mentors have improved academic, social, and economic prospects. In STEM fields, where women remain grossly underrepresented, this is even more important, as young women look to role models to help them gain confidence and increase opportunities. MWM connects member corporations with a curated list of local girlserving mentee organizations, leveraging resources and activation kits to help companies build their mentoring programs. First founded as a campaign in the UK, the 30% Club of the United States launched in June 2014, with a stated goal of achieving 30% female directors on S&P 100 boards by 2020. According to the U.S. Club’s website, 24.7 percent of S&P 100 directors are currently women, up from 20.2 percent at launch, and all S&P 100 boards have at least one female director. Perhaps more impressive, U.S. member companies now have an average of 30 percent women on their boards, up from 21.7 percent when the 30% Club was launched. What You Can Do 1. Set voluntary goals for women executive and board leaders
2. Recruit Women IN and UP; make talent acquisition and advancement a high priority 3. Focus on all women and women of color across all disciplines 4. Build a plan for each woman’s upward mobility 5. Build succession planning to promote women leaders and women on every talent slate 6. Give women more P&L responsibility 7. Ensure there is no pay gap and check benefits 8. Adapt the workplace culture to ensure inclusion and advancement 9. Build mentorship and sponsorship up the pipeline, and measure results 10. Champion female role models and embrace male CEO leadership in the process 11. Join groups such as Paradigm for Parity®, the 30% Club of the United States, and others; work with organizations like Catalyst and Diversity Woman 12. Address gaps in skills, postsecondary education, generation, and demographics; offer training 13. Showcase and report success: Tell a compelling
story, with data, profiles, and reports, to boards of directors and perspective customers, and to the public via your website 14. Build a communications program and tell the stories of women leaders, using traditional and social media, and organization websites. 15. Credit organizations for setting goals, and work with them Women in Policy and Politics There are 12 women running for governor in 2018, 22 for the Senate, and 234 for the House. Michigan’s Democratic Party will have an all-female statewide ticket in November. And, according to a press release from Emily’s List, “… over 40,000 women have contacted the organization about running for office since the 2016 election.” If it continues, this Pink Wave, as it’s being called, is likely to have a significant effect on politics, policy, and business in the coming decades. PDJ Edie Fraser is founder and former chairman and CEO of STEMconnector, where she built a one-stop best practices initiative for STEM; and founder and advocate and former CEO of Million Women Mentors, a movement with 2.3 million pledges to mentor. Prior to joining Diversified Search, Fraser was founder and CEO of Diversity Best Practices, where she designed the CEO Diversity Leadership program, including the prestigious CEO Diversity Awards. She is also founder of the Business Women’s Network and former chair for World Affairs Council in Washington, DC. She is a board member and founding member of C200; she is on the Steering Committee of Paradigm For Parity; She is in the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame and recipient of the Mosaic Award from Diversity Woman magazine.
Innovation at the Verge: Putting Our Differences to Work in the 21st Century By Joel A. Barker, Futurist, Author, Filmmaker
ne of the things I learned most vividly from my work on paradigms is that you must look beyond your boundaries for new ideas. To put that observation into practice, I decided in 1993 that I would begin to read in the field of ecology. As a result, I discovered a new way to think about the source of radical innovation. Before I share with you my discovery, let’s make sure we know what we mean by radical innovation, as opposed to incremental
innovation. Incremental innovation is when we improve a product or process by some percentage—10 percent better, 25 percent cheaper. We still use the same basic idea, but it has been improved in some incremental way. Radical innovation replaces and improves upon the previous idea by changing the basic rules of the game. As a result, we get better performance, but the way we do it is “radically” different. The word radical means “back to the roots.” Radical innovation is almost always a paradigm shift.
So, we pose this question: Where does radical innovation arise in an ecosystem? Ecologists thought it was self-evident: Innovations of all kinds arise where the competition is the greatest. Competition in nature drives organisms to re-invent themselves to survive, thus increasing diversity. And, based on classic economics, that should also be true in the marketplace. We have been told again and again that it is fierce competition that drives improvement and innovation.
But then some ecologists decided to research that selfevident idea. And what they found flew in the face of many of our most cherished beliefs about the importance of competition driving innovation. Instead of finding radical innovation bubbling forth in the arena of highest competition, they found it most prevalent at the “verge”—the edge where two ecosystems meet. The verge is about as far away from the center of competition as you can get in an ecosystem. What was it about the verge— this place where differences meet—that made it the birthplace of radical innovation? The researchers came up with two important verge characteristics: 1) Organisms at the verge could easily come in contact with a diverse set of organisms and resources that they had never encountered before. This triggers a reaction to see how they might convert these novel new resources into assets, which in turn leads to experimentation, mutation, and increased diversity. 2) At the verge, where competition is far away, organisms could try a radical new idea, and if that idea didn’t work, they would live to try something else another day. Think about trying a radical new idea with all your competitors swarming around you. If you fail, you die. So, the verge is a safer place to experiment, because there are very few of your competitors there, and the organisms in the
other ecosystem don’t know enough about you, yet, to be competitors. So, the verge provides access to differences, which are required to do verge innovation. Without differences to both stimulate and join in combination, the innovation environment is severely limited. As I thought about this revelation with regard to ecological competition and radical innovation, I began to think about human marketplace examples. And one immediately came to mind. Apple followed this “verge model” by introducing their iPod, which radically changed the personal music paradigm. Apple went to the verge where the music industry and computing meet. They had a very nifty technology available to them— a micro hard drive. To that, they added wonderful software, brilliant design, and a system for downloading music and protecting the music from rip-offs. But they didn’t have any music. So, Steve Jobs (carrying his formidable reputation with him) went to see the Eagles and several other key rock groups to sign them up for iTunes. You know the rest of the story. Apple went where there was essentially no competition, a completely different industry, and combined their technology with music. From those differences, sprang a whole new paradigm of music access. The proof of the verge model lies in one more question: Which company should have brought this radical innovation to market? The
answer is Sony. Why didn’t they? Because they were in the center of cutthroat competition in the music marketplace, and they didn’t dare try anything too radical for fear of failing. They had everything to lose and not much to gain from their point of view. It was just the opposite for Apple. And, If Apple had failed with iTunes, it would not have killed them. They would have continued with their successful computer business as if nothing major had happened. What lessons can we learn from this? 1) If it’s good enough for Mother Nature—who’s been fine tuning her verge innovations for a couple of billion years—It’s good enough for us to at least look at. 2) Identify your own verges and ask how you could mutate your present intellectual assets into something that could have high value in another ecosystem/marketplace. 3) Look the other way—what ideas in another industry could you verge with to help in your own? And remember, like it or not, you’re always on the verge of something. PDJ
Joel Barker was the first person to popularize the concept of paradigm shifts in the corporate world. He began his work in 1975 after spending a year on fellowship meeting and working with visionary thinkers in both North America and Europe.
Value Protocols Vanquish Unconscious Bias by Stephen Young
nconscious bias is manifested through a variety of dimensions. The most visible are race, gender, culture and generation, and other factors that influence who
gets hired, developed, and promoted within an organization. The goal is to create a culture and environment that enables these diverse groups to perform to their fullest. There are obstacles, however, that get in the way.
Who is responsible for ameliorating these obstacles that inhibit people’s performance based on these differences? There tend to be two forces at play—an organization’s culture and leadership, and the individual who,
against all odds, learns to circumvent these obstacles. The focus of this article is solely on the latter, enabling individuals to circumvent obstacles through the use of Individual Value Protocols. Individual Value Protocols are similar to Corporate Operating Principals. Corporate operating principals are a set of cultural expectations and behaviors that establish the standards required for working within an organization. They are intended to make a business more productive, raise performance standards, and provide excellent service to customers and clients. Corporate operating principals have become a staple within businesses across all industries. In essence, they tell employees you are expected to embrace these practices in order to be a valued member of the corporate community. They are prominently displayed throughout a company’s corridors, using a range of monikers such as; Corporate Value Statement, Operating Principals, Mission Statement, “Who We Are,” and others. Those who comply are valued and viewed with respect. Businesses can be quite creative in the formatting used to convey their statements. They
YOUR PERCEPTION AS A HIGH-POTENTIAL PERFORMER IS RAISED WHEN YOU ADVOCATE PERSONAL HIGH-PERFORMANCE STANDARDS THAT BUILD UPON THOSE ALREADY IN PLACE AT YOUR COMPANY. NARROWING THE SCOPE RIGHT DOWN TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM EXPECTATIONS OPENS THE DOORS TO NEUTRALIZE UNCONSCIOUS BIAS AND ENABLES EVERYONE TO PERFORM TO THEIR HIGHEST POTENTIAL.
can be as crisp as a simple list of single word declarations, such as these: • Excellence • Quality • Consistency • Teamwork Or catchy platitudes, like these: • Customer First • Respect for the Individual • Integrity Above All Whatever form they take, corporate values serve a critical purpose. They strive to define a corporate culture and identify the behaviors required to support it. Value statements establish what a business requires from its employees to fulfill the corporate cultural ethic. If establishing operating principals for a business is a worthy process, shouldn’t this
extend to each of us as individuals, as well? Your perception as a high-potential performer is raised when you advocate personal high-performance standards that build upon those already in place at your company. Narrowing the scope right down to your individual and team expectations opens the doors to neutralize unconscious bias and enables everyone to perform to their highest potential. Individual value protocols are the set of behaviors that you create, which define your personal values combined with effective strategies (protocols), that help the business operate more productively and make you a more effective colleague and leader. They are standards that don’t change based on changing conditions or circumstances. Just as companies create operating principals that do not deviate, so too, should each of us introduce value protocols for ourselves and our respective teams.
VALUE PROTOCOLS ARE NOT EFFECTIVE IF THEY REMAIN CEREBRAL AND KEPT TO YOURSELF. YOU MUST PRESENT THEM TO THOSE WITH WHOM YOU WORK AND GAIN THEIR AGREEMENT ON THE BENEFIT OF MAKING THEM AN INTEGRAL PART OF HOW YOU COLLABORATE AS A TEAM.
When you introduce these value protocols into your respective team, colleagues and bosses will hold you and your contributions in higher regard. Taking on this leadership role can be transformative in the ways you circumvent organizational obstacles. Value protocols differ from personal values in that personal values represent the things you subscribe to and believe in the ways you manage your life, whereas, individual value protocols represent a set of professional procedures we commit to that may have no relation to your personal views. They seek to create an environment where everyone can perform to his or her highest potential. They are designed to provide effective strategies that make a business operate more productively and make you a more effective colleague and leader. Value protocols are not effective if they remain cerebral and kept to yourself. You must present them to those with whom you work and gain their agreement
on the benefit of making them an integral part of how you collaborate as a team.
The following are a few examples of recommended value protocols, upon which you can build, that can transform the thought process and behavior of an entire team. It is incumbent upon you to decide to take these in the form presented here or adapt them to align with your professional values. Individual Value Protocols:
• Every Criticism Must Include a Recommendation • Start with “Yes” • Don’t Wait: Initiate Let’s take a closer look at what they mean and how to apply them.
EVERY CRITICISM MUST INCLUDE A RECOMMENDATION Whining, complaining, or criticizing are routine sentiments expressed in meetings. Frankly,
these are as common as a yawn and all too often get the same response—nothing. They generate awareness, but no action is taken. Recognizing that a problem exists or criticizing the status quo should never be considered good enough. This first value protocol places responsibility upon anyone who offers a criticism to include a recommended solution. Let’s look at some examples. I was sharing some of our value protocol concepts with the CEO of major technology company. He asked me to sit in on one of his upcoming staff meetings and present the concepts to his executive team. Following that presentation, the discussion shifted to a different area of leadership development. One executive complained that he had not been made aware of an organizational change and spent about a full minute talking about the frequency with which information is gained through back channels and even from third parties, such as news media. He ended his mini-tantrum by shaking his head in disgust. Two of his colleagues smiled at one another and virtually simultaneously, said, “Value protocol #1.” The rest of the team laughed and nodded in agreement. The executive smiled, thought for a moment, and said, “Ok, how about this. I think we could fix this problem if we had a section on our internal website where all new information was posted in real time. People could check
regularly and have access to the most current information.” The group agreed, a change was ultimately made, and the problem no longer exists as a routine characteristic of their business culture. In this case, his suggestion was a good one, and was insightful and incorporated into the business process. Important note: This value protocol doesn’t require someone’s solution to be “Academy Award” worthy. It does not require that you have the best solution. It is purely intended to optimize the way people think by requiring them to be constructive and not merely critical. I don’t want to be naive or blind to the occasional need for unabashed venting. There are certainly times when opening the
sliding door, stepping out on the balcony, closing it firmly behind you, and yelling at the top of your lungs is an important, and even necessary, emotional release. Those, however, should be few and far between! There are no doctors to prescribe a cure for business problems. Both the diagnoses and treatments must come from within. This value protocol provides the means to do just that. There is a critical connection here to diversity and inclusion. When you are the one enforcing the practice that engineers solutions to business problems, your personal stock rises significantly in the eyes of others. This action becomes a highly visible leadership attribute that clearly demonstrates your value to the organization.
START WITH “YES” This value protocol goes to the epicenter of the human psyche. It is an axiom and perhaps even too platitudinous to say that we all want to feel validated. After one has offered an idea, there is that brief moment of anticipation regarding how it will be received. Will they like it, be indifferent, or simply hate it? Clearly, we all would like our ideas to be thought of as brilliant and indispensable. In any meeting or conversation where there are differences of opinion, those differences are often interpreted as adversarial. In fact, there is almost a silent “no” before a remark that challenges someone’s statement. Our natural instinct causes us to become defensive and push back. To boost people’s receptivity
to what you have to offer, simply begin with the word, “Yes,” and briefly acknowledge some level appreciation for the value in their remark. Always provide a value comment about anything someone says or does. You might say it’s too difficult or pretentious to tell someone that there’s value in a statement when you disagree with their idea. Let’s shift your thinking— you can almost always find some value in any idea. Here’s a fun example to illustrate how this can always be accomplished.
I was asked how I would respond with a “yes” to the following suggestion: “All people who have reached the age of 50 should be forced to retire, and the company should use that allocation to hire new, young talent.” Here is one possible response: “Yes, I can clearly see your thinking. Fresh new ideas always invigorate any organization. New talent fresh off the campus assures the latest academic perspectives and broadens our views. There are some concerns, however, with that approach. They are…” and here’s where you might list all the reasons you feel that idea would not be effective.
The approach is effective because when people make a suggestion and someone responds to it, they are primarily listening to determine whether the response supports or rejects their idea. If they identify rejection, they are listening to offer a rebuttal. On the other hand, if they perceive agreement, they begin to listen for understanding. This process has a powerful D&I impact. When you establish a practice of looking for value in everyone’s contributions, you begin to view their thoughts and opinions with more respect.
DON’T WAIT: INITIATE Whenever there is a problem, be the one to identify it and bring it to the table for resolution. Disharmony, disagreement, and dissent abound in the normal course of business. More often than not, people tend to avoid conflict and confrontation. It’s easier to say, “I love the emperor’s new clothes,” than be the one to call out his full-frontal nudity. Don’t sit safely blending into the camouflage. Standing up to authority certainly has its risks and is likely the reason avoidance is often a preferred choice, but no one has ever achieved leadership greatness by going with the flow or becoming a lemming. You’ll be safe but never admired—no risk, no reward. Here are some guidelines for orchestrating when and how to initiate: Start by identifying whether the issue is major, or relatively unimportant. Never waste time on issues that are unimportant, unless they are easy to capture as low hanging fruit. If calling out a problem is likely to gain group support and is worthy, even if it isn’t critical to the business, take advantage of that opportunity to establish yourself as a leader who recognizes the need for change and takes action. On the other hand, if calling out a problem will have little benefit and also has a high probability
VALUE PROTOCOLS SHOULD BE SHARED WITH ALL THOSE WITH WHOM YOU WORK. MORE IMPORTANT, CREATE YOUR OWN. AS YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR WORK PROCESS, IDENTIFY THOSE PROCEDURES THAT WILL ADD VALUE TO THE BUSINESS CULTURE AND THE COLLEAGUES WITH WHOM YOU WORK.
of pushback, it might be advisable to just let it go. If calling out an issue has the potential of making notable change, anticipate the objections and risks and determine how to best present a solution. This is a fundamental process trial lawyers use in presenting cases. No lawyer ever asks a question of a witness for which they don’t already know the answer. I’m not suggesting a hot eviscerating courtroom style for your staff meetings, but it is a line of thinking that can prepare you for initiating constructive confrontation. Anticipate potential objections and prepare a convincing line of logic to support your position. Great leaders reach well beyond mere task completion and are driven by a clear vision of the outcome they want to achieve. Carefully shaping our messages in the best ways possible, can improve outcomes and enable us to become the evolved and effective leaders we want to be.
Value protocols should be shared with all those with whom you work. More important, create your own. As you think about your work process, identify those procedures that will add value to the business culture and the colleagues with whom you work. Establishing equitable value protocols is a critical cornerstone for effectively managing unconscious bias in the workplace and optimizing performance for everyone within that organization. Being a beacon of positive organizational change, who also demonstrates inclusion, can set you apart as the model of leadership others aspire to and help vanquish unconscious bias. PDJ
Stephen Young is the Senior Partner of Insight Education Systems, a management consulting firm specializing in leadership and organizational development services. As a recognized leader and foremost expert in this field, Mr. Young frequently consults with senior executives and management teams of Fortune 500 companies.
New Research about Groupthink Proves D&I Adds Value … AND QUESTIONS WIDESPREAD D&I APPROACHES AT THE SAME TIME By Michael Stuber
o you love—and need—evidence about the proven benefits of diversity and inclusion (D&I) to shape your work and convince others? An empirical study of the influence of diversity and tenure in management teams has been added to a body of more than 250 airtight findings about the value D&I can add. Determinants of Group-Level Overconfidence in Teams: A Quasi-Experimental
Investigation of Diversity and Tenure, by Philip Meissner, et al, analyzed the effect of cognitive biases in the decision-making process, where confidence is a primary component. The researchers found that under-confidence and overconfidence lead to vastly different results. They were able to prove that demographic diversity reduces group overconfidence, while group tenure increases it.
The study also shows that high group tenure leads to a homogenization of perceptions and beliefs (aka groupthink), and group overconfidence, whereas diversity (e.g., gender, educational background, and/or highest degree obtained) lessens the groupthink and group overconfidence that can lead to poor quality decisionmaking, according to separate research.
Wake-up Call for D&I? These findings regarding the specific effect of tenure on the quality of the decisions made by teams send a valuable message to companies that value length of service and prefer to develop their management from within. Also, individual D&I managers and executives can see the study as an opportunity to reflect on how much they rely on one or more of the following when making decisions: • Long experience in D&I management • Learning from peers who come from a similar industry • Recommendations from experts with similar (educational, functional, regional) backgrounds For sure, digital resources and networks nowadays offer D&I information and input in a quick and easy way. In such a convenient situation, who would not prefer to forget about the echo chamber side-effect of filter bubbles—which is no different for many peer networks? Do we realize that many of our most relied-upon sources are actually those with “high tenure”?
Future Success for D&I ... or at least Survival As populist forces, globalization, and digitalization are challenging traditional approaches to D&I— and threatening some of the foundations of equality and participation—the success, progress,
CONSISTENTLY ADDRESS AND INCLUDE AUDIENCES BEYOND OUR TRADITIONAL SPHERES AND RETHINK ASSOCIATED MESSAGES AND FORMATS
and even the survival of D&I will require us to do the following: • Rigorously base our approaches on robust evidence about the business value of D&I and the concrete contributions it offers (rather than political or ethical considerations, or generic statements or pledges)
quantum leap forward. Regarding the established elements of our D&I agendas, a new approach will require unlearning some of the things that made us successful in the past, consciously looking beyond our proven and tested sources, and confronting the implicit assumptions about D&I we have formed over decades.
• Consistently address and include audiences beyond our traditional spheres and rethink associated messages and formats (this includes being ready to value and include the so-called mainstream as much as Diversity constituencies)
If we look at what D&I has proclaimed for and demanded from business leaders in terms of ideal behaviors, we should address groupthink, drive innovation in our own area, and be(come) the role models we know are required to lead change and advance our agenda.
• Carefully redesign, mature, and tailor D&I strategies to acknowledge the specific situation of a given organization and context, including D&I development phase, persisting gaps, past learning, and business priorities (rather than follow the herd, implementing strategies that work well “everywhere else”)
You can find more international, insight-based, and inspirational articles on the D&I knowledge blog of the author’s company, European Diversity Research & Consulting: http://en.diversitymine.eu. PDJ
A New Perspective on Role Modelling In summary, this means that D&I must be willing to take a
Michael Stuber is The Global D&I Engineer. His innovative, research-based, and context-sensitive approach provides the basis to address D&I in a “holistically detailed way.” He specializes in business-focused D&I strategies aimed at changing corporate cultures and fostering inclusive leadership.
People on the Move Corie Pauling, TIAA’s New Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer TIAA has promoted Corie Pauling to chief diversity & inclusion officer. Pauling will oversee the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy and lead an expanded Diversity & Inclusion team, including the Enterprise Workforce Planning & Analytics group. Previously, Pauling worked in TIAA’s Advocacy & Oversight department as associate general counsel for more than 12 years, providing business-centric legal and HR guidance to several business areas and HR teams, including D&I. Said Pauling, “Diversity and inclusion is a strategic priority for TIAA, and I look forward to working with our team to deploy new and innovative approaches that enable inclusive leadership and greater cross-cultural understanding, and drive positive business outcomes.”
KPMG Names Michele Meyer-Shipp Chief Diversity Officer August 6, 2018
KPMG LLP has named Michele Meyer-Shipp as its new chief diversity officer. Meyer-Shipp, who joins the firm as a principal, will lead its national Inclusion and Diversity team and oversee strategy and objectives, including growing diverse leaders and collaboration; inspiring broad perspectives and innovative client solutions; and fostering an inclusive, accessible, and vibrant workplace. “Michele’s skills and experience will help us continue to enhance our efforts to recruit, develop, and retain diverse talent,” said Darren Burton, KPMG’s vice chair of human resources. Meyer-Shipp comes to KPMG from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where she served as chief diversity and inclusion officer.
You Can’t Spell Diversity Without IVY Congratulations Profiles in Diversity Journal (PDJ) for your leadership in defining excellence in diversity and inclusion in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Over the last 20 years you set the stage, highlighted the trends and helped create the opportunities for those of us who were early pioneers in this space. If you’ve been on the D&I journey for some time, you may have seen this IVY crossword puzzle ad before. We felt the ad was just as relevant today as it was then. Our commitment to our clients, the topic, and the community of practitioners remains just as strong. And while some things change – like our new website and brand logo – other things remain the same, rooting us in the reasons why we began doing this work in the first place. We’re continuing our efforts to help organizations use diversity and inclusion to redefine winning and mission achievement. Congratulations to everyone featured in this edition. Janet and Gary Smith IVY Planning Group LLC
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Advanced Micro Devices.............................................................................................................................................................. 46 Alliance for Strong Families and Communities................................................................................................................... 64 Archer Daniels Midland Company.............................................................................................................................................. 41 Arthur J. 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Barker)......................................................................................................................... 13, 84 Stikeman Elliot LLP......................................................................................................................................................................... 50 Sullivan & Cromwell LLP................................................................................................................................................................ 51 Tata Consultancy Services............................................................................................................................................................ 51 TIAA..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 94 Towson University............................................................................................................................................................................ 76 Vectren Corporation.......................................................................................................................... 16, back cover Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP........................................................................................................................................................ 39
Diversity Inspires Innovation. Inclusion Makes It Happen. Weâ€™re building innovative solutions to sustain an inclusive workplace while better serving our customers. Congratulations to all the diversity initiatives recognized as 2018 Innovation Award winners.
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