While the workforce is growing more diverse than it has been in past years, corporate America still suffers from a lack of diversity and inclusion training in the workplace. Executive professionals are now realizing the importance of ramping up inclusivity efforts in their hiring, training, and management styles. Many companies are coming to the realization that having a strong diversity and inclusion program is both good for their employees and good for their brand reputation and sales as well. Without further ado, here are some of the top companies who are paving the way with their diversity and inclusion programs.
Coca-Cola, a food industry giant, has set the standard for diversity and inclusion in their line of business. Diversity education programs at Coca-Cola include general diversity training, a diversity speakers series, and even a diversity library. They also have implemented a parental benefits policy in which six weeks of paid leave is given to all new parents within their company. Coca-Cola even has a task force of young millennial employees who make sure that the environment of the workplace caters to younger generations, called “Coca-Cola Millennial Voices”.
A mainstay in the medical world, Kaiser Permanente has always employed diversity in their hiring practices. There is no racial majority in the Kaiser Permanente workforce, as 60% of the company’s employees are POC. Additionally, three quarters of their staff are women. Kaiser Permanente’s mission has always been to provide accessible medical care and culturally appropriate health services to minorities.
Lenovo, considered the world’s largest PC vendor, has always had a reputation of being an inclusive company. The company scored a perfect 100 percent on the Corporate Index for LGBTQ Equality, and focuses on creating a place of inclusion for its employees in the workplace and in its branding and company culture. Yolanda Conyers, the company’s chief diversity officer, has stated that serving a global customer base requires “more than out-of-the-box thinking, because it’s not just one box. It’s a hundred different boxes. A million different boxes. It takes every dimension of our diversity. All our diverse mindsets, skills, and cultural backgrounds, to deliver such a wide array of technology.” Lenovo is a proven industry leader in the realm of diversity and inclusion, and they are constantly coming up with new and innovative ideas in this space.
Mastercard has previously called diversity the “backbone of innovation”, and their actions align with their mission. The company has taken on an initiative in the past few years to remove barriers in access to social media platforms for older generations. To address this, the company has recruited the Young Professionals Business Resource Group to offer a one-on-one “Social Media Reverse Mentoring Program” to older employees who want to gain familiarity with popular social media platforms. The initiative is a unique step in the right direction in terms of inclusion in the workforce.
Accenture is a global consulting firm that has made history by becoming one of the first tech companies to share its workforce demographics as well as its progress towards internal diversity goals. By creating this culture of radical transparency, they have set the standard for diversity and inclusion programs within other companies. As a company, Accenture has long been known for creating unparalleled diversity and inclusion initiatives and hiring a dynamic and pluralistic workforce consisting of employees of various different racial and ethnic backgrounds as well as veterans and persons with disabilities. When it comes to diversity and inclusion efforts, Accenture is paving the way for other companies in their industry and beyond.
Pharmaceuticals company Novartis believes that diversity in the workplace is integral to their success as a business. Within their company, they have replaced the word “disability” with the moniker “diverseability”, because they do not view people with disabilities as having less of any ability, but rather a different set of abilities. Executives and managerial roles within the company are also educated profusely on topics including but not limited to unconscious bias, fair wages and compensation, disability rights, and ways to further improve their diversity hiring methods.
International beauty giant L’Oreal is known for its commitment to multinational diversity efforts. From sponsoring disability awareness workshops in India to training young adults in disenfranchised communities in Pakistan, L’Oreal has visibly taken its diversity efforts global. The company is also known for implementing robust diversity and inclusion programs in its branches worldwide and for having progressively diverse hiring programs for employees of all levels globally. In terms of multiculturalism in the workplace, L’Oreal excels in creating a space that is diverse and inclusive of all its employees.
This well-known energy company has an outstanding culture of diversity and inclusion surrounding it. Southern California Edison prides themselves on diversity being an integral part of how they operate. Through their hiring and employment practices, they hope to highlight the richly diverse population of Southern California. They have also been extremely transparent with information regarding their ongoing commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Southern California Edison keeps their yearly Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report accessible on their website, as well as detailed information on SCE workforce diversity by race/ethnicity and gender. In episode 24 of my podcast, I spoke to Rochelle Holoman, a program manager with the Diversity & Inclusion team at SCE, about leading the company’s 12 BRGs (Business Resource Groups), and what steps she takes in her leadership role in order to maintain a constant culture of diversity and empowerment at Southern California Edison.
At Salesforce, the company mission is to use business as a platform for impactful social change. The company has taken palpable action to stand with the Black community against injustice, discrimination, and hate. In order to further substantiate this mission, they have created a Racial Equality and Justice Taskforce within the company. They have also recruited Black voices from across the professional space to help them with implementing these goals. Salesforce not only stands in solidarity with the Black community, but aims to create a more diverse outlook for the future across their industry.
The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation is an investment banking company that makes diversity and inclusion as well as climate change their priorities within their organization. At BNY Mellon, there is a sense of urgency and hyper awareness with regards to climate change. The company keeps their climate report on their website for purposes of accountability and transparency. In episode 29 of my podcast, I speak with Patty Dingle, Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at BNY Mellon, about her role providing support and visibility to underrepresented groups through her role at BNY Mellon.
Asana, the project management tool that has gained popularity across the professional space, has committed themselves to providing a radically inclusive environment in the workplace. Their robust diversity and inclusion program strives to create a culture of inclusion and acceptance across three pivotal areas: Thriving Now, Recruiting For The Future, and Building On The Past. As a show of transparency and accountability, Asana also publishes all of their race and ethnicity data by department on their careers site.
This power management company boasts an extremely robust DEI program. The organization believes that different perspectives drive innovative ideas, which is why they put so much effort into their diversity and inclusion programs and structures within the company. From implementing various different iERGs (Inclusion Eaton Resource Groups) to leading in ways that create a sense of belonging amongst staff, Eaton fosters a culture of inclusivity within the organization. On episode 12 of my podcast, I spoke with Caltha Seymour, national channel manager for Eaton Corporation, about Eaton’s company mission and best practices to continue to cultivate a diverse company culture at Eaton.
UWG is the longest-standing, full-service, multicultural agency in the US. Specializing in everything from creative and branding strategy to web development to digital PR and more, UWG is a company that prides itself on maintaining diversity both in its services and its organizational structure. The company makes tangible and concrete efforts in the sector of diversity and inclusion. Some of their implemented programs include ERG and diversity council training, leadership development, and an inclusive talent lifecycle assessment, among others. UWG has also hired Doug Freeman as their president of global reflections and inclusive leadership practice. In episode 4 of my podcast, I speak with Monique Nelson, CEO and majority owner of Uniworld Group Inc., about how companies can engage in the conversation of minority inclusion and the necessity of having a safe space for open dialogue within business groups.
Last but not least on our list is Ochsner Health, a company who has recently made many strides forward in the diversity and inclusion space. In February of 2020, they hired on Deborah Grimes, their first-ever Chief Diversity Officer. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grimes saw firsthand how the disparities in healthcare for those of different racial and ethnic backgrounds made the pandemic even more unbearable for minority groups in particular. Within June of 2020, Grimes strove to help combat this by forming a Systemic Diversity and Inclusion Council within the organization. This council influences policy, practices, and educational efforts internally.
All of these companies excel in the diversity and inclusion spaces because they have implemented programs and made concrete, measurable efforts to aid underrepresented populations. While there is still much work to do in terms of creating a fully equitable professional landscape, these organizations are paving the way and setting lofty standards. Companies of this caliber will inspire many more to follow in their footsteps and create a fair and equal workforce for all.