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Why Inclusion Requires A CEO Led Initiative

We guarantee that your company will see specific, measureable improvements in

your employee survey results, in the retention of key employees, and most
importantly in your business results, your bottom line. We can only accomplish these
results with committed and effective leadership.
Diversity management is about business strategy, brand management, product
development, creating leaders, recruiting talent, and discovering active thoughtleaders whose voices can educate and inspire business growth and opportunity
within industries. As such, diversity management can no longer be a
departmental and/or functional responsibility led by a few people in the human
resources department with limited budgets. Diversity management must be a
profit center that is measureable and directly connected to revenue generation,
research & development activities and new ventures; it no longer can be just a
cost center valued only as a line item first to be cut from the budget when
revenue projections are not met.
Diversity Management is Outdated and Demands a New Approach. Forbes, 1/07/2013.
Many organizations opt to place the management of gender initiatives in HR.
Although several of the components of a comprehensive gender initiative should impact
workforce issues, the impact of gender on everything from operations to product and
service design are of equal if not greater importance. This fact is often lost when
gender initiatives are housed within HR.
The single best location is a direct reporting line to the CEO. If that is not feasible, the
next best placement would be to the chief operating officer or an executive whose
scope of responsibility spans the entire organization, inclusive of all strategic planning,
operations and functions.
Increasingly, companies are naming chief diversity officers to oversee their
initiatives. It is important they have the ability to get things done and are
backed by the CEO. If diversity is not a priority for the CEO, you can have 70
chief diversity officers and it wont make a difference.i
Boris Groysberg, Professor, Harvard Business School
Without the support and engagement of male leaders it is difficult to make
meaningful progress on gender initiatives. Executive sponsorship must come from the
highest ranking males in the company in order for it to get traction and produce the
outcome called "full gender partnership."

GenderAllies 2015

Don't start what you can't finish. A failed attempt is worse that none at all. Women
in your organization will lose confidence that there is a future for them in the company.
It is critical for the highest level of leadership to be prepared to commit the necessary
resources to avoid stop and go efforts.
CEO involvement makes a difference. Companies with the most successful
records on diversity and inclusion tend to share the following characteristicsii:

The CEO talks frequently to his/her direct reports (the Executive Committee)
about diversity, demands regular reports from them on the progress of diversity
initiatives, and holds them accountable for both their personal behavior and for
meeting objectives such as developing and mentoring diverse people. The
organizations statement of values explicitly includes diversity and inclusion (as
opposed to respect for individuals or other more general statements).

The CEO is held responsible by the non-executive Board of Directors (the Board)
for the companys diversity initiative and his/her compensation is linked to
diversity performance.

The Board itself is ethnically and nationally diverse.

The Board reviews the diversity of high potential pools and succession slates.

Managers are trained to recognize and avoid microinequities.

Great Leaders Who Make the Mix Work by Boris Groysberg and Katherine Connolly. September 2013


The Impact of Senior Leadership Commitment on Diversity and Inclusion A Study Conducted by ORC
Worldwide Global Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Practice. Funded by Industrial Relations Counselors, Inc.
August 2008.


GenderAllies 2015