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The Fortune 500’s difficult relationship with diversity and inclusion

by Ray Hayes

What if I told you that Supplierty News was committing funding to increase  diversity within our staff,? What if I also included a list of initiatives to further our mission?   Would you believe our effort is genuine or would you need statistics to back up our narrative?  Unfortunately for many Fortune 500 companies, diversity programs stop at just that, with little to no statistics kept.  The only time real changes happens, it seems, is when someone complains or feels “violated”. These companies give us this grandiose mission statement about diversity and inclusion however when you look deeper these statements are words lacking action.

Above the Law recently reviewed the diversity and inclusion statements of many Fortune 500 companies to see if they were following through on them and the results prove they are not. Let’s take a look at one of the company’s statements:

Diversity & Inclusion Policy: Best Talent. Diverse Experience. Inclusive Culture. Shared Success. [Fortune 500 Company 1] is dedicated to being a high-performing organization built on the foundation of a diverse and inclusive workforce, with individuals and teams working to blend a wide range of talents, experiences and perspectives in pursuit of shared purposes [emphasis added]. A culture that strengthens this foundation is essential to unlock individual potential and build business success. Our employee-driven Diversity Enrichment Council & Network along with our Women’s Leadership Network are key elements in our commitment to diversity and inclusion. The Diversity Enrichment Council & Network and the Women’s Leadership Network are committed to increasing awareness of the meaning and importance of diversity and inclusion throughout the organization and supporting networking, development, recruitment and retention of diverse employees.

Although the above statement sounds good, there is one glaring issue.  The above company has 27 members on their board of directors, zero which are women.

As you can see the company’s mission statement is solid but the question is now about commitment. But let’s be fair, what if the company has interviewed several women for a position on their board but have been unable to find a qualified woman?  Well that in itself is a failure as the current diversity programs should be preparing women in their corporation for leadership roles.

There needs to be more investigation into the steps the company is taking into diversifying their board of directors as well as humanizing the commitment to diversity and inclusion in order to diversify the board further.

Damien Hooper-Campbell, eBay’s Chief Diversity officer, said it best. “We need to do what we very rarely do as human beings when we first meet each other. We need to be okay being politically incorrect for the moment as long as we’ve established an assumption of good intent. That allows us to get our real views out there and gives us permission to call BS when we see it. Being in the circle of trust is like being in the exit row on a plane. You need verbal confirmation before proceeding.”

http://abovethelaw.com/2017/05/actions-speak-louder-than-words-a-look-at-fortune-500-diversity-and-inclusion-policies/?rf=1

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