Companies in The 2011 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity all have deep-rooted values that are clearly communicated to their employees, customers and suppliers. Here, based on sessions at the event facilitated by professors from The PhD Project, are the ideas, best practices and examples from more than 300 chief diversity officers and senior executives who attended our March 2 and 3 diversity events on how careful cultivation of your business’s communities can positively affect the bottom line.
Customer Outreach: Relationships Build Business
Susan Leggett-Johnson, Associate Medical Director and Chief Compliance Officer, Mid-Atlantic States, Kaiser Permanente, No. 1 in the DiversityInc Top 50
Latondra Newton, Vice President, Strategic Planning, Research and Diversity, Toyota Motor North America, No. 46 in the DiversityInc Top 50
Kathryn Collins, Vice President for Associate Recruitment and Inclusion & Diversity, JCPenney, No. 35 in the DiversityInc Top 50
Emilio Egea, Chief Diversity Officer, Prudential Financial, No. 16 in the DiversityInc Top 50
Brenda Burke, Director, Supplier Diversity Nationwide, WellPoint, No. 36 in the DiversityInc Top 50
Michelle Holton, Chief Diversity Officer, Monsanto Co., No. 41 in the DiversityInc Top 50
Cindy Brinkley, Former Senior Vice President, Talent Development and Chief Diversity Officer, AT&T, No. 4 in the DiversityInc Top 50
Brinkley: We are expanding our customer reach into customer segmentations we have never really been in before—under-banked and people who may not be the people who are Platinum card earners. As a result of that, and the way people operate with mobile phones and things like that, we are bringing in people into the company that are very different in terms of their work styles and their history.
Leggett-Johnson: Because we’re a healthcare company—whether you are a physician or a nurse or a physician’s assistant—it really is about providing quality care in a way that the patient can be compliant with the recommendations, or can be more involved in their own care. If you don’t connect … in a place that makes sense for them, you will be less successful. Leveraging employees who have similar cultures is very helpful in trying to build and gain that trust in those members so that they will more likely follow and participate in their care.
BEST-PRACTICE EXAMPLE: Getting African Americans to increase the rate of flu vaccinations is a difficult task. What helps is having African-American physicians have that discussion … and talk about the Tuskegee Research Project—which always comes up—or to talk about the guinea-pig mentality, which has been handed down from parents and grandparents [and] talk about how things were different then, and how they’re not like that now.