Diversity management often needs a push from the top. How can senior executives be held responsible for results, and how can you get middle managers to buy in to diversity goals?
Billie Williamson, recently retired Americas inclusiveness officer at Ernst & Young (No. 6 in The 2012 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity), said CEO and Chairman Jim Turley truly exemplifies a commitment to diversity management.
“He was on the bandwagon even before it was popular to be committed to diversity and inclusiveness. Jim has spent a lot of time listening. Instead of thinking he knows everything, he spends a lot of time talking with people all around the world,” Williamson told participants at the DiversityInc CEO Commitment networking lunch, held during a DiversityInc event in Washington, D.C.
The session allowed diversity leaders to share their best practices for diversity management and devise innovative strategies for more successful and sustainable diversity-management initiatives.
In this 1,383-word article, “CEO Commitment: Why Visibility & Accountability Matter,” readers will be able to gain valuable insight into several diversity-management best practices in relation to CEO commitment, including:
- Why CEO commitment needs to be visible and personal to be most effective
- How CEOs can hold direct reports accountable for measurable progress with diversity-management goals
- When CEOs must meet with senior management and ERG leaders to discuss diversity progress
- Why real listening/communicating skills are invaluable for diversity-management leaders
Diversity-management leaders and senior executives from Applied Materials, Caterpillar, Prudential Financial (No. 9 and the 2011 Top Company for Community Outreach), Kraft Foods (No. 7) and Kaiser Permanente (No. 3 and the 2011 Top Company for Executive Development) contributed to the conversation by sharing stories of how their own CEOs demonstrate their diversity commitment and how leaders are held accountable.
“Jim goes to a lot of high-level client meetings, and we talk about diversity and inclusion,” said Williamson. “It’s a real privilege for us to get to be involved with our clients and talk with them about diversity and inclusiveness and share the things that we’ve done well.”