These CEOs and senior executives discussed the need for clearly stated values of inclusion at our recent event—and how it benefits their businesses. Watch the clips below to see what forthright diversity leadership looks like.
André Wyss, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation:
"Now more than ever, our customers and patients we serve are counting on us for innovative breakthrough medications for increasingly complex medical needs. These include cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, and many others. The communities in which we work are relying on us. These are our business goals as well as a mission to do good. We also were recognized as a DiversityInc Top 50 company and are committed to doing what's necessary to attract, retain and motivate the diverse talent we need to succeed now and in the future."
John Bryant, Kellogg Company:
"The Kellogg Foundation gives away $360 million a year to children's education and healthcare around the world. So we are very honored—and indebted to our founder—but honored to be part of an organization where so much of what we do goes back to kids in the communities in which we serve. That's in our past, but it's also what we want to make very much true today and in our future. As we look at the Kellogg Company, we have a very special bond with our consumers. Every day around the world, millions of people bring our products into their homes and feed our products to their children. That special bond between us and our consumers, we take incredibly seriously. And our goal is to help us understand our consumers so well that every day we're in even better position to bring our best to those consumers."
Michelle Lee, Wells Fargo:
"Reinvestment is an integral part of our culture, and it's one of the things I enjoy most about my job—giving back to our communities, engaging as a volunteer and serving on nonprofit boards. It's my responsibility at Wells Fargo as a leader. Last year, we invested over $213 million in 19,000 nonprofit organizations, and 165,000 Wells Fargo team members are involved in community-development activities across the country."
Steve Howe, Ernst & Young:
"I can tell you that we truly do believe that inclusiveness is critical. It's critical to us performing at a consistent, exceptional level all around the globe. It makes us better, more insightful; it helps us solve problems, manage risk and seize opportunities that much better. And we believe that driving multicultural teams is an absolute must."
John Lechleiter, Eli Lilly and Company:
"Now, since I'm among friends this evening, I have a confession: Early in my tenure as CEO, I made a decision, based on a variety of reasons at the time, to cut back on our flexible work programs. And employee engagement suffered. In fact, when I commissioned a small team to find creative ways to strengthen employee engagement, their first recommendation was to bring flexible schedules back. At least I was smart enough to listen. And I did, and it's one of the best decisions I've made.
Arne Sorenson, Marriott International:
"Marriott's approach to diversity and inclusion is deeply rooted in our company's purpose, which is to open doors to a world of opportunity. This includes the opportunity to build a career, the chance to own one of our hotels, or to provide products and services as one of our suppliers. For 85 years, we've said, 'Take care of our associates, and they'll take care of our guests.' This core value of putting people first underpins our commitment to diversity, but we also believe that it drives our profitability. Hospitality is by definition a diverse industry. A couple of recent statistics: Obviously, people come from all over the world to visit New York. Last year, 2 million Mexicans came to the United States; 1.5 million Brazilians; over 1 million Chinese—and those numbers from each of those countries are up about 50 percent year-to-date from last year."
Steve Price, Dell:
"Our purpose is to bring technology solutions to the world that enable people everywhere to grow and thrive. The one thing we know about growing and thriving: No one grows and thrives alone. We all grow and thrive in relationships. That's why our employee resource groups are so important because this is where people come in from all walks of life and become part of a community. They get connected and become part of a relational community, irrespective of where you come from or what part of the globe you sit on. You can come to this company and you can be your best and you can do your best work."
Mark Clouse, Kraft Foods:
"The beauty of splitting a company like Kraft into two is that we have two organizations born of the same value of understanding—the power of diversity. Two organizations that understand that, in a world of global connections, our ability to reflect the consumers we serve—and the people and colleagues that work with us—is paramount to our success."