Nielsen: Building a Diverse and Inclusive Business

"For us, one of the most effective ways of developing an inclusive culture is through our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)," writes Nielsen's Cathy Earle.

(Nielsen is No. 32 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list)


(Originally published on Nielsen.com)

I was delighted to be invited to speak at a launch event for the Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers, a list focusing on increasing representation at all business levels and building inclusive cultures at work and within communities, in London recently.

It's the first year we've been involved in the Excellence in Diversity Awards, and I was proud to be among such a wonderful group of businessmen and women who are taking incredible strides to make their own workplaces more inclusive.

I was particularly proud to share our story with the audience today. As a business, we are committed to diversity and inclusion. It's a belief that's part of our DNA. Having associates with a variety of abilities, skills, experiences and cultural backgrounds, and then leveraging these differences to achieve superior results is an integral part of our talent strategy, and we believe it is crucial to our growth.

For us, one of the most effective ways of developing an inclusive culture is through our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These are employee-driven groups established to strengthen the link between diverse communities and our business. Globally, we have nine ERGs with over 8,000 members, and each group focuses on the core areas of recruitment, professional development, community outreach and engagement.

And while diversity and inclusion is part of our business DNA, there are two events that happened last year that set me off on a personal journey that cemented my resolve to truly embrace and harness our diversity and inclusion.

The first happened the morning after the BREXIT vote when a member of staff came to see me to say that after working in the U.K. for four years, having settled their family into the community and established roots here, they now needed to consider returning to their home country. Their reasoning had nothing to do with a right to remain, it was an emotional one. They felt upset and disillusioned that the U.K. didn't want them here anymore. A feeling, she said, that was shared by many.

In the U.K., a quarter of our employee base are non-U.K. nationals. If everyone of them had similar thoughts, that meant that the morale in our U.K. business had just been dealt a serious blow. How were we to support this critical population over the coming months, and even years?

Around the same time, a second event occurred during a standard induction day session for new hires. As part of the ice-breaking session, members of the group told us why they decided to join Nielsen. One story in particular stood out to me as it challenged our perception of diversity and inclusion within businesses, within our communities, and within the U.K. today, and it left me cold.

Petra Tileschova, a highly educated woman with a strong employment record, was originally from Slovakia, and had been living in the U.K. for 10 years. She told us how she had applied to over 1000 vacancies over the course of a year and had received just six responses.

Petra decided to change her CV, she played down her wealth of experience and she changed the name on her CV to Victoria Smith. From a further 36 applications, Victoria received 22 requests for interview, while the CV from Petra Tileschova received just one, and that was from Nielsen.

I am proud that Nielsen interviewed and hired Petra Tileschova and demonstrated that it sees diversity as a rich resource, not a boundary. But I was shocked and saddened at the level of bias that still exists.

I asked Petra if she would be interested in developing an ERG to promote and celebrate diversity across ethnicity and nationality. From this, MOSAIC was born—Nielsen's ninth ERG,our third ERG in the U.K. alongside PRIDE and WIN (Women in Nielsen).

Launched globally in April, MOSAIC stands for Multinational Organisation Supporting An Inclusive Culture and now has the highest membership in the U.K. of all our ERGs. It has truly struck a chord with our employees.

There is an irony that we live in a world that is more connected and more accessible than ever before; a world where our understanding of one another, of cultural differences, is greater than ever before; and a world with less boundaries than ever before. Yet lack of understanding and unconscious bias, stand in the way of a truly inclusive culture.

The creation of MOSAIC is a step toward changing this. It's an opportunity to work with the business and alongside the community to educate and raise awareness.

It's also an opportunity to provide support for our associates as the U.K. journeys forward with its exit from the EU. While we can continue to reinforce that a diverse workforce is an integral part of our talent strategy, the future for many people remains uncertain, and they want practical, emotional support from people who understand how they feel. MOSAIC will play a part in this too.

Being a truly inclusive company widens your network, opens doors to people, to organisations and to the the wider community, but there is still work needed to nurture a better understanding of diversity, to recognize and realize the opportunities that an inclusive culture provides.

We have a global objective that we want people to think about diversity and inclusion in everything that they do, but I wonder if the true mark of success will be when they don't.

Nielsen Brings To Light Grocery Blind Spots With a New Total Food View

U.S. Consumer Goods Manufacturers and Retailers Find Growth Across the Store in $177 Billion Fresh Market

Originally Published by Nielsen.

The latest Total Consumer Report from Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN), which leverages the company's new Total Food View, shows that fresh categories within the U.S. are driving nearly 49% of all dollar growth across the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brick-and-mortar landscape. In fact, within the last year, fresh and perishable foods generated more than $177 billion in sales—marking a sizable growth opportunity for many FMCG marketers who may be operating with a siloed and non-holistic view of their market.

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Nielsen: Sixth Asian-American Consumer Report Released at Visual Communications Conference for Creative Content

Visual Communications is a nonprofit whose mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American & Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives.

Originally Published by Nielsen.

In commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), we recently released our sixth report on Asian-American consumers, Asian Americans: Digital Lives and Growing Influence. The report is the first in this year's Diverse Intelligence Series (DIS).

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Nielsen: Redefining Value with Our Second Global Responsibility Report

The second Nielsen Global Responsibility Report published contains forward-looking strategy and goals as a company and outlines how Nielsen's ESG efforts connect to the most critical business issues, including diversity representation and inclusion, and data privacy, security and integrity.

Originally Published by Nielsen.

A MESSAGE FROM MITCH BARNS, CEO, NIELSEN

In our second Global Responsibility Report, we explore how we are expanding what it means to create value as a company.

It's through our holistic approach to cultivating a corporate responsibility and sustainability mindset that we create—and multiply—value for our company, our people, our shareholders, and our world. We recognize that to do it right, value creation must be collaborative, inclusive and focused on the long term.

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Nielsen's Diverse Leadership Network Builds Momentum With Fifth Class And Business Impact Projects

"Each year we induct a new class to the DLN, we're strengthening our diverse pipeline for years to come," said Audrey Yi, VP, Diversity & Inclusion at Nielsen.

NIELSEN

Originally Published by Nielsen.

We recently inducted the class of 2018 for our Diverse Leadership Network (DLN) in Chicago, marking our fifth class of the program. The DLN, a 15-month leadership development program, is our most diverse leadership program and provides opportunities for high-potential, mid-level leaders to learn from senior leaders within the company, collaborate among their peers, and apply their skills to practical business case studies.

The 2018 class includes 40 talented associates from the U.S., Canada and Mexico and across every function of our business. Participants met with their coaches for the first time during the orientation. DLN coaches are senior leaders who guide participants throughout the 15-month program and provide strategic guidance for non-DLN related experiences as well. Some of our more than 90 associates who are DLN alums spoke at this year's orientation event, sharing strategies and tips for optimizing time in the program and enjoying networking and learning from their fellow classmates.

"Each year we induct a new class to the DLN, we're strengthening our diverse pipeline for years to come," said Audrey Yi, VP, Diversity & Inclusion at Nielsen. "Our data from the past five years of DLN graduates shows that, upon graduation from the program, associates are expanding their leadership and influence in our company, as 93% of alumni are in a new or expanded role and 20% have reached the VP/general manager level. Representation of DLN graduates in leadership positions shows that we're committed to infusing diversity and inclusion into everything we do at Nielsen."

DLN graduates are expected to complete business impact projects that will provide process improvements and innovation for our business. That's why we also invited senior leaders to share the company's strategic priorities for FMCG/Retail, Total Audience, Gracenote and more. Participants will use the content of these presentations to guide their problem-solving process on business projects that will be assigned later in the program.

As part of the program's initiative to foster external relationships with clients and other brands, Eugene Campbell, Director, Supplier Diversity and Sustainability for Allstate and Co-Chair of our African-American Advisory Council, gave a keynote address during the orientation. Eugene spoke about the unique opportunity afforded to DLN participants, and how this class should utilize their coaches and other resources to aid in their leadership journey.

DLN IMPACT PROJECTS

Meanwhile, the DLN class of 2017 has continued their development in the program and recently completed four business impact projects that will be beneficial for many aspects of our company and our clients.

Development and Socialization of Multicultural Solutions

A team of DLN participants developed a strategy to both aggregate and socialize Nielsen's multicultural solutions with clients. The team created a multicultural solution roadmap, that points our client teams to the appropriate Nielsen product that helps our clients better reach multicultural consumers. They also created a task force that meets monthly to increase client awareness of our multicultural solutions. This project is essential to our business, because it shows our clients that we know the importance of multicultural consumers and are able to accurately measure their unique consumer preferences and behaviors.

Sales Engineering Process Improvement

Another DLN team created a streamlined process for our data to reach our clients. First, they engaged with both our sales engineers and client service teams to assess the areas where there were opportunities for increased efficiency. Then, the team developed a detailed responsibilities structure, which ensures that tasks are properly allocated and prioritized. The end result of this project is a better flow of information to our clients, which allows us to drive their business goals more efficiently.

Internal Cultural Adoption of Total Audience

A third team worked to socialize and evangelize our Total Audience system for internal associates. The group developed a strategy to both educate our employees and build their interest in our Total Audience measurement, which seeks to measure viewership across the many platforms available to consumers today. By creating this engagement, we ensure that our associates know the best way to incorporate Total Audience solutions into their client relationships and that our clients have access to our best audience measurement tools.

Experienced Hire Talent Assessment Model

Our final DLN team studied Nielsen's need for a way to assess prospective experienced candidates for Nielsen jobs. They helped Nielsen select Pymetrics, a talent assessment company that will use a candidate-friendly, AI-powered, bias-free set of games to assess a candidate's fit for a role.

"The DLN team was instrumental in helping us get to the talent behind what's next, by evaluating the marketplace for talent assessment solutions," said Chris Louie, SVP, People Analytics and Talent Assessment and sponsor of the DLN talent assessment project. "They leveraged their diverse set of experiences—different perspectives shaped by their current functional and geographic homes and their personal experiences as candidates. This provided unique perspectives on what a useful cross-Nielsen solution would look like. This project is a prime example of the superior results that diverse teams can produce when empowered to do so."