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Network sponsors are ‘Top Companies for Diversity’

Friday, April 27, 2012  
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Fourteen Network of Executive Women sponsors have earned spots on the 2012 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. Recognized by DiversityInc were NEW foundation sponsors Procter & Gamble (ranked number 5), Kraft Foods (7) and The Coca-Cola Company (46); title sponsors Deloitte (8), Johnson & Johnson (11), Accenture (12) and Kellogg Company (49); platinum sponsors Colgate-Palmolive (10), General Mills (28), Novartis (13) and Target (30); and gold sponsors American Express (14), jcpenney (35) and Time-Warner (40).

Procter & Gamble jumped 20 spots into the top 10 this year, a direct result of its talent-development initiatives, which have significantly increased diversity at several levels, DiversityInc reported. The cpg company also improved methods of tracking key factors, including promotions into management, resource-group participation and philanthropy allocated to multicultural nonprofits. Chairman and CEO Bob McDonald meets with the company’s resource groups quarterly and holds a senior advisory position on three nonprofits focused on underrepresented groups. Nearly one-third of the top two levels of executives sit on multicultural boards and two-thirds participate in the company’s mentoring program. These measures, as well as the recruitment, retention and promotion levels of diverse employees, are included in executive performance reviews; 10 percent of executive bonuses are tied to diversity results.

At Kraft Foods, leaders have created innovative methods of building an inclusive workplace that maximizes employee potential, DiversityInc noted. Kraft’s JumpStart program, for instance, helps new managers, especially those from underrepresented groups, understand the corporate culture and the subtle signals that can derail a career. Ten resource groups are available to all U.S. employees, including hourly workers. The groups are used for recruitment, engagement, talent development, leadership training, marketplace research and diversity training. Resource-group members serve as facilitators for Kraft’s The Power of Differences internal training. The groups’ success is measured through increased referral/rate of hires of people from traditionally underrepresented groups, retention of talent from those demographics and increased promotion rates. Its national Women Sales Council convenes annually with more than 80 women leaders. The goal: increased representation of women, especially in underrepresented areas, and elevating them in the organization. As a result of this group, promotions of women in sales increased by 39 percent.

Deloitte, an early diversity leader, was the first in its industry to launch a women’s initiative and the first to have chairmen and CEOs from underrepresented groups. The Deloitte talent strategy has three tenets: grow and develop diverse talent; the Emerging Leaders Development Program, a multidisciplinary professional-development program designed to prepare high-performing Black, Latino, Asian and American Indian managers and senior managers for the next step in their careers; and Navigation to Excellence, a year-long program aimed specifically at Black, Asian and American Indian women and Latinas. Deloitte’s WINning Career Strategies/WINning New Business develops high-potential women managers, including those likely to make partner or principal or be promoted to director within two fiscal years. The firm’s eight business resource groups are aimed at people with disabilities, LGBT people, veterans, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, women and global employees. Its mentoring programs include sponsorship and coaching opportunities.

Top-level commitment

At Colgate-Palmolive, Chairman, President and CEO Ian Cook holds leaders accountable by signing off on executive compensation tied to diversity and by ensuring diversity goals are part of executive performance reviews. He leads the diversity council and meets with resource groups both in small-group settings with their leaders and by attending group functions. The company’s work/life benefits include paid paternity leave, retirement transition, flexible hours, onsite fitness facilities, and health and wellness services, including screenings, seminars and Weight Watchers at Work. Its strong resource groups are used for recruitment, on-boarding, talent development, mentoring, diversity training, marketplace connections, and innovative solutions.

Johnson & Johnsons diversity efforts continue to be cutting-edge, DiversityInc reported. Its top 300 leaders have 50 percent of compensation tied to business goals and 50 percent tied to leadership metrics, including diversity. Its board is one-third women, 16.6 percent black and 8.3 percent Latino. The company’s formal mentoring program has a cross-cultural component; all of the executives in the top three levels participate in the program. Mentors and mentees receive cultural-competence training; the company estimates that 61 percent of managers participate in mentoring. Johnson & Johnson’s 10 resource groups are available throughout its U.S. facilities and have had a significant impact on talent development and marketplace relationships.

At Accenture, all employees have access to resource groups, all employees have mentors and all managers, including the top levels, participate in the mentoring program. There is a complete package of work/life benefits, including paid paternity leave, and diversity training is mandatory for all employees. CEO Pierre Nanterme personally signs off on diversity metrics and executive compensation is tied to diversity. Nanterme chairs Accenture’s executive diversity council, meets quarterly with resource groups and is the sponsor for the company’s Corporate Citizenship Agenda, which promises $100 million by 2013 to support corporate-citizenship efforts and aims to equip 250,000 people globally with job skills, DiversityInc reported.

Novartis was recognized for its strong diversity-management efforts, which hold executives accountable for diversity results through their evaluations and compensation. The company’s 17 resource groups are very focused on business results. Seven ethnic resource groups are used specifically to test market reactions and gain cultural insights. Through its Dollars for Doers program, Novartis provides donations to nonprofits in recognition of employees who volunteer -- and more than 5,000 volunteer hours were logged by Novartis staff members in 2011. The company also has an annual Volunteer Impact Day, and in 2011, almost 2,000 employees volunteered to benefit 80 nonprofits in 10 countries.

At American Express, 16 networks include groups for Muslims, Christians and Jews, as well as a group for virtual employees. The groups are used extensively for recruitment, engagement and talent development and to create innovative ideas to reach multicultural consumers, both in the United States and globally. The company has been at the forefront of creating flexible workplaces and understanding the need to allow its employees the ability to succeed both at home and at work, DiversityInc reported. The company has a strong history of community philanthropy, with a third of its philanthropic spend going toward multicultural nonprofits. More than a third of its senior executives sit on the boards of multicultural charities.

General Mills was recognized for its formal, cross-cultural mentoring program, which has more than half of its managers participating, including executives in the top three levels of management. The program includes competency training for mentors. General Mills’ 38 resource groups, includes networks for teleworkers and veterans. These groups count 40 percent of its total employee population as members and are used for recruiting, on-boarding, talent development and to augment marketing efforts and implement diversity-training initiatives.

At Target , leaders are using the company’s exceptional cross-cultural mentoring program to further talent development, especially of people from traditionally underrepresented groups. The retailer holds its senior executives accountable for those results, with 10 percent of their bonuses tied to diversity goals, exceeding the industry average. Ninety percent of its managers participate, including the top three levels of the company. The company’s programs include group mentoring, one-to-one mentoring, virtual mentoring, peer mentoring and reverse mentoring. Both mentors and mentees have cross-cultural training and there are measurable goals to assess progress.

Under former CEO Mike Ullman and new CEO Ron Johnson, jcpenney continues its efforts to make diversity an essential part of its business mission to invigorate its stores and gain market share.The retailer has a strong executive diversity council, chaired by the CEO. The group sets goals, evaluates diversity-management progress and includes rotational positions for leaders of the associate resource teams. Those groups are at the cornerstone of jcpenney’s increasing ability to connect with multicultural customers. The 14 groups are available company-wide, including for hourly workers, which is unusual for large retailers. The groups meet during the workday, have senior executives as sponsors (most are cross-cultural) and communicate with each other and the entire organization about their activities. They are used for recruitment, talent development and diversity training, but their most innovative use is with the company’s field councils, out in the stores and in communities, where they provide both market research and an understanding of multicultural communities, DiversityInc reported.

At Time Warner (its Time Inc. Lifestyle Group is a NEW sponsor), Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes personally signs off on executive compensation tied to diversity. He also meets regularly with the company’s resource groups and personally reviews and signs off on diversity metrics and progress.Half of Time Warner’s managers participate in cross-cultural mentoring programs, which have formal follow-up. Mentors also have cross-cultural-awareness training. The company has measurable goals for assessing the success of its mentoring programs and it internally communicates the benefits of these programs.Time Warner’s resource groups are open to all employees; one-fourth of its employees are members of at least one resource group. The company measures the success of the groups by their ability to align events with business objectives, retention and overall company engagement. The groups also provide feedback on diversity training and other diversity initiatives.

Muthar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, personally reviews and signs off on diversity metrics and progress, as well as goals on achievements for supplier diversity. The company’s executive diversity council meets quarterly, establishes and signs off on diversity goals and metrics, and has rotational positions for resource-group members. Its companywide resource groups are available to all employees; a senior executive is a member of each. The resource groups, which are involved in marketing efforts, participate in recruiting events, bring in experts to speak on panels and partner with customers on events impacting the community, DiversityInc noted.

At Kellogg, CEO and President John Bryant has instituted a policy of holding executives accountable for diversity results through compensation, chairs the executive diversity council and visibly communicates how critical diversity is to connecting with the customer base. Bryant and four of his direct reports serve as executive sponsors for the six resource groups. The groups are available to all employees, including hourly workers, which can be a challenge in this industry. They are used for recruitment, talent development, customer and community relationships, and diversity training. The company’s supplier-diversity initiative has seen a six-fold increase in spending in the last decade to minority-owned suppliers, women-owned suppliers and suppliers owned by veterans with disabilities, DiversityInc noted.

In addition to making the Top 50 list, Kraft Foods was named Top Company for Executive Development, Novartis was recognized as Top Company for Talent Pipeline and Kellogg was named Top Company for Diversity-Management Progress.

"The concepts of diversity and inclusiveness are at the heart of Kellogg's values,” said President and CEO John Bryant."We are committed to growing our diverse workforce not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is critical to our ongoing success. A diverse and inclusive workforce is more nimble, more innovative, more connected to our customers and consumers, and more open to new ideas, particularly in this increasingly global economy.”

DiversityInc considers four core areas selecting the companies it honors: the CEO's commitment to diversity and inclusion, human capital, corporate and organizational communication on diversity-related issues, and supplier diversity. The DiversityInc Top 50 list is derived exclusively from corporate survey submissions. Companies are evaluated within the context of their own industries, with more than 15 industries represented.

DiversityInc has recognizing global companies that play a leading role in supporting and promoting diversity since it first published its Top 50 list in 2001. This year, more than 500 companies participated in the selection process. Participation is free.

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