10 companies tackling diversity and inclusion

Diverse and inclusive workplaces result in better employee performance, but the benefits extend beyond the four walls of the office

10 companies tackling diversity and inclusion

By now, it’s clear that having a diverse and inclusive workplace is one of the most important keys to an organization’s success. Hundreds of studies have been conducted in recent years proving that businesses perform better if their workforce has greater ethnic and gender diversity. However, what’s not as obvious is how organizations can promote diversity and inclusion to move forward.

What makes a workplace diverse and inclusive?

It is often not enough that an organization employs workers from different social and cultural backgrounds. A diverse and inclusive workplace is one where people from all walks of life, race, color, religion, nationality, and gender are supported and given a chance excel and thrive. 

Diversity and inclusion should start at the top and reverberate throughout the company. This means that an organization’s leaders should strive to create an environment where many voices are heard, valued, and considered. Diversity and inclusion require more than just a simple declaration in the corporate statement and should instead be engrained in a company’s culture.

Why is diversity and inclusion for important for a company?

There are countless benefits to having a diverse and inclusive workplace. Attracting and retaining top talent is on the top of the list. Creating a diverse workforce starts at recruitment and by making a company more accessible to people of different backgrounds, it also casts a wider net to find qualified candidates.

A diverse and inclusive culture boosts employee morale, which eventually results in better productivity, creativity, and engagement. It also creates a safe atmosphere and improves a company’s reputation.

However, diversity and inclusion efforts should not be limited within the walls of the office. Initiatives outside the workplace give employees a sense of community and purpose.

How are companies are tackling diversity and inclusion?

Companies vary in scope, structure, and goals depending on the industry. But all need to create a workplace where every employee feels valued and accepted to be successful.

Find out how North America’s best employers are leveraging HR tech for their diversity and inclusion initiatives at this essential online event.

Here are 10 companies whose diversity and inclusion initiatives in and outside the office have placed them atop their industries:

  1. Accenture

The professional services giant is one of the world’s leaders when it comes to gender equality not just within the workplace but beyond it. Accenture has appointed its first female chief executive officer, Julie Sweet, in September 2019 and currently boasts a global workforce consisting of 44% female. Last year, the company has hosted more than 240 International Women’s Day celebrations in 48 countries.

Accenture also works with Girls Who Code, a non-profit organization that helps girls excel in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects to help close the gender gap in technology careers.

  1. ADP

As a testament to its successful initiatives to “embrace all forms of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual identity and orientation, veteran status, and ability,” the global human capital management services firm has earned a 100% rating in the 2020 Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI). ADP has also increased its spending to increase supplier diversity in the past few years and has adopted a strength-based approach in talent management.

  1. BASF

The Germany-based chemical company and the world’s largest chemical producer aims to increase the proportion of women in leadership positions to 30% worldwide. But its diversity and inclusivity initiatives extend beyond the workplace. BASF stepped up efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic by donating more than 100m protective masks to its home country. It has also partnered with Feeding America and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC to match donations up to $100,000 to help coronavirus-impacted families and individuals.

  1. Comcast and NBCUniversal

The telecommunications and media conglomerates have an Internal Advisory Council consisting of senior leaders who are tasked to maintain diversity and inclusion. It currently has a workforce of 62% women or people of color. Since 2010, Comcast and NBCUniversal have also donated more than $2.1bn in cash and in-kind to minorities and have spent more than $22bn with diverse suppliers.

Comcast has helped struggling businesses during the pandemic offering free webinars on how they can rework their goals and use new technology. It also offered two months of free Internet to low-income households.

  1. Hilton

The hotel and resorts conglomerate has been recognized internationally for its diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace reaping awards such as “Best Place to work in the US”, “Best Place to Work for Women and Parents”, and “Best Employer for Diversity.”

Through its Lead@Hilton program, the company helps team members develop strong leadership skills with various learning and training opportunities. Hilton has also fostered economic and social integration for nearly 11,000 refugees through volunteering, training, and employment opportunities last year.

  1. KPMG

The professional services company has shown its commitment to professional development with the opening of the KPMG Lakehouse in Orlando, a learning and development center that can serve 800 employees each week. The firm also has a supplier diversity team that works with its business resource groups to deliver workshops, mentoring, and strategy development. Over the past years, KPMG has allocated 12 to 18% of its total procurement spend to diverse businesses.

  1. Marriott International

The hospitality giant boasts a cultural engagement program called “TakeCare” designed to promote employee wellbeing by recognizing their efforts in helping develop a sense of opportunity, community, and purpose for everyone. Marriott also has a multicultural affairs group dedicated to increasing cultural competence and influencing global sales, marketing, communications, and advertising. The group provides cultural education opportunities to about 17,000 associates and customers through Culture Day sessions, forums, and webinars.

In terms of supplier diversity, the company has surpassed its goal of increasing spending for women-owned businesses to $500m this year. The company is also working towards increasing spending for diverse-owned businesses to $1bn by the year’s end.

  1. Mastercard

The financial services company is one of the biggest supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, and this year, it has launched the “True Name” feature on cards, which allows people to have their chosen names displayed on their cards instead of the names given to them at birth.

Mastercard has also introduced its “Path to Priceless” initiative last March to support 1m women entrepreneurs. The company’s “Relaunch Your Career” program has also been running since 2017, and aims to provide training and networking opportunities to people looking to re-enter the workforce after taking a break.

  1. Walgreens

The pharmaceutical store chain has made it a priority to hire disabled workers, which currently account for 10% of their employees in their distribution centers.

  1. Wells Fargo

The financial services giant has been working with LGBTQ+ suppliers as part of its supplier diversity initiatives and has also provided support to several LGBTQ+ outreach organizations, including the Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign, and National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Through the Wells Fargo Foundation, the company has also helped provide housing, jobs, and financial coaching in communities in need. It has released grants amounting to $455m for non-profit organizations across the US that support various causes such as affordable housing and small business growth.

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