Action Categories

Dallas Mavericks CRAFTS


Through a public crisis, it became clear that the Dallas Mavericks was not a great place to work for women and people of color.

  1. On Day 1, I communicated the vision and values that would guide our behaviors and actions. The vision was “By 2019, the Dallas Mavericks organization is setting the NBA standard for Inclusion and Diversity.” I instilled a set of values that are the foundation for creating a culture of inclusion: Character, Respect, Authenticity, Fairness, Teamwork and Safety (CRAFTS). I met with each employee to get to know them and to define inclusive and exclusive behaviors, zero tolerance, and to paint the picture of what it looks like to practice these values. I developed and conducted a session with leaders of the organization, covering topics such as building a culture of trust, dimensions of a great place to work, gender pay, high trust behaviors, embracing diversity and fostering inclusion, inclusive leadership, conscious and unconscious biases.

  2. Developed a comprehensive D&I agenda: Customers, Reputation, Agenda for Women, Family (work, home, community), Talent and S Set aspirations regarding increase in women and people of color in leadership, % of purchasing spend with diverse suppliers, philanthropic dollars with diverse communities, etc.

  3. Established four Employee Resource Groups to further develop and execute the Mavs I&D game plan and ensure the Mavs workplace promise is lived out daily. Our Workplace Promise is “Every voice matters and everybody belongs.”
  1. Mavs Executive Leadership Team is 50% women and 47% people of color.
  2. Four ERGs, an Inclusion Council and Culture Committee are active.
  3. Culture surveys show 92% of employees believe the Dallas Mavericks is a great place to work, with Diversity and Inclusion questions receiving the highest marks.
  4. Recipient of the NBA’s 2020 Inclusion Leadership award.

Gail O’Bannon, Dallas Mavericks, Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion & Equity


I often describe diversity as being invited to the party, while inclusion is being asked to dance. Belonging is knowing that one is wanted on the dance floor and equity is being given the tools and resources needed to fully participate. This CEO Act!on Pledge challenges us to do our jobs as leaders. That job is to teach ALL people how to dance. I’m happy to now lend a hand to sports, enabling ALL to participate at ALL levels and in ALL capacities.

Cynthia G. Marshall
Chief Executive Officer, Dallas Mavericks
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