When Dinesh Paliwal became CEO of HARMAN in 2007 he recognized that the company’s limited diversity among its board, leadership and management teams was also limiting the company’s ability to innovate and grow.
Upon joining HARMAN, Dinesh sought to strengthen the corporate culture to accelerate innovation. He immediately put diversity and inclusion at the top of the agenda, recruiting executives from other countries and industries, increasing the number of women in leadership positions, and investing in learning & development programs and vehicles to stimulate collaboration, empower managers and increase the talent pipeline.
He introduced incentive plans to encourage diverse recruiting, created new paths to promotion and growth for different functions, including a new engineering ladder, established the HARMAN Women’s Network and initiated more transparent communications mechanisms, including crowd-sourcing vehicles and internal competitions to source innovations and distinguish excellence.
By overhauling the company culture and establishing a formal Diversity & Inclusion talent strategy, HARMAN diversified its leadership team and global workforce, attracting individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds, expanding the mix of professional experience and fostering a climate of inclusiveness which gave way to new innovative ideas. Today women hold top ranking positions at HARMAN across Finance, Legal, Communications, Strategy, Talent, Tax, and Intellectual Property. Successfully reshaping the management team has enabled HARMAN to continue attracting top talent around the world.
Prioritizing Diversity & Inclusion has had a long-lasting impact on the company’s success. Since Dinesh’s appointment as CEO, HARMAN has doubled its revenue, grown exponentially in emerging economies and become a leader in connected car technologies with a $24 billion automotive backlog. HARMAN’s global technology leadership and stand-out innovation resulted in Samsung’s acquisition of the company for approximately $8 billion in March 2017.
By increasing our diversity and building an inclusive culture to tap into those different perspectives, we are competing at a higher level across all of our disciplines and markets. We have joined this pledge to encourage our peers to invest in D&I and to reinforce to our customers, partners and employees that HARMAN is as committed as ever to accelerating our own efforts.