When did the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ initiative launch?
The initiative launched on June 12th, 2017.
What is the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™?
The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. A unique collaborative of more than 270 CEOs have signed on to this commitment, agreeing to take action to cultivate environments where diverse experiences and perspectives are welcomed and where employees feel comfortable and encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion. All the signatories of the commitment serve as leaders of their companies and committed to implementing the pledge within their workplaces, or where companies have already implemented one or several of the commitments, will support other companies in doing the same.
Do signatories have to agree to execute against all Pledge commitments?
Yes. As part of signing on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, CEOs are committing to implementing all of the elements within the pledge.
Who created the commitment?
The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ was collectively formed and is led by a steering committee of CEOs and leaders from Accenture, BCG, Deloitte US, The Executive Leadership Council, EY, General Atlantic, KPMG, New York Life, P&G and PwC.
How do you determine who else can join this effort?
We are inspired by the number of organizations that want to sign onto the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge and join our collective efforts. Our desire is to welcome as many different voices and perspectives as possible in an orderly manner that will allow for knowledge sharing and greater collective potential contributions. We are responding to all requests and signing new signatories in waves to maintain measured growth of the coalition, it's goals and collaborations over time. We hope this strategy will help us stay true to the goal of establishing a firm foundation for a knowledge sharing platform that can be cultivated to foster even greater collaboration with time.
How is the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ different?
The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ assembles the largest collection of business leaders from various industries openly committing to sharing successful diversity and inclusion initiatives as well as lessons learned to share with the collective business community.
Is this commitment aimed at benefiting one group?
No. We are committed to advancing inclusion of all employees and making them feel supported in the workplace, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability status, veteran status, or other aspect of diversity. We recognize that diversity and inclusion are multi-faceted issues and that we need to tackle these subjects holistically to better engage and support all of our employees, our communities and our stakeholders.
Are there financial contributions as part of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™?
As part of this commitment, signatories have agreed to dedicate their time and resources to advance diversity and inclusion efforts both within their companies and as a part of this coalition to benefit society as a whole.
You say this commitment is all about action – what specific action(s) will signatories be taking?
The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ are taking three essential actions. First, each of the signatories are focused on cultivating workplaces that support open dialogue on complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion.
Second, we believe that there is a gap in the market around sharing and collaborating across enterprises in order to advance this issue within the business community. Some are making strides while others aren’t, and there are valuable lessons to be shared and learned in both of those experiences. To facilitate the exchange of actions, we built a hub that enables companies to share best known actions across different areas of diversity.
Finally, each signatory has agreed to implement unconscious bias training in their respective organization, and those who have already done so are committing to mentor others so they can effectively implement this training.
What if a company is already implementing all the actions outlined in a commitment? What is their role?
We recognize that companies are at different points in their diversity journey. Companies that currently are not implementing some or all of the elements of the pledge can use this as an opportunity to learn from others that are already doing so in order to apply that to their company in the most effective and meaningful way. Companies that are already implementing some or all of the actions can use this as an opportunity to drive greater engagement within their own programs, contribute best known actions as well as mentor others.
How is each company going about making its workplace safe to have difficult conversations about topics such as race?
Rather than prescribe the creation of specific tools, each company is asked to foster environments, platforms, or forums with their people and organizations in mind. Through our unified hub, CEOAction.com, companies can share best known actions on how they are doing this. We will also be convening the CEO Closed Door Discussion Summit on November 10, 2017 in New York where we hope to discuss our learnings and challenges in order to identify potential solutions and opportunities as a group.
When and how will each company share best known—and unsuccessful—actions?
We are the largest corporate exchange of best known actions around diversity and inclusion. This unified hub –CEOAction.com– will provide companies with a platform to easily share successes and challenges with one another. We believe by sharing successes and actions that were ineffective, it will help companies learn from each other and more effectively apply meaningful tools, programs, and strategies within their companies. Additional sharing and discussion opportunities will be included as part of the Closed Door Session being planned for November 10, 2017 in New York.
How do you make unconscious bias training available to everyone?
Collectively, the companies in this coalition manage millions of people, and have seen the benefits of effective educational programs. We have made the blind spot video series available, free-of-charge, to anyone to help them offer it within their respective organizations. These resources can be found on the “Actions” section within CEOAction.com and at the website www.pwc.com/us/blindspots.
Why is implementing and expanding unconscious bias training a main focus of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™?
Experts tell us that we all have unconscious biases that manifest themselves in various aspects of our daily lives. Unconscious bias education is a resource that can enable individuals to begin recognizing, acknowledging, and deconstructing any potential blind spots he or she might have, but was not aware of previously. By giving employees at all levels access to these insights, we aim to facilitate more open and honest conversations that will support inclusion throughout our organizations.
As leaders of some of America’s largest corporations, we recognize that such education is an important necessary step, because unconscious bias, by its very nature is hidden. But we also recognize that such education while necessary, is not a sufficient step to create change. That requires constant vigilance and proactive efforts to create equal opportunity and access.
While CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ signatories represent a collective footprint across all 50 states, are there regions or geographic clusters with significant concentration of signatories?
More companies from 71 industries have signed on, giving the signatory group additional unique perspectives on how to develop comfortable environments for our employees to thrive. These CEOs are excited about the pledge and want to make sure that their companies are diverse and inclusive of all employees.
What does success look like and how do you measure it?
Success, to us, is centered around knowledge sharing and collaboration across industries. This is why we will be focused on using our unified hub to easily share successes and challenges as well as continue to expand our list of signatories to draw in even more perspectives and experiences from the workplace. The hub measures the efforts’ reach and impact by capturing many of the best known actions that are shared across companies who visit the site for more information about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In the Fall, our CEOs will also convene in-person for the first-ever CEO Closed Door Discussion Summit on November 10, 2017 to discuss learnings and challenges, which will provide insights to guide potential solutions and opportunities for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
What has happened since the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ launch?
We are thrilled that nearly 100 additional companies have joined the pledge since launch and nearly 300 companies have shared best known actions. In addition, the steering committee is making great progress on the planning for the November 10th Closed Door Session in New York. Stay tuned for more updates.
What have you learned thus far in the process?
The positive response to the initiative has been overwhelming. It is evident companies and their workforces are craving action to advance diversity and inclusion. Almost 300 companies have submitted best known actions they are starting to implement within their companies. To read about these actions visit the CEO Action hub.
Are all the signatories meeting the obligations of the agreement thus far?
By signing on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, CEOs are committing to implement all of the elements within the pledge. These include implementing and expanding unconscious bias education and sharing best known actions via a unified hub. To track their progress against these actionable commitments, our goal is to have each company create accountability systems within their own four walls and share regular updates with each other in order to catalog effective programs and measurement practices.
When will the 2017 CEO Closed Door Discussion take place?
The 2017 CEO Closed Door Discussion will be an opportunity for the signatories to come together to act on the commitments within the pledge, share best known actions, and look toward developing additional commitments for advancing diversity and inclusion within the workplace. The Summit is scheduled to take place on November 10, 2017 in New York. More information on the Summit will be coming shortly.
How often will new commitments be added to the Pledge?
The commitments within the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ are the first in a series of actions the group plans to take in order to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. The signatories will plan to build on the set of initial commitments and roll out additional ones, as appropriate.