FAQs

General

When did CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ initiative launch?

The initiative launched on June 12th, 2017.

What is the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™?

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. A unique coalition of more than 2,000 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 CEO 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 CEO pledge commitments?

Yes. As part of signing on to CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, CEOs are committing to implementing all of the elements within the pledge.

Who created the commitment?

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.

What are the CEO Action CEO pledge commitments?
  • 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 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.

  • Third, each signatory has agreed to implement unconscious bias education in their respective organization, and those who have already done so are committing to mentor others so they can effectively implement this education.

  • And finally, signatories will create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with their board of directors, or equivalent governing bodies. 
How is the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ different?

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 multifaceted 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.

Actions

You say this commitment is all about action – what specific action(s) are signatories taking?

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ signatories are taking four 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.

  • Third, each signatory has agreed to implement unconscious bias education in their respective organization, and those who have already done so are committing to mentor others so they can effectively implement this education.

  • Lastly, signatories are creating and sharing strategic inclusion and diversity plans with their board of directors, or equivalent governing bodies. Given their responsibility for driving strategies that help companies thrive, boards play an important role, alongside CEOs, in driving action to cultivate strong, inclusive cultures and the ability to attract and develop talent. We also believe that a strategic D&I plan will help accelerate the other CEO Action commitments.
What if a company is already implementing all the pledge commitments? 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.

When and how does 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, provides 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 implement meaningful tools, programs, and strategies within their companies.

How do you make unconscious bias education available to everyone?

Collectively, the companies in CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ manage millions of employees, and have seen the benefits of effective educational programs. We have made the blind spot video series available, free-of-charge, to enable them to 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 education a main focus of 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 way for 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, nonprofits and academic organizations, 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?

Companies from nearly 85 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 signatories. 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.

Are all the signatories meeting the obligations of the pledge thus far?

By signing on to CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, CEOs are committing to implement all of the elements within the pledge. This includes 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.

Fellowship

What is the mission of CEO Action for Racial Equity?

CEO Action for Racial Equity is a fellowship that provides the opportunity for CEO Action signatories to advance racial equity through public policy. Fellows will identify, develop and promote scalable and sustainable public policies and corporate engagement strategies that will address systemic racism, social injustice and improve societal well-being. Working together, over 250 fellows will focus full-time on policies pertaining to the four foundational elements of society (1) education (2) healthcare (3) economic empowerment and (4) public safety.

Why was the fellowship created?

As we learn more about the experiences of Black people in our country, it’s clear that things need to change in order to advance racial equity. Effective CEOs need to lead on antiracism and address social injustices in a consequential way — not just in our workplaces, but in society. We officially launched CEO Action for Racial Equity on October 1, 2020 after realizing the need for a business-led initiative driving racial equity in the public policy arena.

What are the fellows doing?

The Fellows are identifying and assessing current policies in four key areas: healthcare, education, economic empowerment and public safety, and then recommending how existing policies can be amplified, changed to meet its intended purpose or propose new policies. Fellows will review policies through four key criterias: impact, effort, risk and status. Representing more than 100+ CEO Action signatory companies (and counting), the Fellows are tapping a wide network of expertise and resources across the business community to advance their policy ideas. The Fellows are also gathering insights from community stakeholders to ensure their solutions are rooted in the most urgent needs for 47M+ Black and African Americans.

How is this different from other initiatives in the marketplace?

CEO Action for Racial Equity is the largest business coalition aimed at advancing racial equity through public policy. Our Fellowship brings together the business community across industries and regions to enact change. Today, over 250 fellows are working full-time to advance sustainable and systemic public policies while closely monitoring the policy landscape and engaging with community leaders on-the-ground.

Future Plans

How often are new commitments added to the Pledge?

The commitments within 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 build on the set of initial commitments and roll out additional ones, as appropriate.