CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ Signatories Gather to Take Actionable Steps Toward Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Coalition Launches CEO Action President’s Circle To Drive Engagement On College Campuses

NEW YORK, November 10, 2017 – Today, 70 leading corporate and academic signatories of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ (CEO Action), convened for an inaugural closed-door discussion. This session was designed for CEOs to identify short and long-term actions that the business community can achieve within their own organizations and as a collective coalition to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.


“This work is vital because our employees, communities and college campuses are continuing to face complex and escalating issues. We are committed to ensuring that our organizations can make positive and sustainable differences in the areas of diversity and inclusion. The only way to do that is to have the difficult conversations that address our differences and learn how to do this work together,” said PwC Senior Partner and U.S. Chairman Tim Ryan, chair of the CEO Action Steering Committee.

At the closed door session, signatories discussed advancing the diversity and inclusion agenda with a focus on key issues around gender, race, and measuring impact. They also strategized how to implement actions within the CEO Action pledge collectively and within their own organizations. The CEOs will continue to communicate effective programming and measurement practices to strengthen commitments and serve employees and society as a whole better.

The coalition also announced the formation of the CEO Action President’s Circle to help translate the CEO Action pledge into actions that engage students, faculty and administration around diversity and inclusion to drive lasting change for the future workforce at college campuses across the country.

"Today's leaders in higher education are uniquely positioned to contribute to the nation's ongoing conversation around diversity and inclusion. Presidents of colleges, universities, and higher education associations oversee wide-ranging scholarship and campus initiatives, lead a diverse workforce, and have real-time access to the voices and perspectives of today's student,” said University of San Francisco President Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J. “I look forward to working with members of the President's Circle, who have committed themselves and their institutions to this essential work, joining with more than 330 CEOs of the world's leading companies and business organizations to advance diversity and inclusive excellence in the workplace."

Comprised of presidents from academic institutions and associations, the CEO Action President’s Circle builds upon recent campus-focused engagements, including the “Check Your Blind Spots” campus tour which focused on bringing students an interactive and engaging experience about diversity and inclusion.

Signatories participating in the President’s Circle include: University of San Francisco (chair), AACSB International, Bentley University, Binghamton University, Lehigh University, Miami University of Ohio, National HBCU Deans Roundtable, Oregon State University, University of Dayton and Xavier University of Louisiana.

Companies represented by their CEO at the closed-door discussion include: AACSB International, Accenture, Advancing Minorities' Interest in Engineering, Asian American Business Development Center, Bashen Corporation, Bentley University, Career Communications Group, Inc., Carnival Corporation & plc, Catalyst, CNA, CSAA Insurance Group, Deloitte, DentaQuest, Discovery Education, DiversityInc, Edelman, Engility, Equilar, EY, Fannie Mae, Feeding America, Flagstar Bank, General Atlantic, Great Place to Work, HARMAN, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, Holland America Line, HSBC, Huntington Bank, IKEA US, Information Technology Senior Management Forum, INROADS, Inc., Institute for Corporate Productivity, Jackson Lewis P.C., K12, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, L’Oréal USA, Latham & Watkins LLP, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP), Lehigh University, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Macy's, Marsh & McLennan Companies, MDC Partners, Miami University, Minor League Baseball, Moody’s, National Center for Women & Information Technology, National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable, Network of Executive Women, New York Life, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Perdue Farms, Porter Novelli, PPL Corp, Procter & Gamble, Publicis Groupe, PwC, QVC, Ralph Lauren Corporation, RRD, SEO, Tanenbaum, Tapestry, Inc., The Bozzuto Group, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., The, Executive Leadership Council, The Hartford, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Tufts Health Plan, Welbilt, Inc.

CEO Action President’s Circle signatory quotes:

"Binghamton is proud to be one of 330+ signatories of the CEO Action pledge. College is about expanding one's worldview, embracing new ideas, and challenging pre-conceived notions - and that experience hinges upon exposure to people from all walks of life. These types of conversations are crucial to the development of a healthy, well-rounded mindset, one open to change and acknowledging the beliefs, cultures and backgrounds of all. These conversations lead to dialogue that helps students better understand their world and contribute to society in a more thoughtful way. We have learned that achieving true inclusion is more complicated than hiring one person or implementing one single program. A truly inclusive campus takes buy-in and support from students, faculty and staff, at all levels. It's about an ongoing dialogue, listening to all key stakeholders, and making changes both large and small, year-round."

Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University

“I’m excited to be part of CEO Action as a whole, but especially to work with other university presidents to support diversity and inclusion in university communities,” said Gregory Crawford, president of Miami University. “We are shaping future leaders on our campuses, and through CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion we can better prepare them for the diverse global workforce and also help them learn the value of including everyone in the discussion.”

“A critical aspect of participating in CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion is recognizing that our view of the world may be different than that of those with whom we live, learn, and work. Though examining our own identities and learning about the experiences of others pushes us out of our comfort zones, it’s necessary if we are going to truly prepare the next generation of leaders for successful careers and lives.”

Gloria Larson, President of Bentley University.

"By definition, excellence requires greater diversity and a commitment to inclusion. Together they function to enrich our learning environment and expand our institutional intelligence and creativity. We recognize it is harder to move beyond the talk and realize this vision and look forward to contributing to and learning from the best practices of other organizations in the coalition."

Eric F. Spina, President of the University of Dayton.

“To successfully develop the leaders of tomorrow, colleges and universities must continue to drive impact through innovation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing—and an appreciation of diverse perspectives and elimination of unconscious biases are imperative to those goals. In our role as connector within the business education sphere, AACSB is proud to serve as an active champion of diversity and inclusion globally,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of AACSB International. “Now, as part of the CEO Action’s President Circle, AACSB looks forward to partnering with leading businesses and higher education institutions to outline ways that both industries can leverage diversity to cultivate a more just, inclusive, and global society.”

“I’m delighted to be a part of this group and to learn what the work colleagues across the country are doing to improve campus communities and business organizations through effective diversity and inclusion efforts. A fundamental expectation at Lehigh is a campus environment that values every one of its members and celebrates the richness each brings. I look forward to learning more about ways to advance our progress in this arena and continue to expand our efforts.”

John Simon, President, Lehigh University.

“The National HBCU Business Dean’s Roundtable looks forward to sharing thoughts and best practices with the President’s Circle for CEO Action to enhance diversity and inclusion efforts.”

Joe M. Ricks, Jr., President, The National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable.

To learn more about the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ contact [email protected]

About 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. Bringing together more than 330 CEOs of America’s leading organizations and universities, the commitment outlines actions that signatories pledge to take to cultivate a workplace and culture where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected, employees feel comfortable and encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion, and where best known—and unsuccessful—actions can be shared across organizations. Learn more at CEOAction.com
and connect with us on Facebook: CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion and Twitter: @CEOAction .

The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ 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, Procter & Gamble, and PwC. The coalition represents nearly 85 industries, all 50 US States, and millions of employees globally.