CEO Action Response to Charlottesville

Ninety days ago, we made a landmark commitment to collectively work together to advance diversity and inclusion within our workplaces in order to better serve our employees, and society as a whole. This past weekend we witnessed – and are still grappling with – the terrible news of violence and innocent people who were injured and even lost their lives in Charlottesville, Va. I've heard from several of you that have already reached out to your employees related to these tragic events; and some of you have called to ask for thoughts and advice.

It goes without saying that this weekend’s violent protest is incongruent with our coalition’s values and philosophy.

We are leaders of some of America’s largest public and private companies and organizations. We represent nearly 70 industries and all geographies across the US and a myriad of diverse viewpoints. The power of our collective group is significant. How we respond, as individual leaders and organizations, will undoubtedly be different and reflective of our individual needs. But as signatories to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, we support millions of employees, faculty and students who look to us to advance diversity and drive inclusion within our companies and we all recognize that diversity is critical to building world class companies and organizations.

It’s clear we still have a lot of work to do to advance a respectful, open dialogue and to show empathy as a society. But the events over the weekend serve as a reminder of why we--as leaders--rallied behind the responsibility to create honest, open, safe and trusting environments for our employees and our communities. By working together to have respectful, open dialogues and not tolerating any incongruence with our values, we can help accelerate progress.

We encourage you to take advantage of resources available through CEOAction.com to learn how teams are reframing the conversation and connecting with one another to help tackle this issue. And we also encourage you to share how you are taking action within and outside your organization through [email protected] Once the actions come in we will look to share the ones that are appropriate (i.e. non-political) over CEO Action social channels and the others we will catalog as part of our impact story and measurement so we have something to point to when people ask what the coalition and the companies that are a part of the coalition do surrounding what happened in Charlottesville.

As a coalition, we are working to advance collective action around these issues and more through our working groups. We are also looking forward to our November 10th CEO Summit in New York City where we can share our experiences more in depth. We will be sending out more information on the Summit in the coming days.

Our people and our communities continue to face very tough and complex issues, and in many cases, escalating issues. The best we can do is lead our organizations courageously, so together we can make a positive and sustainable difference for society.

Thanks again for your commitment to this important issue.

Tim Ryan, PwC
Julie Sweet, Accenture
Joe Davis, BCG
Cathy Engelbert, Deloitte
Ron Parker, The Executive Leadership Council
Steve Howe, EY
Bill Ford, General Atlantic
Lynne Doughtie, KPMG
Ted Mathas, New York Life
David Taylor, Procter & Gamble