CEO Action Reports Significant Progress In Elevating Diversity and Inclusion as a Workplace Priority Among 800+ Signatories Nationwide

CEO Action Reports Significant Progress In Elevating Diversity and Inclusion as a Workplace Priority Among 800+ Signatories Nationwide

NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 14, 2019 – At its first-ever combined gathering of CEOs, CHROs and CDOs, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ (CEO Action), the largest CEO-driven coalition to advance diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace, hosted nearly 300 signatory organizations to address complex challenges, drive progress in key impact areas and plan for the coalition’s 2020 initiatives.

“There’s a very real expectation and need for chief executives to prioritize diversity and inclusion,” said Tim Ryan, US Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC and chair of the CEO Action steering committee. “With CEOs and board chairs coming together to have the tough conversations, admit where we can do better and share where we’ve seen success, I hope this signals to stakeholders that business leaders are proactively tackling this incredibly challenging and critically important issue.”

CEOs and their board members shared how they are working together to drive accountability on cultivating talent and inclusive work cultures. This furthers an important dialogue started this past June when CEO Action marked its second anniversary with the addition of a fourth pledge commitment. The new commitment is accelerating prioritization of D&I work through the engagement of board of directors to create and evaluate strategic D&I action plans.

“We believe our ability to cultivate a culture that delivers on our commitment, while aligning with our corporate strategy, requires visibility and dialogue at the highest levels of our leadership, including our board,” said John Miller, President and CEO of Denny’s. “By elevating the level of dialogue around diversity and inclusion, our leadership team has gained invaluable insights that are translating to specific actions responsible for the progress of key areas such as supplier and workforce diversity as well as the diversity of our owners and operators.”

Earlier this year, CEO Action polled signatory organizations and found that not only are they enacting the pledge commitments (93%) and reporting positive impact via their engagement (91%), but CEO Action is driving the evolution of organizational D&I strategies. More than 60 percent are “doing something new as a result of their involvement with CEO Action” and 91 percent are engaging their boards, driving increased accountability and visibility on this topic.

While actively supporting the dialogue around D&I plan development and board engagement, the coalition announced the extension of key initiatives to help signatories remain focused on executing the pledge’s original commitments. Launched in 2018, CEO Action’s Check Your Blind Spots unconscious bias tour and Day of Understanding have reached more than four million people, advancing complex conversations about D&I issues and raising awareness of blind spots. Based on feedback from signatories and their employees nationwide, CEO Action is announcing the extension of both of these initiatives:

  • Originally a one-year commitment, Check Your Blind Spots unconscious bias tour is extending through June 2020 with up to an additional 50 new tour stops. Launched in 2019 with the goal of making 100 stops across the country and engaging one million people, the unconscious bias tour has made 115 stops and reached more than three million workers and students. With more than 700 active requests from signatories, the tour will also release new content to find more ways to connect people and humanize D&I conversations.
  • First held on December 7, 2018 with engagement from 150+ signatories and more than 615,000 employees, the Day of Understanding will return in 2020 with signatories hosting employee dialogues anytime during or around the month of February. A coalition-wide initiative, the Day of Understanding directly reinforces CEO Action’s goal of advancing difficult conversations in the workplace. A first for many organizations, signatories cited the first Day of Understanding as an opportunity to build trust between employees, and as a conversation starter that led to enhancements around recruitment and retention programs.

“The Day of Understanding created a safe space to talk about topics usually avoided at work, and was an authentic and powerful experience that left many of our people feeling inspired,” said Clorox Chair and CEO Benno Dorer. “I’m glad to see this become an annual event because there’s a pull for more of these discussions at a human level. When we have these difficult conversations, it helps people get out of their comfort zones to experience personal growth.”

As D&I continues to be a major priority for leaders across industries, CEO Action has experienced nearly 70 percent growth in signatories in 2019. Since launching, the coalition has become a unique platform for networking and enablement, realizing measurable change in how signatory organizations are tackling D&I issues.

“CEO Action provides valuable perspective, resources and insights that can help organizations evolve and grow, and a great example is their Check Your Blind Spots tour, which encouraged our workforce to mitigate unconscious bias,” said Susan Stith, Vice President, Diversity, Inclusion, Civic Affairs and the Cigna Foundation. “At Cigna, we are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture where employees feel valued and able to do their best work. Helping people recognize and address personal biases will strengthen our ability to work together effectively and inclusively, in support of our mission to transform healthcare for all.”

Companies represented at the CEO Closed-Door Session and CHRO & CDO Summit included:

A.T. Kearney, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, AB In-Bev, Achieve3000, ACT Inc., Advancing Minorities' Interest in Engineering, AdvanSix, Advocate Aurora Health, Aerotek, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, American International Group, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Alaska Air Group, Alcoa, Allegis Global Solutions, AllianceBernstein, Alliant Energy, Alliant Insurance Services Inc., Ally Financial Inc., American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, AmeriHealth Caritas Family of
Companies, Andersen Corporation,, Armanino, Ascena Retail Group Inc., Ascend, Ashley Stewart/FirePine Group, Asian American Business Development Center, Assurant, AXA Equitable Life, Babson College, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, Bank of America, Bashen Corporation, Bayer, BB&T, BDO USA LLP, Beam Suntory, Bennett Thrasher LLP, Bentley University, Black & Veatch, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Booz Allen Hamilton, Boston Scientific Corporation, Bowie State University, Cabot, Cardinal Health Inc., CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Carlisle Companies Inc., Carnegie Mellon University, Catalent Pharma Solutions Inc., Catalyst, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose, Center for Creative Leadership, Center for Talent Innovation, Cherry Bekaert, Chicago United, Children’s Minnesota, Cielo, Cigna, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Cisco Systems Inc., Cleveland Clinic, CNA Corporation, Coeur Mining Inc., CommonSpirit Health, Con Edison, Constellation Brands, Cornell University, Council of Chief State School Officers, Covanta, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, Crowe LLP, CSAA Insurance Group, Cubic, Dalberg Advisors, Dana Incorporated, Danaher Corporation, Danone North America, DaVita, Deloitte US, Denny’s, Discovery Education, Diversity Best Practices/Working Mother Media, Diversity Inc., Dixon Hughes Goodman LLC, DNA, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, Edelman, Edward Jones, Empower Energies, Encova Insurance, Erie Insurance, Eversource Energy, F5 Networks Inc., Facing History and Ourselves, FactSet Research Systems, Fannie Mae, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, First Data, FirstEnergy, Flagstar Bank, Ford Motor Company, Fortive, Fossil Group, Frontier Communications, Gartner, General Atlantic, General Motors, Georgetown University, Global Atlantic Financial Group, Global Payments Inc., GroupM, Hall Capital Partners LLC, Handshake, Harley Davidson Inc., Hasbro, HBCU Business Deans Roundtable, Heitman LLC, Henry Ford Health System, Herrmann, Hispanic Association On Corporate Responsibility, Horizon Therapeutics, Hewlett-Packard Inc., HSBC, Humana, Humu, Huntington Bank, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Institute for Corporate Productivity, IKEA US, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Information Technology Senior Management Forum, INROADS, Institute for Corporate Productivity, Integra LifeSciences, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., Interpublic Group, Intuit, J.M. Huber Corporation, Jackson Lewis PC, John Hancock, JP Morgan Chase & Co., K12, Kate Spade, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, KeyBank, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Kinetic Communities Consulting, KKR, KPMG, L Catterton, L'Oreal USA, Latham & Watkins, Lathrop Gage, Legg Mason Global Asset Management, Lehigh University, Lendlease, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, LINC, Lockheed Martin, Loqules, M&T Bank, Macy's, Marcum LLP, Marcus Thomas, Marriott International Inc., Masco Corporation, Massachusetts Society of CPAs, Matrix Service Company, McAfee, McKinsey & Company, MDC Partners, Mercedes-Benz USA, Merck & Co. Inc., Meredith Corporation, Mesirow Financial, Miami University, Micron, Minnesota Wild, Mondelēz International, Morgan Stanley, Movado, Mr. Cooper, Network of Executive Women, New York Life, Nixon Peabody, OhioHealth, Olympus Corporation of the Americas, One To World, Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc., Owens Corning, Pace University, Papa John's International, Participant Media LLC., Partners HealthCare, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP, Peloton, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine, PepsiCo, Per Scholas, Perdue Farms, Pfizer, Pipeline Equity, Plante Moran, Point B, Porter Novelli, PPL Corp., PR Council, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Protective Life, Protiviti, PricewaterhouseCoopers, QIAGEN, Quartz Health Solutions, Radian Group, Ralph Lauren, Randstad North America, Realogy Holdings Corp., RSM US LLP, Ryan Companies, S&P Global, Salary Finance, Salo LLC, SAS, Savills North America, Savills Studley, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Schreiber Foods Inc., Securian, SEO, Solar Energy Industries Association, Sonoco, Stanley Black & Decker, State Farm Insurance, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co, Stevens Institute of Technology, SunTrust Banks Inc., Tanenbaum, Tapestry Inc., TD Bank, TE Connectivity, TEKsystems, Texas Christian University, The Barilla Group, The Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, The Bozzuto Group, The Carlyle Group, The Chemours Company, The City College of New York, The Conference Board, The Estée Lauder Companies, The Executive Leadership Council, The Hartford Financial Services Group, The Home Depot, The Horace Mann Companies, The Kaleidoscope Group, The National GEM Consortium, The New York Times Company, The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, The Sherwin-Williams Company, Tiffany & Co., Tufts Medical Center, U.S. Steel Corp., Ulta Beauty, Under Armour, Union Pacific, United Way Worldwide, University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, Unum Group, UPS, Verisk, VF Corporation, Volunteers of America - National Office, W. W. Grainger Inc., W.L. Gore & Associates, WayUp, Weaver, Webster University, Wellcare Health Plans Inc., Welltower, Winthrop University, Wintrust Financial Corporation, Wipfli LLP, WMC Health Network, Workforce Opportunity Services, Yum! Brands Inc., and ZVRS.