Over 1,100 C-Suite Leaders Convene to Accelerate Commitments to Diversity & Inclusion

In a Year of Profound Change, Over 1,100 C-Suite Leaders Convene to Accelerate Commitments to Diversity & Inclusion


CEOs, CHROs and CDOs are taking action to create a more equitable future for employees, stakeholders and society at large

November 19, 2020 - In the midst of a global pandemic, a divisive election and civil unrest, when CEOs could have pulled back on diversity and inclusion commitments, we have seen the opposite -- business leaders have stepped forward.

As stakeholders increasingly look to the C-Suite for leadership and tangible action on D&I, CEOs are collaborating with their peers to drive greater progress in their organizations and communities. CEO Action has increased its signatory base by 40% in the past five months as CEOs -- ranging from Fortune 50 companies to organizations with under 100 people -- come together to share, learn and  make bolder commitments and investments in D&I.

Today, CEO Action brought together over 1,100 CEOs, CDOs and CHROs for the 4th Annual CEO Closed-Door Session and CHRO & CDO Summit, underscoring the coalition’s continued leadership in convening CEOs to take critical action on D&I in the workplace and society during a definitive year in our nation’s history.

Topics addressed included how to facilitate tough conversations about race, be proactive about succession planning, hold business accountable to its commitments and facilitate cross-functional collaboration between CEO, CDOs, CHROs and Government Affairs.

Featured speakers included author Dr. Robin DiAngelo, consultant, bestselling author, educator and facilitator on issues of racial and social justice, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood, and Emmanuel Acho, former NFL linebacker, author and host of “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.”

“Stakeholders are putting heightened importance on racial equity and CEOs need to collaborate with their peers to drive greater progress in their own organizations.,” said Tim Ryan, PwC US Chair & Senior Partner and co-founder of CEO Action. “As CEOs accelerate change by taking actions such as appointing Chief Diversity Officers, engaging their boards and making external commitments and statements, they collaborate with their peers and the coalition to drive greater progress.”   

Now more than ever, CEOs understand that they must also come together to use collective resources, experience and time to change systems that have contributed to societal injustices.  In October, the coalition launched CEO Action for Racial Equity, a one to two year fellowship that has brought together over 100 organizations and 250 fellows to address racial equity public policy. 

“One of the clearest and most painful takeaways of the past several months is that racial injustice remains a stain on our society—both in the United States and around the world. And one of the most important lessons that we should draw from this moment is that each of us must play an active role in fighting to eradicate systemic racism and standing up for equality in all its forms.” said Enrique Lores, President & CEO, HP. “It’s not simply the right thing to do for the people and communities we serve. Embracing a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion drives innovation and strengthens a company’s performance.”

Four key takeaways from the 4th Annual CEO Closed-Door Session and CHRO & CDO I Summit:

  • Being antiracist requires persistent self-awareness and regular self-examination. Organizations should consistently listen and reflect on practices, culture and the experiences of people to make lasting change.

  • Potential is universal, opportunity is not. Leaders can — and should — extend their privilege and voice to help break down barriers and create pathways for others and be deliberate in succession planning.

  • Be an active listener as you lead. Uncomfortable conversations are a critical component to addressing diversity and inclusion in succession planning.
  • One of the best things we can do for the economy is to make sure all people have equitable opportunities. Collaborating as a business community to address racial equity public policy together is essential for changing society. 

“This is a defining time for us as CEOs, and we must let our purpose and core values guide us to champion the interests of not only our clients, but of all our stakeholders in the communities that we serve.” said Penny Pennington, Managing Partner of Edward Jones. "With the help of CEO Action, we’re committed to doing the work, to listen, learn, lead on issues of inclusion, equity and diversity and be accountable.”

Learn more about CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion and how to become a signatory at

CONTACT: Anjana Padmanabhan; CEO Action; [email protected]; [email protected]

About CEO Action:

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. This commitment is driven by a realization that addressing diversity and inclusion is not a competitive issue, but a societal issue. Recognizing that change starts at the executive level, more than 1,400 CEOs of the world’s leading companies and business organizations, are leveraging their individual and collective voices to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

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

A Better Way, A.T. Kearney, AAA Club Alliance, AAA Life Insurance Company, AB InBev, Abt Associates, Achieve3000, ACT, Action For Healthy Kids, Adtalem Global Education, AdvaMed, Advancing Minorities' Interest in Engineering, AdvanSix, Advocate Aurora Health, AEG, AEI Consultants, Aerotek, Agios Pharmaceuticals, AIG, Air Liquide, Air Products and Chemicals, Airswift, Alaska Airlines, Albertsons Companies, Albourne America, Albourne Partners, Alcoa Corporation, Allegis Global Solutions, AllianceBernstein, Allinial Global, AllThingzAP, Ally Financial, Ameren, American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), American Bar Association, American Cancer Society, American Council of Life Insurers, American Counseling Association, American Institute of CPAs, American Institutes for Research, American Physical Therapy Association, American Water, Amica Insurance, Amicus Therapeutics, Anser Advisory, Apollo Global Management, APTA, Arbonne, Archbright, Ariel Investments, Arlo, Armanino, ASHP, Asian American Business Development Center, Aspire, Association of College Unions International, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, Assurant, Aston Carter, Atlantic Union Bank, Atlas Air Worldwide, Auburn University, August Leadership, AuthoraCare Collective, Authority Brands, AuthorityBrands, Automotive Hall of Fame, AvalonBay, AVANGRID, Avantor, Avery Dennison, AWE | Advancing Women Executives, Babson College, Baker Tilly, BancorpSouth Bank, Bank of America, Barilla, Barry Isett & Associates, Baxter International, Bayer, BBVA USA, BDO USA, Beacon Building Products, Beam Suntory, Becton Dickinson (BD), Bel Brands USA, Bennett Thrasher, Bennett Thrasher LLP, BenReese, Bentley Center for Women and Business, Berkowitz Pollack Brant, Berkshire Bank, Berkshire Residential Investments, BerryDunn, Billy Reid, BKD LLP, Black & Veatch, Black Knight, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Planet Energy, Blue Yonder, Booz Allen Hamilton, BorgWarner, Borrego Solar Systems, Boston Scientific, Bowie State University, Boyden World Corporation, BPM, Braskem America, Bremer Financial, Briggs & Veselka, Bright Horizons, Brighton Health Plan Solutions, Brown Brothers Harriman, Brown-Forman Corporation, Burlington, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Cabot Corporation, Calibre CPA Group, California Forward, Campbell Soup, Capco, Capri Holdings, Cardinal Health, Cardiovascular Systems, CareFirst BlueCoss BlueShield, Cargill, Carhartt, Carlisle Companies, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, Carrier, Catalyst, CBIZ, CECP, Centennial Real Estate, Center for Creative Leadership, Centurion, Century Snacks, Cerner Corporation, Cetera Financial Group, Charger Ventures, Charles River Laboratories, Chemonics International, Cherry Bekaert LLP, Chestnut Hill Realty, Children's Minnesota, Cigna, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Circa, Cisco, Clarivate, Clark Nuber, Clearway Energy, Clevyr, CliftonLarsonAllen, CMS Energy, CNA, CNA Financial Corporation, CNO Financial Group, Coeur Mining, Cohen & Company, CohnReznick, Colgate Palmolive, Columbian Financial Group, Comerica Bank & Comerica Incorporated, Common Impact, Con Edison, Conagra Brands, Condé Nast, Cone Health, Connecticut Society of CPAs, Conning, Consilio, Constellation Brands, Consumer Brands Association, Continental Office, ConvergeOne, Conversica, Coqual, Cornell University, Council of Chief State School Officers, Covanta, Cowen, Cramer, CREW Network, CSAA Insurance Group, Cubic, Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, Customers Bank, CVS Health, Cyberman Security, Dakkota Integrated Systems, Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, Dallas Mavericks, Dana Incorporated, Danone North America, DaVinci Education, DaVita, de Foxx & Associates, Dell Technologies, Deloitte, Delta Dental of Minnesota, Deluxe, Denny's, DentaQuest, Dentons, Denver Scholarship Foundation, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, Deutsche Bank, DHG, DIA, Digi International, Dimensional Innovations, DiversityInc, DLL Group, Domino's, Dow, DTCC, DTE Energy, Dynamic Signal, East Bay Leadership Council, Eaton, Echo Public Relations, ECRI, Edelman, EDENS, Education Development Center, Educational Testing Service, Edward Jones, Edwards Lifesciences, Emerson, Empower Energies, Encompass Health, Encova Insurance, Endo International, Energetiq Technology, EngageSmart, Entercom, Envision Healthcare, Equifax, Equilar, Equinix, Equitable, Ergotron, Erie Insurance, Eversource Energy, Expedia Group, EY, F5 Networks, Facing History and Ourselves, FactSet, Farmers Insurance, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Feeding America, Fenton, Ferrara Candy, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Financial Services Institute, Finseca, FirePine Group, First Command Financial Services, First Midwest Bank, FirstEnergy, FIS, Fiserv, Flagstar Bank, Fleet Feet, Ford Motor Company, Fors Marsh Group, Fortive, Fortune Brands Home & Security, FOX Factory, Franklin Templeton, Frazier & Deeter, Freddie Mac, FS Investments, Gannett Co., Georgetown University, Girl Scouts of the USA, Global Atlantic Financial Group, Global Good Fund, Global Sr Director, Inclusion & Diversity, GlobeFlex Capital, Goodmans Interior Structures, Gopher Resource, Grainger, Grant Thornton, Great Place To Work, Greater Houston Partnership, Greystar Real Estate Partners, GRID Alternatives, Griffith Foods, GroupM, Groupon, GSUSA, H&R Block, Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Harvard Business Publishing, Hasbro, Haskell, Have Her Back Consulting, HE&R, HealthPartners, Heitman, Henderson Engineers, Henry Ford Health System, Herbalife Nutrition, Herman Miller, Herrmann, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, Hillrom, Hispanic Association On Corporate Responsibility, HLB, Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt, home kloud, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Horizon Therapeutics, Host Hotels, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Houlihan Lokey, Hudson Pacific Properties, Humana, Humu, Huntington Bancshares, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, i4cp, IDEAS xLab, Idelic, IDOC, IKEA North America, Independent Bank, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), Ingredion, Institute of Food Technologists, Insured Retirement Institute, Integral, Intel, Interpublic Group, Investcorp, Iowa Society of CPAs, IPG, Iterable, ITT, ITW, J.M. Huber Corporation, Jack Henry & Associates, Jackson, JazzHR, JM Smucker, Johnson Controls, Johnson Lambert LLP, K12, Kanarys, Kate Spade, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Katz, Sapper & Miller, Kaufman Rossin, Kearney, Keiter, Kellogg Company, Kelly Services, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Kimco Realty Corporation, Kin + Carta, Kincentric, Knoll, KPMG, Krause Group, Kreischer Miller, L Catterton, L'Oreal, La-Z-Boy, Landmark Ventures, Latham & Watkins, Lathrop GPM, Lead Bank, LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics), Lehigh University, Lendlease, Lennox International, LGA, Libbey, Libbey Glass, Liberty Latin America, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Limeade, LINC (Lehigh Valley Inter-Regional Networking & Connecting Consortium), Lincoln Electric, Linkage, LiveRamp, LL Global, Lockton Companies, Loqules, Lubrizol Corporation, M Financial Group, M. A. Mortenson Company, Madison College, MagnaCare, Major League Baseball, Marcum LLP, Marcus Thomas, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Mass General Brigham, Massachusetts Society of CPAs, Mathematica, Matrix Service Company, Maxwell Solutions, Mazars, Mazuma Credit Union, McCann Worldgroup, McDermott, McDonald's, McKinley Advisors, McLane Middleton, MCM CPAs & Advisors, Meijer, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, Mercedes-Benz USA, Merck & Co., MetLife, Miami University, Michelin North America, Michelman, Micron, Milliken & Company, Mizuho, Molson Coors Beverage Company, Money Management Institute, Montefiore St. Luke's Cornwall, Morneau Shepell, Morningstar, Motorola Solutions, Mr. Cooper, Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance, Mutual of Omaha, My HR Consultant, representing CNA, N.S. International, National MS Society, Navistar, NCR Corporation, Nearpod, NetApp, Network of Executive Women, Neustar, Nevada Society of CPAs, New Belgium Brewing, New Jersey Society of CPAs, Newell Brands, Nielsen, Nixon Peabody, NORESCO, Norfolk Southern, North Carolina Association of CPAs, North Country Business Products, Northern Trust, Northstar Travel Group, Northwestern Mutual, Novant Health, NPower, NSF International, NYS Minorities in Criminal Justice, Ohio Health, OhioHealth, Olympus Corporation of the Americas, Oncor, One To World, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Oregon State University, Out Athlete Fund, Owens Corning, Pace University, Pacific Life Insurance, Pan Mass Challenge, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Papa John's International, Parata Systems, Parchment, Participant Media, Partners HealthCare, PayPal, Peninsula Family Service, Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine, Per Scholas, Perdue Farms, Pfizer, Philadelphia Union (Major League Soccer), PhRMA, Pivot Interiors, Placers, Plante Moran, Point B, Porter Novelli, Portfolio Creative, PPG, PPL Corporation, PR Council, Presbyterian Healthcare, Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, Principal Financial Group, Progressive Insurance, ProMedica, Protective Life, Protiviti, Provenance Wealth Advisors, PSEG, Publicis Groupe, PublicService Enterprise Group, Pumpkin Insurance Services, Puppet, PwC, QBE, QIAGEN, Quartz Health Solutions, Quick Base, Quicken Loans, Rabobank, Radian Group, Ralph Lauren, RAND Corporation, Randstad, Ranken Technical College, Realogy, REBA, ReBoot Accel, Red Wing Shoes, Regency Centers, Regions Bank, Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, RevGen Partners, Reynolds American, Ripple Effect, Ripple Foods, Robert Half, Royal Neighbors of America, RSM US LLP, Russell Reynolds Associates, RXR Realty, Ryan Companies, SABIC, Saks OFF 5TH, Salary Finance, Salo, Sanofi North America, Sapient Insights, SAS, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Security Industry Association, Security National Financial Corporation, Security National Life Insurance Company, SEIA, Service Corporation International, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., Sikich LLP, Simplifi, Slalom Consulting, Sojern, Solenis, Sonoco, Sotera Health, Southern California Edison, Southern Illinois University System, Southwire, SPEAR Physical Therapy, Spectrum Health, Spencer Stuart, Springboard Consulting, SPX Corporation, SRS Distribution, Staffing 360 Solutions, Inc., Standard Beverage, Stanley Black & Decker, Stanley Consultants, Stantec, Star Legacy Foundation, State Auto Insurance, State Farm Insurance, StepStone Group, Stevens Institute of Technology, Stryker, Summit CityMD, SunPower, Sunstone Hotel Investors, Superior Industries, T&M Associates, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, Tapestry, TCF Financial Corporation, TE Connectivity, Team Rubicon, Tech Data, TechnipFMC, TEGNA, TEKsystems, Teladoc Health, TESOL International Association, Texas Christian University, Texas Society of CPAs, The Boldt Company, The Bonadio Group, The Boston Consulting Group, The Bozzuto Group, The Caldwell Partners International, The Carlyle Group, The Coca-Cola Company, The Executive Leadership Council, The Hanover Insurance Group, The Hartford, The Nature Conservancy, The Ohio Society of CPAs, The One Club for Creativity, The Procter & Gamble Company, The Sherwin-Williams Company, The Vitamin Shoppe, Thesis, Tiffany & Co., Tillamook County Creamery Association, Tipping Point Community, Titus Talent, Tivity Health, Tonneson & Company, Transparent Financial Systems, TrendSource, Trimble, Trinity Property Consultants, Troy Chamber of Commerce, Truist Financial Corporation, Trustmark, Turknett Leadership Group, Under Armour, Union Pacific, United Educators, United Natural Foods, United States Steel Corporation, United Way Worldwide, University of Arkansas, University of Dayton, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Dame, University of St. Thomas, Unum Group, UPS, Vail Resorts, Valley National Bank, Vantage Construction Corporation, vCom Solutions, Venerable, Venerable Holdings, Verisk, Virginia Society of CPAs, Vista Cova, Vistra, Vitalant, Vitesco Technologies, Viticus Group, Vivent Health, W. P. Carey, W. W. Grainger, Wacker Chemical, Walbridge, Walmart, Warren Averett, Washington Society of CPAs, Waste Connections, Waste Management, Wayne Metro CAA, WayUp, Webster Five, Weil, Well Care Health, Wellington Management Company, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Iowa/South Dakota, West Monroe Partners, Westchester Medical Center Health Network, Westfield, Windham Brannon, Wingstop, Wintrust Financial, Corporation, Wipfli LLP, Wolf and, Company, Work Shield, Working Mother, WP Engine, WRAP (Waste Reduction Art Project), WW International, Wyndham Destinations, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, Xcel Energy, XSOLIS, YETI, Zebra Technologies, Zoetis, Zurich North America