The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ aims to rally the business community to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace by working collectively across organizations and sectors. It outlines a specific set of actions the undersigned companies will take to cultivate a trusting environment where all ideas are welcomed and employees feel comfortable and empowered to discuss diversity and inclusion.
All the signatories serve as leaders of their companies and have committed to implementing the following pledge within their workplaces. Where companies have already implemented one or several of the commitments, the undersigned commit to support other companies in doing the same.
The persistent inequities across our country underscore our urgent, national need to address and alleviate racial, ethnic and other tensions and to promote diversity within our communities. As leaders of some of America’s largest corporations, we manage thousands of employees and play a critical role in ensuring that inclusion is core to our workplace culture and that our businesses are representative of the communities we serve. Moreover, we know that diversity is good for the economy; it improves corporate performance, drives growth and enhances employee engagement.
Simply put, organizations with diverse teams perform better.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion are multi-faceted issues and that we need to tackle these subjects holistically to better engage and support all underrepresented groups within business. To do this, we believe we also need to address honestly and head-on the concerns and needs of our diverse employees and increase equity for all, including Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, LGBTQ, disabled, veterans and women. This group convened to ask what we can do collectively as business leaders, because one fact is clear: we have to do more. For us, this means committing to four initial goals that we hope will catalyze further conversation and action around diversity and inclusion within the workplace and foster collaboration among our organizations:
- We will continue to make our workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion: We will create and maintain environments, platforms, and forums where our people feel comfortable reaching out to their colleagues to gain greater awareness of each other's experiences and perspectives. By encouraging an ongoing dialogue and not tolerating any incongruence with these values of openness, we are building trust, encouraging compassion and open-mindedness, and reinforcing our commitment to a culture of inclusivity.
- We will implement and expand unconscious bias education: Experts tell us that we all have unconscious biases -- that is human nature. Unconscious bias education enables individuals to begin recognizing, acknowledging, and therefore minimizing any potential blind spots he or she might have, but wasn’t aware of previously. We will commit to rolling out and/or expanding unconscious bias education within our companies in the form that best fits our specific culture and business. By helping our employees recognize and minimize their blind spots, we aim to facilitate more open and honest conversations. Additionally, we will make non-proprietary unconscious bias education modules available to others free of charge.
- We will share best—and unsuccessful—practices: Each of our companies has established programs and initiatives around diversity and inclusion. Yet, we know that many companies are still developing their strategies. We will commit to helping other companies evolve and enhance their current diversity strategies and encourage them, in turn, to share their successes and challenges with others.
- We will create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with our board of directors. We will work with our board of directors (or equivalent governing bodies) through the development and evaluation of concrete, strategic action plans to prioritize and drive accountability around diversity and inclusion. Given the shared responsibility for driving strategies that help companies thrive, boards and CEOs play an important role in driving action together to cultivate inclusive cultures and talent.
We also pledge to create accountability systems within our companies to track our own progress and to share regular updates with each other in order to catalog effective programs and measurement practices. We believe that by sharing and learning with each other, we can strengthen our existing programs and commitments to better serve our employees and society as a whole.
We recognize that these three commitments are not the complete answer, but we believe they are important, concrete steps toward building more diverse and inclusive workplaces. We hope our list of signatories will grow, and we invite other CEOs across America to join us.
Let’s come together to make good on the inherent promise that all of our people should be able to bring their best selves to work and unleash their full potential. By working together toward diversity and inclusion within our workplaces, industries, and broader business community, we can cultivate meaningful change for our society.