More than 150 CEOs from some of the world’s leading companies have signed on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, representing the largest CEO-driven business commitment of its kind.
“We are living in a world of complex divisions and tensions that can have a significant impact on our work environment. Yet, it’s often the case that when we walk into our workplace – where we spend the majority of our time – we don’t openly address these topics,” says Tim Ryan, U.S. chair of PwC and chair of the group's steering committee. “CEOs across the country understand this isn’t a competitive issue, but a societal issue, and together we can raise the bar for the entire business community. By sharing best known actions and programs, we are helping to create a more inclusive environment that will encourage all of us to bring our greatest talents, perspectives, and experiences to the workplace.”
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 more than 50 industries, all 50 US States, and millions of employees globally. Private equity executives participating in the initiative include Leon Black of Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) and William Conway of the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG).
“CEOs are pledging to take action to cultivate a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected, where employees feel encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion, and where best known—and unsuccessful—actions can be shared across organizations via a unified hub, CEOAction.com, in an effort to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace,” says the group. Each signatory has committed to taking steps to increase diversity and foster inclusion within their respective organizations and the larger business community (see chart). Goals of the group include improving corporate performance, driving growth and enhancing employee engagement.
While both the financial services business and the technology industry have been criticized for lacking diversity, efforts are underway to make the industries more inclusive. In the middle market, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) has been active in providing programming aimed at female delamakers. One recent example was the May 25 event hosted by ACG New York’s Women of Leadership committee, featuring a discussion with Christina Spade, the CFO of Showtime Networks Inc. and Jane Dubin, a Broadway producer. To highlight top female dealmakers, Mergers & Acquisitions has named 35 leaders to our Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.
In the technology industry, on June 10, 500 Startups, an early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator, hosted entrepreneurs, investors and the technology community in an all-day summit in Atlanta to discuss the future of diversity in tech.