Everyone’s talking about diversity. We’re all aware of the statistics. By the middle of this century, half of the nation will be comprised of people of color. We’re all aware of the globalization of the world. We’re all aware that a synergy of people from all walks of life makes for a better business, better products, and stronger connections with markets. There is a strong business case for diversity. While markets are being developed and progress has been made, many companies are not reflecting the changing demographics on all levels of the corporation.
Each year, Diversity MBA Magazine conducts issues surveys to corporations across the nation to both rate and track diversity in our national workforce. We list the 50 Out Front: companies that serve as models for the D&I space. We also recognize the Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive & Emerging Leaders in the U.S. This year, Accenture was ranked as the #1 Top 50 Out Front for having the most effective D&I entrenched practices and programs. We don’t just look at platforms and programs but rather the effectiveness of these programs. We celebrate results.
Perhaps the underrepresented group that has been most fully advanced in corporate America is white women. White women are present at all levels of corporate America, from the board to the C-suite. However, white women are just part of the larger space. Diversity speaks to the inclusion of everyone, and the same measures that have been used to entrench white women throughout the corporate space must be used for people of color.
The same goes for companies in my hometown of Chicago. In Chicago, the companies show up very well. Their campaigns, their community engagement and presence in diverse neighborhoods are evident. However, it’s the internal diversity where we need the most progress. For some reason, companies in our region have a tendency to focus exclusively on one market versus another. They focus specifically on Hispanics or specifically on African Americans when, again diversity and inclusion are designed to enhance and reflect everyone.
I will continue to champion diversity, because I believe that as a diverse nation, we owe it to ourselves to facilitate the talents of all people who can contribute to the workforce. There are incredible talents in our midst whose work can enrich companies and society at large. However, continued marginalization of people of color, particularly as the numbers in the workforce grow, does nothing to improve our companies and does nothing to aid our society.
The Eighth Annual Diversity MBA Leadership Conference & Awards Gala will honor those who prioritize diversity and forge the charge for change. The Conference will be held September 16-18, 2014 at the Double Tree by Hilton Chicago at 1909 Spring Rd, Oak Brook, IL. We recognize these companies because we want to send a message that diversity does work and that there are wonderful companies that are making incredible headway. We celebrate these companies and we hold them up as models for what all companies can and should do in the ever evolving diversity space.