In North America, we’re diving into 2016 with a focus on growing our positioning as the partner of choice for clients and an employer of choice for talent. At the end of 2015, we capped off a transformative three-year journey for diversity and inclusion (D&I). We introduced many new programs, engaged thousands of team members, boosted awareness and, more importantly, results since we set out in 2013. I’m excited to move full steam ahead into the next phase of our journey with a deeper focus on gender balanced leadership, a clear foundation for measuring, governing, and investing in the success of now 11 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), as well as mobilizing a deeper commitment from our leaders to drive results in 2016 and beyond.
We’ve just wrapped up planning the next phase of our journey, which reminded me of the need to share a few milestones attained in 2015. To understand where we are going we need alignment on where we’ve been. In that context, I invite you to read the full report on our three-year journey since 2013.
2015 D&I Highlights
As our processes matured, our efforts moved beyond foundational building blocks to increased clarity of focus on adding business value. Overall, we’re proud of our progress, but recognize that continued business integration is essential to bring D&I more to the forefront of our business strategy and client activities. A few highlighted successes include:
Increased talent retention rates:
- By 12 percent for employees completing unconscious bias training, which we call “Culture, Bias, and the Brain”
- By 14 percent for ERG members, as compared to all NA team members
- By 17 percent for Women’s Leadership Development participants
- Formed/continued partnerships with NSHMBA, Out on Bay Street, Diversity Best Practices, National Diversity Council, and Microsoft, with their Women’s Executive Exchange. Additionally, we engaged a few clients in our “Closing the Confidence Gap” workshops and regional executive leadership panels
- Received awards from Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, The Georgia Diversity Council, the National Association for Female Executives and Oncor (for supplier diversity)
- Provided nearly 200 hours of support for D&I inquiries from clients and prospects.
Building More Dynamic ERGs
Our ERGs will continue to be a driving force for our D&I efforts. We recently gathered 40 leaders and executive sponsors representing 11 ERGs for our second-annual ERG Strategic Leadership Summit in partnership with Jennifer Brown Counseling (JBC). After a brief reflection on our D&I journey and recognition for team efforts, we had a productive, engaging working session to empower our ERG leaders to finish the year strong and start 2016 planning. The session was kicked off by Randy Cozzens, our NA D&I executive sponsor and Application Services global sales officer. We also discussed our ERG progression model (customized in partnership with JBC) and strengthened our value propositions for each ERG across our commerce, culture, career, and community pillars by having our ERG Leads align their 2016 programs to each focus area.
Our Journey Forward
For more highlights from 2015, I invite you to read our Diversity Best Practices Conference blog. As we implement the next steps of our journey for North America, I’d love to hear from you. What would you like to see from our NA Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability team as a partner, client, or member of our community? I’m interested in hearing how we can be more innovative on the critical topic of inclusion in an ever-evolving world. Continue to watch this blog to hear more from me and other corporate responsibility team members on our progress and results in 2016!