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Posts Tagged ‘Diversity’

Confronting Ignorance and Arrogance About Diversity and Inclusion

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The following guest post was authored by Kevin Martin of i4cp. (View the original post published 10/1/14 on i4pc.com.)


I recently read an article written by a self-proclaimed “national diversity expert” in which the author purposefully derides the role of chief diversity officer just to elicit an emotional response from readers, only to overshadow the author’s real position, which is made clear at the end of the article: “Limiting the practice of diversity to workforce representation issues diminishes the business value that can be garnered from diversity, marginalizes the practice, and is time-limited.” We are all familiar with issues on which the arrogance of a few (generally high-profile personalities) either contributes to or exploits the ignorance of many. The topic of diversity and inclusion (D&I) seems perfectly aligned to this ruse and it’s time we move beyond the baiting and on to the substance. What follows is pure substance.

Since i4cp published its research on the 12 Diversity Practices of High-Performance Organizations, we’ve increasingly seen where D&I is a contributing factor to key business initiatives such as developing effective global leaders, ensuring a more customer-focused workforce, and enabling greater organizational agility. In fact, our research shows that at high-performance organizations, D&I is much more an enabler to the business than it is an initiative or program viewed in isolation from the business.

The following are three examples from recent conversations that I’ve had with the chief diversity officers (CDOs) of high-performance organizations. Each example speaks directly to the strategic application of D&I and its related business impact:

1) A single branch office of a leading bank drove that branch’s revenue by over $2M U.S. dollars in just one year by analyzing demographic data in its area and then adopting inclusion practices and promotions that appealed to the LGBT community;

2) The CDO of a large financial services/insurance company used data analytics to analyze new hires and associated business impact to determine which community partnerships the company would sunset or invest in during the coming year. Those decisions have netted the company 15 highly productive new employees as well as millions in US dollars from new clients attracted to their firm via those partnerships;

3) The CDO of a large regional healthcare provider in the southwest U.S. spearheaded the company’s supplier diversity initiative (one of three key business initiatives for that year) and, as a result of practices the CDO’s function recommended and executed, is near its 2016 goal of achieving 25% of its spend with diverse suppliers and also has seen impressive gains in its supplier satisfaction scores and–most importantly–its quality of services rendered.

It’s understandable that some of us are easily offended by claims about diversity and inclusion that come across as ignorant and/or arrogant as often they are unsubstantiated by data or real-world examples. To combat this, take some action! Join i4cp as we advance the interest in and application of D&I. You will be on the leading edge of how high-performance organizations apply diversity and inclusion practices and strategies to achieve competitive differentiation, and drive business value. Here’s some of what you can do:

Stay tuned for more!

Maryland Works and DirectEmployers Association Announce Partnership to Help Increase Employment for People with Disabilities or Other Barriers to Employment

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, June 23, 2013 — Maryland Works and Indianapolis nonprofit, DirectEmployers Association, announce their partnership as an added member benefit to help Maryland Works expand their job leads and for DirectEmployers’ members to diversify their workforce.

Maryland Works is a statewide membership association that expands employment and business ownership opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. DirectEmployers Association is a leading Human Resources trade association of global employers formed to provide cost effective solutions and services for compliance, diversity recruitment and technology. The partnership will provide Maryland Works members access to more than 22,000 jobs available throughout the state of Maryland.

“This partnership will give a wide variety of employers the opportunity to hire qualified and dedicated Maryland workers with disabilities while creating another avenue for Maryland Works’ members to find employment opportunities for their constituents,” stated Bill Warren, Executive Director, DirectEmployers Association.

Maryland Works’ members can search the job leads provided by DirectEmployers by visiting the Maryland Works website at http://www.MDWorks.com and clicking on ‘Resources & Links’ and scrolling to http://MDWorks.jobs.

About Maryland Works
Maryland Works, Inc. is a statewide membership association that expands employment and business ownership opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Our members include non-profit community service organizations and individual workforce development professionals who specialize in creating workforce and economic opportunities for thousands of motivated and qualified Marylanders with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

About DirectEmployers Association
DirectEmployers Association is a leading HR consortium of global employers formed to assist in the sharing of ideas, incorporating of best practices, and research and development of technology where labor practices are concerned. Through this consortium, business standards are shaped and technology is used with respect to the diversity that is reflected in the various cultures embodied in a global workforce. Our recognized expertise in compliance, recruitment and cost effective technology enables our members to reach the largest, most diverse pool of quality job seekers worldwide.

Media Contacts: Bob Hofmann, President & CEO, Maryland Works, bobh@mdworks.com, 410-381-8660
Jay Stewart, Director of Marketing & Training, Maryland Works, jays@mdworks.com, 410-381-8660
Nancy Holland, VP of Marketing, DirectEmployers Association, nancy@directemployers.org, 317-874-9022

DE Members Prominent on 2013 DiversityInc Employer Recognition Lists

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

As a nonprofit Association of employers, DirectEmployers (DE) works to offer the resources and assistance that our Members need to be recognized as having a fair and diverse workforce, and therefore assisting with OFCCP compliance regulations. Through strategic partnerships with veteran, diversity and disability organizations and a varied product and service offering, we help provide our Members the opportunity to do just that. Many of our Member companies earn recognition for their recruitment and staffing initiatives.

Each year, DiversityInc Magazine releases lists of top companies in a number of hiring and staffing areas including but not limited to diversity, disabilities, veterans and minorities. This year, we are proud to see our Member companies comprising the majority of these lists. Check out some of the stats that we pulled:

The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for People With Disabilities
– 9 out of 10 are current DirectEmployers Members

The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Global Diversity
– 10 out of 10 are current DirectEmployers Members

The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Veterans
-7 out of 10 are current DirectEmployers Members

The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Recruitment & Retention
– 9 out of 10 are current DirectEmployers Members

The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Executive Women
– 8 out of 10 are current DirectEmployers Members

The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity
– 38 out of 50 (or 76%) are current DirectEmployers Members

Other DE Member Honors:
Top Company for Diversity-Management Progress (BASF)
Top Company for Supplier Diversity (AT&T)
Top Company for Global Cultural Competence (Monsanto)

Congratulations to our Members! We are proud to be involved with such hardworking organizations that are so dedicated to the HR profession, and hope that their jobs are made easier through Membership with our Association.

Think your organization has award-worthy initiatives? Consider entering the inaugural DirectEmployers Awards Competition! Learn more on the DEAM13 Awards page.

Super Bowl Lessons in Diversity

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

The following is a guest blog post from Preston Edwards, Jr., Publisher, IMDIVERSITY, Inc.

I had the pleasure of watching Super Bowl XLVI and was impressed with how the NFL produces this mega-event. The NFL showed a national audience that it gets “It.” It showed that the NFL could reach new markets, engage its existing customer base and build its brand. It showed that the NFL gets diversity. The NFL scored a diversity touchdown with this year’s event. Let me explain.

According to Nielsen, this year’s Super Bowl drew a record 111.3 million viewers. Super Bowl tweeting also smashed the record for a sports event, with 12,233 twitter posts per second going out and in during the final minutes of the game. The NFL also produced the halftime performance, and its choice of Madonna for this year’s event was brilliant. Madonna’s halftime show was seen by an estimated 114 million people — a higher average than that of the game itself — and was the most-watched Super Bowl halftime entertainment show on record, according to Nielsen.

Why was this year’s halftime performance such an extraordinary success? Diversity!

We all know that Madonna is a pop-culture icon whose music and movies have been at the top of the charts for three decades. Even so, with this year’s halftime show it seems as no one was going to be satisfied with a show that featured Madonna getting on-stage singing and dancing to some of her multi-platinum classics. Smart! Instead of the ordinary halftime show, the producers created a performance that featured diverse acts within the larger act that appealed to a diverse audience. This performance was unique in that it brought together elements from musical genres like Hip Hop, Pop, Rock, Gospel and Soul. It offered Roman Centurions, Vogue models, DJ’s, dancers, cheerleaders, a marching band, circus acrobats and big-name performers, all on a stage bigger and better than anything ever seen. This was a super-sized universally appealing event that scored a touchdown with a super-sized audience.

By having such a diverse performance, the NFL was able to attract new viewers. It was able to keep existing viewers, and it was able to over deliver to marketers. This is where the Super Bowl halftime performance shows how the NFL “gets” diversity. It “gets” that diversity attracts, that diversity expands and that diversity sells.

It’s not enough anymore to have a superstar with mega appeal try to reach everybody. Marketers must now creatively, respectfully and meaningfully touch customers from multiple backgrounds, cultures and interests. This event showed us how truly powerful diversity is and what can be accomplished by those who understand it. They can keep their audience, expand their audience and sell more to their audience. Diversity is the spice of marketing, and since diversity is so tied to sales, it is a piece of so much more. Diversity will continue to have its powerful impact on education, employment and politics. Virtually every area of our lives will be changed by diversity. The NFL just gave us a taste of diversity, be it on a Super Bowl level.

Many thanks to Preston Edwards, Jr. for contributing this great post on diversity. IMDiversity, Inc., has been serving minority audiences, employers and career services’ offices since 1970. Through DIVERSITY EMPLOYERS, TEACHERS OF COLOR, and IMDiversity.com, IMDiversity, Inc. has built a trusted relationship with minority job seekers and diversity-seeking employers.

The Employment Line, Episode 2

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

This is The Employment Line: your direct connection for trends, tips and tools in the employment industry.

In this episode:

  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Cari Dominguez (former EEOC chair)
  • Companies making a difference

Keeping you connected, with no waiting—The Employment Line. Thank you for watching.

The Employment Line is brought to you by DirectEmployers, a non-profit association of global employers, which provides simple, sophisticated solutions for Human Resources and Recruitment.

DirectEmployers Supports the Industry Liaison Group

Monday, September 13th, 2010

August 3-6, 2010 at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, NV several DirectEmployers Association staff and member companies attended the National Industry Liaison Group Conference (NILG). This two and a half-day conference had approximately 750 attendees from employers like Abbott Labs, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, IBM Corporation, as well as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

The following video was captured and edited to provide a brief overview of the conference:

Thank you to all of the many participants who stopped by to say hello to us and pick up a copy of the book “Leadership from the Heart: Diversity & Ganas for Inspired Inclusion” personally autographed by co-author, Cari Dominguez. Mrs. Dominguez was gracious and signed the complimentary books provided by DirectEmployers Association to all attendees.  The interest was overwhelming creating a line at the DirectEmployers booth. Three hours and one very sore writing hand later, the event was over for the day and the venue lights were turned off to signal the end of the book signing.

Cari Dominguez signing book for Sandra Zeigler

Cari Dominguez Book Signing at DirectEmployers booth

Concurrent Sessions included topics from “You Conducted your Comp Analysis: Now What?” to “The Changing Face of the Workforce” conducted by the OFCCP, EEOC and many other experts.

Chad Sowash, Vice President of Business Development for DirectEmployers and retired U.S. Army Reserve Infantry Drill Sergeant had the privilege to present, “Best Practices in Hiring Military & Veterans for the Corporate World”. Guest Speakers during Chad’s presentation were Alicia Wallace, EEO Program Consultant, Disability Outreach Manager, WellPoint and Laura Harlos, Manager, Compliance and Diversity Programs for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air providing examples from their organizations.

Chad Sowash, DirectEmployers, VP Business Development Presenting

The Opening Keynote address was given by the Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Department of Labor, Patricia Shiu. Director Shiu expressed that the ILG is an important stakeholder and partner in OFCCP’s quest for making equal employment opportunity a reality for all workers. She spoke about women in the workplace and the lack of equality in pay, even though the Equal Pay Act was signed into law 47 years ago by President Kennedy. “This wage differential has significant ramifications for families and for women, and not just for a brief time, but for years. Women who are paid less earn less, and often for a lifetime, not just once.  This means that they have fewer resources to raise their families, which affects where families live, what families eat and how much time mothers and fathers can spend with their children at home…One prominent labor economist has opined that if we could close the pay gap, we could cut in half the number of children living in poverty in this country,” stated Director Shiu. Full remarks are available on the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.

Newly appointed Jacqueline A. Berrien, Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provided the EEOC Keynote address. “There are many miles to go before we sleep”, was the theme for Chair Berrien’s presentation. The theme focused on the many laws that have been enacted since the passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. The laws protecting people from discrimination are:  Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Genetic Information NonDiscrimination Act (GINA), the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAAA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Both Keynote speakers shared their visions for a future of inclusion, rather than exclusion and both expressed their goal to increase staff and resources to ensure they were prepared for the task ahead.

The highlight of each NILG conference is the panel’s question and answer session with the Regional Directors of the OFCCP. This panel included Evelyn Teague, Regional Director, Southeast Region; Melissa L. Speer, Deputy Regional Director, Acting Regional Director, Southwest and Rocky Mountain Region (SWARM); Michele Hodge, Acting Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic & Northeast Regions; William Smitherman, Pacific Region; Sandra Ziegler, Midwest Region. The Regional Directors provided highlights and trends from their regions, as well as answered specific questions from the audience. Each Regional Director expressed interest in creating consistency across all regions with their staff providing the same feedback. They also advertised their hiring initiatives in an effort to fill their additions to their staff.

As always, the ILG National Conference exceeded expectations and truly was an example of Federal Agencies and Corporations United in Equality… Believing it and Achieving it!