By Gary Crompton
President of Business Dining, ARAMARK

I admit that when I began my career, I was conscious of diversity efforts but may not have been as tuned in as I could have been. That changed as I began to think about what the work environment would be like for my daughter. Would she be able to aspire to the highest levels? What would stand in her way? What could I do to create change? On visits to Fortune 500 client companies, I began to notice how significantly white men dominate senior leadership roles. I realized that modeling diversity and inclusion had to start with me.

Throughout my career, I have found my greatest satisfaction when I have taken smart risks and accepted a challenge that contained some uncertainty. I’ve learned that from uncertainty comes the opportunity for growth and possibility.
I also know that I can be a powerful ambassador for change. I am participating in several efforts that are demonstrating my commitment to gender diversity in our leadership ranks.

I was asked to serve as a board member on the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), a professional organization designed to help advance women leaders. While I had always admired WFF, I initially felt some hesitation. For the first time, I would be a minority—just a few men on a board of women business leaders. The exposure provided me an even greater understanding of the challenges women face and how the right combination of resources and support can help women reach their full potential and career goals. As I bring my learnings back, being that close to the heart of the issues enables me to challenge my peers to do more to support women leaders and advocate for the development of women.

I am also the Executive Sponsor for our company’s Women’s Business Resource Network, which allows me to ensure the strategy aligns with our business goals around the world. I have had a chance to interact with talented women from all parts of our organization and I’m inspired by what we can accomplish.

ARAMARK has a strong and unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion. However, it’s through leadership and role modeling the right behaviors that this commitment comes to life. I am proud and energized to be a part of ARAMARK’s diversity and inclusion journey. We have made significant progress and we continue to gain momentum year over year. It is that kind of headway that has made my involvement so personally and professionally rewarding. I think my daughter would be proud.