A longtime advocate for workforce diversity as a “must-have” rather than a “nice-to-have,” the talent management firm JBK Associates launched its DNA Campaign (Diversity iN Action) to advance diversity as an essential part of corporate social responsibility.
The firm started with itself. Founder and President Julie Kampf designed a corporate social responsibility program built on three pillars: diversity, environmental sustainability, and philanthropy. Kampf built an award-winning team that is multi-racial, multigenerational and gender-balanced, with key executives from different faiths and backgrounds. To attract and retain top talent among workers with young families, she provided flexible work schedules, part-time opportunities and telecommuting opportunities, earning JBK acclaim from Working Mother magazine as a Best Women-Owned Business. To encourage innovation, she requires the entire staff to read books that enhance their understanding of the trends shaping workforce diversity. She even leased a separate space in the firm’s office to accommodate candidates with disabilities.
The DNA campaign has generated staff enthusiasm, and as team members have brainstormed ways to advance diversity, they also have shown an increased commitment to environmental sustainability. For example, the firm has cut its paper usage by 75 percent while also increasing recycling and reducing energy usage. In addition, every employee takes part in philanthropic activity. Individually the team supports more than eight nonprofits, including Autism Speaks, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Hearts of Gold. Together JBK creates company-wide activities for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. As a result of these efforts, JBK Associates has been accepted into the U.N. Global compact, the world’s largest social responsibility program.
The DNA Campaign makes an even greater impact through JBK’s client work. Since the campaign launched, JBK has
helped hundreds of companies make diversity part of their own corporate DNA, both by placing diverse executives in
leadership positions and by providing counseling on diversity and inclusion initiatives.
JBK’s methodology in diversity of recruitment includes a sourcing component comprised of relationships with hundreds
of organizations and thousands of individuals. JBK ensures that 90 percent of its candidate slates include individuals
of diverse background and/or experience. Within the last 18 months, diverse candidates have made up 70 percent
of the firm’s executive placements.
Moreover, JBK’s client roster features corporate leaders in diversity and inclusion, including multiple organizations that have been recognized by Diversity Journal.
The DNA campaign carries the diversity message still further through Julie Kampf’s work as a diversity champion.
Kampf calls on organizations nationwide to prioritize diversity in her speaking engagements at venues such as
the Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity and the Linkage Summit on Leading Diversity, in her bylined articles
and media interviews, and through service such as her role on the Board of Visitors for the Howard University John H.
Johnson School of Communications.
If it’s true, as Margaret Mead said, that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, then
JBK’s DNA Campaign is changing the way the business world values diversity.