Cassandra D. Caldwell
Founder & CEO, International Society of Diversity and Inclusion Professionals
Headquarters: Cary, North Carolina
Primary Business: Professional membership organization
CEOs Can Use Profits to Create Jobs
Recent job reports show steady growth in job creation in the United States, which is encouraging. A closer look at this growth reveals that segments of our nation, specifically people of color, still have disproportionately high unemployment rates. These unemployment trends are addressed in one of the International Society of Diversity and Inclusion Professionals’ four strategic pillars focused on workforce diversity. Our workforce diversity initiatives strive to increase recruitment and retention competencies of diversity and inclusion professionals. Networking events and conferences provide opportunities to build global business relationships, find jobs, and hire top talent. We also promote job opportunities through our career center and social media marketing.
In addition to our workforce diversity initiatives, The International Society of Diversity and Inclusion Professionals has been innovative in job creation with limited funding. The company is directly contributing to job growth through ten jobs established at the height of the recession. Because the company is a microbusiness, these jobs are all part-time independent contractor positions. As our company grows and the economy fully recovers, we will expand some of these jobs to more permanent positions. Whether full-time, part-time, or contractor work, any contribution to job creation is a boost to our nation’s economy.
CEOs can help bolster the economy by using a percentage of profits to create jobs and give back to communities. Fixing the economy is not solely the responsibility of government; public and private sector collaborations are critical to our nation’s economic success. Leaders of organizations, no matter how small, must make a serious commitment to promoting job growth—and that will require a certain amount of sacrifice. An economic recovery won’t happen unless leaders begin to earmark an increasing percentage of their profits to hiring. Only by “paying it forward,” reinvesting profits back into their organizations’ growth and productivity—and recruiting from a diverse pool of candidates—can organizations close the widening gap between the haves and have-nots within our society. CEOs must also commit to social responsibility by reinvesting profits back into the local communities where they do business to help spur public sector jobs.
The U.S. government can only do so much. It’s now up to our nation’s corporate leaders to spark an economic recovery that starts by creating more jobs. If this happens, then consumer confidence will increase; people will begin spending again and more jobs will be created.
Education: BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; MPA, North Carolina Central University; PhD, The Ohio State University
First Job: 4-H Youth Development Agent at North Carolina Cooperative Extension
What I’m Reading: Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists, by Valaida Fullwood and Charles W. Thomas Jr.
My Philosophy: Never let anyone dictate your destiny.
Best Advice: Life is filled with triumphs and defeats. There will be times when you will fall short of reaching your goals. No matter how many times you fall, you have to get up and move forward.
Interests: Community service, running, interior design, and international travel