2015 Diversity Leader

HARMAN_LOGOHARMAN International, Inc.
Headquarters: Stamford, Connecticut
CEO: Dinesh C. Paliwal
Employees: 16,000 (including contractors)

Christi Downes

Christi Downes

HARMAN’s new D&I initiatives are helping us better meet critical talent needs, maximize performance, and serve our customers, says Christi Downes, Vice President, Global Talent Management & Diversity

HARMAN’s D&I initiatives, and the Diversity Leader role, are newly formed and created to more formally address the needs of our evolving workforce, customers, and consumers. They were launched in November 2013, after critical talent gaps were identified by our Chairman, CEO & President, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors.

“Through these initiatives, we seek to employ a customer-focused orientation to designing and implementing people strategies. In this way, we will build an inclusive culture to fully engage all employees and stakeholders, and maximize individual and organizational performance.

“HARMAN’s D&I strategy offers key opportunities to make a significant impact by implementing the following:

  • Mandate diverse slates for all open requisitions to aid in filling roles in areas that are more traditionally male dominated (e.g., engineering, operations, general management)
  • Assess policies and practices around sourcing, slate composition, candidate selection, and onboarding to address unconscious biases and beliefs
  • Engage senior leaders and boost accountability
  • Conduct a workforce analysis to identify workforce patterns
  • Deliver training for managing to an inclusive environment
  • Increase global engagement and communications (e.g., LISTEN UP! in Asia)
  • Create effective governance structures (layout strategic direction, identify regional objectives and accountability)
  • Establish strategic partnerships”