Ronald M. De Feo
Chairman and CEO, Terex Corporation
Headquarters: Westport, Connecticut
Education: Iona College, BA, Economics & Philosophy; honorary Doctorate
First Job: newspaper boy
What I’m Reading: Full Force and Effect by Tom Clancy & Mark Greaney
Best Advice: Sloppy work is sloppy thinking. Pay attention to the details.
“Our drive to increase the number of women in leadership and line positions has caused our managers to go beyond traditional thinking, including re-examining interviewing practices and techniques, to ensure we are considering not just candidates who “look like us,” but also those who will add something different to the mix and challenge us to be even better.”
We’re Out to Achieve Gender Balance
For Terex to continue to be a credible and competitive global business, our team member population must reflect the cultural and geographic diversity of our global customer population. That’s basic. However, there are many dimensions to diversity beyond these two (e.g., gender diversity and diverse backgrounds) that broaden the scope of our thinking, which helps us outthink our competition. The more we do this, the greater our success will be.
Over the next few years, our greatest drive for diversity is in terms of gender. We have developed a set of standard metrics for increasing the number of women in leadership and line positions throughout our company. I am pleased to report that during 2014 we saw a net increase in line roles and have approached our annual goal for women in leadership positions. I am encouraged by these numbers, but by no means satisfied. Achieving true gender balance will take time, but it is well worth the effort.
It’s not enough to have a diverse team; it’s equally important to actively seek—and listen to—the opinions and ideas of a wide variety of people who have diverse experiences and points of view. It is only by seeking and considering these inputs during our regular business discussions and in decision-making processes that we will realize and benefit from the full potential of our workforce. That is why we refer to our initiative as not just “diversity,” but “diversity and inclusion.”
We are a global organization operating in more than 100 countries. It’s a fundamental management imperative to identify talent wherever it exists in the organization, and to create an environment where talented team members can flourish—regardless of background, who they know, or where they work. Our drive to increase the number of women in leadership and line positions has caused our managers to go beyond traditional thinking, including re-examining interviewing practices and techniques, to ensure we are considering not just candidates who “look like us,” but also those who will add something different to the mix and challenge us to be even better.
As CEO, I know I set the tone by my words and my actions. The members of our Executive Leadership Team know they are equally accountable. Our entire organization knows we are on a journey and, for the sake of our customers, shareholders and team members, we are determined to make significant progress.