Top Ten Innovations in Diversity Award Winners
1. HCA Healthcare: Brave Conversations
In brief: Launched by HCA Healthcare’s Cultural Development and Inclusion team, Brave Conversations is a forum that invites employees to share perspectives and discuss complex and challenging topics. The goal of the program is to facilitate thoughtful, productive dialogue in a safe and respectful setting. The model encourages participants to share personal opinions, thoughts, fears, and concerns around issues that might be uncomfortable or difficult to discuss. To date, the team has developed several programs involving more than 1,000 colleagues.
2. Dow Chemical Company: Dow Talent Has All Colors
In brief: In 2017, Dow Brazil hosted “Talent Has All Colors,” an event led by the company’s employee resource group, African American Network (AAN), and aimed at challenging norms within Dow, starting a dialogue around racial diversity, and advancing the idea that the contributions of African American employees will accelerate company success. The event also marked the launch of Toda Cor Alliance, a group supporting the inclusion of afro-descendant professionals in Brazil. Following the event, there has been a dramatic increase in hiring African American interns and a 354 percent increase in the number of AAN participants.
3. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP: Upstander@Weil
In brief: The Upstander@Weil program takes the “ally” concept beyond the LGBT community, where it has traditionally been applied, to engender alliances across all levels and demographics within the workplace, encouraging individuals to be allies of and advocates for people and communities with backgrounds different from their own. For example, men can serve as Upstanders for women, Baby Boomers as Upstanders for Millennials, and white people as Upstanders for racial and ethnic minorities. Beyond advancing the firm’s diversity objectives, the program has emboldened employees to assert themselves in the service of diversity.
4. IVY Planning Group: IVY’s Power of Difference Pipeline (PDP)
In brief: Despite global diversity, most organizations lack race and gender diversity in executive positions. IVY’s Power of Difference Pipeline program provides specific strategies to accelerate the rate of progress toward race and gender equity in leadership. And organizations that have completed IVY’s PDP have realized increases in diverse applicants and reduced race and gender gaps in hiring, promotion, and retention. D&I and HR gains knowledge and tools, leadership benefits from diverse perspectives, employees feel valued, and the marketplace reacts with trust and confidence.
5. Dechert LLP: Dechert Heroes
In brief: Dechert Heroes, the firm’s newest affinity group, addresses issues important to military veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists, and was set up in the belief that nurturing diverse viewpoints and attracting people from varied backgrounds helps foster a high-performance culture. The group provides pro bono representation, helping with issues ranging from disability benefits and discharge upgrades to military sexual trauma. Dechert Heroes has also connected with Elite Meet, an outfit that helps former Special Forces operatives find their place in the civilian world, and is looking at ways to assist client companies with their own veterans groups.
6. Capital One: Catapult
In brief: Offered in partnership with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Catapult is an intensive, seven-month program, with the goal of developing a solution to a self-identified critical business challenge. The ten business owners selected to participate learn from experts on subjects ranging from design thinking, to innovation, to budgeting. The program culminates with business owners pitching the solution to their business challenge to a panel of judges. Participating companies are certified diverse businesses, at least 51 percent minority owned, managed, and controlled. In its second year, the program is focusing on women-owned businesses.
7. Fish & Richardson: Parental Leave Phased Hours Program (PL-PHP)
In brief: Fish & Richardson’s Parental Leave Phased Hours Program supports primary caregivers as they transition between work and leave. PL-PHP provides the equivalent of an additional two weeks of compensated time in conjunction with parental leave (structured as a reduced billable goal). The goal is to help legal staff transition work and manage the demands of home; and to attract, retain, and promote women at the firm. So far, response has been overwhelmingly positive, and everyone who is eligible has taken advantage of the program.
8. Krungthai-AXA Life Insurance PCL (KTAXA): Voice Insurance Policy
In brief: As part of KTAXA’s commitment to protecting customers and empowering people to live better through customized life and health insurance solutions, the company has initiated Voice Policy, an application that allows customers across Thailand, who may have difficulty reading printed policies because they are visually impaired or illiterate, to access insurance policies via audio. The company hopes that providing this innovative service will inspire other companies to champion and embrace diversity and promote a more inclusive society.
9. AutoGravity: Unbiased Lending
In brief: Consumers often don’t realize they can shop around for car loans, and data shows that most car buyers select the first terms presented to them rather than explore additional options. AutoGravity provides financing choices based on objective metrics rather than subconscious bias. Not only is AutoGravity the solution for consumers seeking fair financing options, but also for lenders and dealers who want to eliminate unintentional discrimination. AutoGravity’s user base has grown from 600,000+ in 2017 to almost 3 million in 2018, and financing requested from those users has surpassed $3 billion.
10. Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM): Together We Grow Consortium
In brief: Founded by ADM, and with the company’s continued funding and leadership, Together We Grow is a consortium of more than 50 industry groups from the public and private sectors, with the shared goal of educating, recruiting, and retaining a skilled, diverse, and inclusive workforce that better reflects the world’s growing population and will be able to meet our evolving food and agricultural needs. To help meet next generation needs, the Consortium encourages student involvement and supports K-12 agriculture education. Our long-term goal is to find ways to expand the world’s food supply.
Innovations in Diversity Awards of Excellence
(in alphabetical order)
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): T.E.A.M. Approach to Diversity and Inclusion
In brief: The T.E.A.M. (Talent attraction, Education, Acknowledgement, and Marketing) approach provides a framework to guide the decisions AMD makes regarding inclusion endeavors. The principles of T.E.A.M. have helped the company expand the reach and impact of its Employee Resource Groups (ERG) globally, and helps ensure that ERG activities can drive opportunities for individual development, networking among peers, and cultural enhancement. An annual engagement survey shows employees in ERGs, particularly women, are more engaged, satisfied, and positive regarding the organization’s outlook and its diversity and inclusion efforts.
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.: Gallagher Connect Partners
In brief: The latest milestone within the company’s U.S. Brokerage division is the formation of Gallagher Connect Partners—an inclusive, collaborative insurance broker and consultant network built on trust and composed of minority, women, and other diverse-certified insurance professionals. Gallagher Connect Partners devotes much of its agenda to networking, visioning exercises, and inclusion activities intended to build trusted partnerships and the belief that we are more similar than we are different despite our diversity. The Partners are maintaining momentum through committees that make joint decisions about how they will communicate, operate, and learn together.
Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership: Business Growth Collaborative (BGC)
In brief: The Business Growth Collaborative (BGC) created in 2014, is a partnership of 11 organizations that provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs and business owners. The group’s mission is to support minority business growth by sharing resources, identifying and filling gaps, achieving milestones for businesses across organizations, and streamlining services. As the BGC connects entrepreneurs with resources, the Commission helps larger corporate partners build supplier diversity programs. In the last year, the group has serviced more than 100 new businesses and significantly changed the region’s resource environment.
Dow Chemical Company: Dow Global Disability Strategy
In brief: Dow Global Disability Strategy is a company imperative and a guiding principle for Dow, around the globe. The Strategy was developed and driven by the company’s top management to assure the creation of an environment in which people with disabilities can perform and thrive. The goal is to unlock value through leadership engagement, inclusive company policies, and the impact of the contributions made by people with disabilities. Growing company-wide awareness has resulted in a nearly seven-fold increase in Disability Employee Network membership.
Dow Chemical Company: Dow Transgender Apprenticeship Program
In brief: In 2016, Dow began its Transgender Apprenticeship Program in Argentina and Brazil, hiring transgender individuals, 18 to 26 years old with a high school education (complete or studying), alongside partners such as Accenture, SAP and GE. Since then, 11 apprentices have rotated through various functions at Dow and its partner companies. Those who have completed the program have found full-time employment, gone back to school, or taken jobs at government agencies. The visibility generated by the program contributed to a Dow employee deciding to come out as transgender and transition in 2018.
Freddie Mac: Autism Internship Program
In brief: Freddie Mac created the Autism Internship Program to match its business needs with the unique capabilities of people with autism. The program allows the organization to reach a largely untapped source of talent—young adults with autism and college degrees in fields such as computer science, mathematics, and finance. To date, Freddie Mac has recruited 18 interns, ultimately hiring 9 for full-time positions. The Autism Internship Program participants have shown that in the proper environment they can thrive as highly productive employees.
Freddie Mac: LGBT & Housing Insights
In brief: In 2018, Freddie Mac commissioned a first-of-its-kind study exploring LGBT housing insights in the United States. The goal of the study was to understand the diversity within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/gender expansive (LGBT) community. The study found that LGBT homeownership rates are well below average and concerns about discrimination are heightened among members of the LGBT community. The study yielded a robust data set that will enable Freddie Mac and customers to derive tailored action plans.
Gibbons P.C.: The Gibbons Clerkship to Associate Pipeline Program (CAP)
In brief: The Gibbons Clerkship to Associate Pipeline Program (CAP), led by Chief Diversity Officer Robert Johnson, assists several highly qualified students from diverse backgrounds, selected by participating faculty and administrators of three area law schools (Seton Hall, Rutgers-Newark, and Rutgers-Camden), to prepare for post law school employment. CAP helps second-year law students prepare for the clerkship hiring process, and helps third-year students prepare for post-clerkship associate hiring process. CAP, though new, is positioned to drive growth in the diversity of the New Jersey judicial and legal communities, as well as that of Gibbons.
HARMAN: Leadership Experience Acceleration Program (LEAP)
In brief: In 2018, HARMAN implemented the Leadership Experience Acceleration Program (LEAP), an early-career rotation program designed for future innovators. The two-year program offers rising talent the opportunity to build a strong global network through leadership mentoring and participate in innovative training activities and strategic assignments. This diverse training is driving exponential growth in emerging economies and positioning the company as a leader in connected car technologies. It also provides young talent with the tools to succeed.
HP: “All-American” Family Portrait
In brief: HP recently released the results of a new study examining current perceptions of what it means to be an “All-American family.” Two thousand respondents were asked to measure the presence of bias among different types of families and whether they personally identify as “All-American.” Three in four respondents identified the All-American family as white and heterosexual, with children; one in three would be nervous about bringing home a significant other of a different race; and 95 percent say they are close with their families, but one in three have cut ties with a family member due to what they perceive as intolerant views.
KPMG LLP: The Audit 90 Experience
In brief: The Audit 90 Experience is an 18 month experience designed to improve the retention and advancement of high-performing senior associate women by providing the support needed to map out and advance their careers at KPMG. The experience provides personal coaching, instructor-led workshops, peer cohorts, and partner mentors. Workshop participants engage in group discussions, career mapping activities, and simulations to dive deep into issues that influence their career and life decisions. Participants learn to identify and overcome fears and obstacles, retention rates improve, leaders gain generational understanding, and talent ambassadors are created.
MetLife: Inclusion Week
In brief: Inclusion Week was created to acknowledge and appreciate the skills and talents of all employees, and to ensure that they feel valued and included. The campaign also gives employees access to the continuous learning needed to cultivate a diverse and inclusive workplace. The Week focuses on educating employees about how to create an inclusive work environment; raising awareness and increasing employee engagement around diversity and inclusion; and motivating employees to make diversity and inclusion an integral part of their jobs.
New American Funding: Latino Focus
In brief: The Latino Focus Committee is an in-house initiative at New American Funding, whose goal it is to identify and address challenges Hispanic consumers face in their pursuit of homeownership, to enhance the quality of the lending experience among Hispanic consumers, and to enrich the Hispanic community through homeownership. Latino Focus has developed several outreach elements, including Spanish-language educational materials and radio and billboard campaigns, as well as outreach designed to educate the Hispanic community regarding homeownership opportunities.
New York Life: New York Life Hackathon
In brief: In 2015, a group of 150 employees voluntarily came together to organize the first employee-led, employee-focused Hackathon at New York Life. Four years later, still a volunteer-driven event, it has reached participation levels of 300 employees across multiple business areas and offices. It is an opportunity to expose all employees to new ways of working, fresh ideas, and other colleagues. The event enables inclusive technology solutions and celebrates diversity of thought by bringing together multidisciplinary teams to solve business challenges.
Stikeman Elliot LLP: Sponsorship and Advancement of Women Program
In brief: Because research and our own experience tell us that sponsorship significantly affects career advancement, Stikeman Elliot has committed to increasing sponsorship of its women attorneys. In order to design an appropriate strategy, the firm employed Design Thinking, a human-centered problem-solving technique that requires participants to “step into the shoes of the person who experiences the problem.” More than 100 attorneys generated hundreds of ideas regarding how best to provide sponsorship. Leadership will implement the best of them in order to improve the advancement and retention of the talented women lawyers at Stikeman Elliot.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP: Student Diversity Leadership Summit
In brief: Sullivan & Cromwell’s Diversity Task Force partnered with Goldman Sachs’s Human Capital Management and Legal Department to create the Student Diversity Leadership Summit for diverse affinity group student leaders from ten law and business schools. The day-long conference focused on how students can best leverage their leadership roles to impact their campuses, as well as the legal and business professions. As a result of the Summit, students grew their networks and additional clients asked how they could get involved. With this added support, S&C can host much larger summits and create a network of individuals dedicated to making D&I a core value.
Tata Consultancy Services: Ignite My Future in School (IMFIS)
In brief: Ignite My Future in School (IMFIS) is a pioneering effort to empower U.S. educators, using a transdisciplinary approach that integrates computational thinking into core subjects like English, math, science, art, and social studies. Completely free of cost, the initiative helps students obtain the necessary skills required for 21st century careers by offering educators professional development, instructional resources, and year-round curriculum support. To date, IMFIS has reached more than 3,300 educators and 185,000 students across the United States. By 2021, the goal is to impact 20,000 teachers and one million students, primarily from under-resourced areas.In brief: Ignite My Future in School (IMFIS) is a pioneering effort to empower U.S. educators, using a transdisciplinary approach that integrates computational thinking into core subjects like English, math, science, art, and social studies. Completely free of cost, the initiative helps students obtain the necessary skills required for 21st century careers by offering educators professional development, instructional resources, and yearround curriculum support. To date, IMFIS has reached more than 3,300 educators and 185,000 students across the United States. By 2021, the goal is to impact 20,000 teachers and one million students, primarily from under-resourced areas.