5 Best Practices on Engagement From 4 Diversity Executives

January 31, 2013 9:09 pm

Diversity & Engagement Roundtable: MasterCard, CVS, PwC & TravelersParticipants

Jennifer Allyn, Managing Director – U.S. Office of Diversity, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), No. 2 in the DiversityInc Top 50
Donna Johnson, Chief Diversity Officer, MasterCard Worldwide, No. 5
David Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Caremark, one of DiversityInc’s 25 Noteworthy Companies
Joelle Hayes, Vice President, Enterprise Diversity and Inclusion, Travelers

Best Practice No. 1: Resource Groups 

MasterCard: Uses business-resource groups to frequently communicate how inclusion drives innovation in the organization.

  • “Diversity of race, ethnicity, culture and experience drive engagement and, therefore, innovation.”

CVS Caremark: Has 15 Colleague Resource Groups across seven categories; some have been in existence for a decade. Very involved in community support, which engages workers.

  • (EXAMPLE) Dr. Andy Sussman, President of CVS’ MinuteClinic division, said, “We’re opening up 100 new MinuteClinics a year for the next three or four years. How can we engage that consumer?”
    • Instead of hiring an external consulting firm, the company tapped into two of its Latino resource groups, one in southern California and one in Rhode Island, and asked what would stop them from going to a MinuteClinic and who makes healthcare decisions in their family.
    • Solutions provided by resource group: Move clinics to centers of Latino communities so people don’t have to travel far to get there. Market clinics as healthcare services for families and children. Market to parents as “we take care of your family.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers: Resource groups very involved in recruiting on campus and with professional associations.

  • (EXAMPLE) LGBT group members serve as ambassadors at many colleges to talk about the firm. The LGBT chapters, called circles, have champions who are openly gay or lesbian partners and are members of the LGBT partner advisory board.

Other associations that partner with resource groups include National Association of Black Accountants and Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting.

Travelers: Resource groups, known as diversity business networks, are a little more than a year old and based on affinity. In that short time, up to 13 percent of employees now are group members.

  • Uses groups as sources of talent for leadership roles and for providing leaders with curriculum to supplement and enhance skills.
  • Networks post hot jobs or hard-to-fill positions on SharePoint sites.
  • Groups that provide hiring sources or actually contribute to hiring receive dollars toward their budgets.

Best Practice No. 2: Diversity Councils 

Travelers: Chairman/CEO and President/COO lead council, which meets quarterly and is used to “talk about the real collaborative environment that we have.”

  • Council deals with questions of how company gets people to the right place in an organization that is not used to moving people. “How do we get people from Overland Park, Kansas, to Hartford?”
  • Council has representatives from all business lines and takes information back to business groups.
  • Each council member leads a subcommittee on one of six key strategic areas and reports back to Chairman and President.
  • (EXAMPLE) A Diversity Progress Indicator (a scorecard) measures retention and new hires, as well as top 25 people who are Black, Latino, Asian in organization, their relationships with mentors, their promotions/assignments. Indicator is broken down by business lines.

CVS Caremark: Board of directors has diversity as part of its charter. Board’s Management Planning and Development Committee has direct oversight for diversity.

  • CEO and direct reports serve as Diversity Management Executive Steering Committee.
  • CEO appoints everyone on diversity council, and steering committee vets all candidates. “The CEO makes the ultimate call and actually invites that individual to be on the council. So far, no one’s turned down his invitation.”
  • Council is comprised of 15 senior leaders from across the business. It has three subcommittees: workforce (people), workplace (culture), marketplace.
  • Each executive council member is accountable for developing, articulating, documenting and measuring diversity-management strategy in vertical area of business.

MasterCard: Consists of 18 leaders selected by CEO based on their organizational roles and personal commitment to diversity and inclusion.

  • Council agenda is to avoid EEO metrics and focus on building a more inclusive culture (with engaged employees) to support business goals.
  • Recruiting is a big global focus. “Forget location, forget who you know, but look to hire the best talent instead of looking to fill quotas.”

Best Practice No. 3: Reaching Millennials

Travelers: Recent graduates are more racially diverse.

  • Keeping them requires “creating an environment that people want to be in so that focus on culture is so important. We need to build a place that people believe in.”
  • Culture of volunteering attracts Millennials and other recruits and increases retention.

MasterCard: (EXAMPLE) Has group in Europe called Young Professionals working with HR department to build recruitment strategy. “They’re partnering with HR and going out into the marketplace and speaking about MasterCard and what a young professional could expect at our company.”

Group is now being formally involved in producing recruitment promotional materials.

  • (EXAMPLE) In the United States, the same group is involved in product development, partnering with marketing department to understand how young professionals make payments, especially over mobile devices. MasterCard Labs (where new technology for payments is developed) solicits ideas from resource groups globally.

PricewaterhouseCoopers: Firm hires 8,000 students off campus each year.

  • Volunteering and community philanthropy is extremely important to them and increases engagement and retention.
  • Publicizing (internally and externally) community efforts is critical.

Best Practice No. 4: Philanthropy

PricewaterhouseCoopers: (Example) Recently dedicated $160 million over five years to improve financial literacy in high schools. “We’ve realized that kids are coming out of high school not understanding money. We’ve dedicated dollars to develop curriculum but also dedicated hours of our employees’ time to actually teach the courses in schools.”

  • Hosted session in New York City in October specifically for high-school girls, with women partners serving as role models.
  • Also gives every professional in the firm eight hours to donate their time to any nonprofit of their choosing.

MasterCard: Philanthropic focus is on financial education with an entrepreneurial spin.

  • Looking at building community of people who understand the value of self-sustaining businesses but also participate in a world beyond cash if empowered to do so.
  • (Example) U.S.–based business-resource group worked with Bankers Without Borders on financial-literacy program in Indonesia.
  • “Our philanthropy is about building a connectivity through economic empowerment without necessarily having to say, ‘Here’s a credit card.’”
  • Company also has two volunteer days that employees can donate to a charity of their choice.
  • Philanthropic efforts communicated through Intranet and resource groups.

CVS Caremark: Philanthropic mission is very connected to reducing health-care disparities.

  • (Example) Committed to $21 million of free healthcare screenings in stores and with nonprofits, including National Urban League and NAACP.

At NAACP convention, a free blood-pressure screening showed an individual with blood pressure of 220 over 180. Person immediately was sent to doctor, who said, “If you hadn’t gotten here, you probably would have died.”

At Urban League convention, company partnered with Black cosmetics vendors offering free makeovers. Young mother suffering from vitiligo (pigment loss) was helped and her daughter said, “Mommy, you’re beautiful!”

Travelers: Head of Travelers Foundation is also on diversity council and there’s close correlation with resource groups and community opportunities.

  •  (Example) Board of directors challenged company to come up with program to allow access to underrepresented students.

Travelers EDGE was created, which breaks down barriers to access through scholarship support, internship, mentoring in St. Paul, Hartford and Baltimore. Efforts developed through partnership with universities and nonprofit organizations.

Best Practice No. 5: Reducing Turnover

MasterCard: Under direction of President and CEO Ajay Banga, corporate headquarters has been redesigned to create a “culture of informality where ideas are shared.”

  • (Example) Banga and other executives meet with employees in a conversation atrium that breaks down barriers and lets them “hear what employees are saying about us.”

PwC: Recognized industry problem of talent leaving before making partner (which takes 12 years), especially women and Blacks, Latinos and Asians.

  • Invested in specific mentoring/sponsorship/talent-development initiatives to keep employees on board.
  • (Example) Structures diversity so line partners are pulled out for two- to three-year rotations as chief diversity officer and then return to the practice in more senior roles.