Web Seminar: Executive Diversity Councils With Kellogg Company, Comcast

October 18, 2012 9:34 pm

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King and Bucholz

An executive diversity council is one of the most effective ways to use diversity management to drive business results in your organization, according to analysis of DiversityInc Top 50 survey data. Those results are often measured in human-capital progress but should include other goals, including procurement, sales and market share. Currently, almost all DiversityInc Top 50 companies have executive diversity councils in place, nearly double the amount five years ago.

The greatest change we’ve observed is in CEOs chairing the council, which sends a strong message throughout the organization that this is a business priority and that the council is driving actual results (not just setting strategic direction). Fifty-four percent of DiversityInc Top 50 companies with executive diversity councils now have their CEOs chairing the councils, up from 32 percent in 2005 and 42 percent in 2010.

Synopsis: Web Seminar on Diversity Councils

In our Web Seminar on Diversity Councils, Kellogg Company’s Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion Mark King and Comcast Corporation’s Vice President of Administration Karen Dougherty Buchholz discuss the strategies and goals their companies used to create and implement effective executive diversity councils—and how they keep their council members accountable for results. (Kellogg Company is No. 32 in the DiversityInc Top 50 and Comcast is No. 49.)

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Why Kellogg’s CEO Serves as Chair

The nine members of Kellogg’s executive diversity and inclusion council (EDIC) oversee the company’s 12 diversity councils from its respective business divisions. When Kellogg president and CEO John Bryant came on board in 2010, he made diversity one of his top priorities.

Bryant spoke at our recent Diversity-Management Best Practices From the Best of the Best event in his How to Build a Strong Diversity Brand presentation. He also accepted the 2012 DiversityInc Special Award for Diversity-Management Progress on behalf of the company.

When it comes to executive-diversity-council membership, “it’s about who has greatest influence to drive change,” said King, noting that having your CEO actively chair the council is his No. 1 recommended best practice. “It’s not just about building a business case. [Having Bryant chair the council] keeps our members highly engaged and focused on accountability for results.”

Comcast’s Joint Diversity Council Gives Cultural Insights

Similarly, the executive diversity council at Comcast Corporation/NBC Universal oversees 14 internal diversity councils, three of which are exclusive to Comcast’s business divisions. The organization also relies on an external diversity council to provide guidance.

This unique joint diversity advisory council (JDC), which launched in 2011, is comprised of four nine-member diversity-advisory councils with a diverse slate of experts and leaders from the business, politics, and civil-rights sectors. All members serve a rotational two- to three-year term, and they meet biannually to discuss diversity-management strategy, progress and results. Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts attends the JDC meetings at least once each year.

Other best practices from the web seminar include:

  • How to create clear diversity-council objectives and tangible actions that get results
  • What agendas/scorecards will make your executive-council meetings most productive
  • Why resource-group members should be included on the council
  • How meeting size and frequency can impact council effectiveness
  • How to promote your CEO’s and executives’ diversity leadership throughout the organization
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