Companies continue to realize that it is not only important to hire a diverse set of employees, it is crucial to be intentional in carrying out an environment where a diverse workforce can grow and feel heard by the company. Three companies stand out in terms of best practices.
Marriott International has been recognized as a company that has continually been noticed for not only hiring a diverse group of more than 100,000 employees, but also work hard in creating an environment where everyone can thrive. Marriott does several things that are considered best practices. First, they have created employer resource groups for different communities, hold regular events and advocate for diversity awareness.
Secondly, Marriott is very careful who they do business with. They make sure that their suppliers have a similar commitment to diversity. The CEO Arne Sorensen wrote an open letter to president Trump that said, “Everyone no matter their sexual orientations or identity, gender, race, religion, disability or ethnicity should have an equal opportunity to get a job, start a business or be served by a business.” Lastly, Marriott provides training and sensitivity awareness classes and seek to have this practiced from the top down. The results are impressive, with 64% of Marriott’s employees made up of minorities.
Marriott has been clear from the beginning of their need to “feel good about ourselves, the workplace and about our company’s role in society.”
AT&T is another company that focuses on community, with at least twelve of what they call Employee Research Groups (ERGs) and Employee Networks (ENS) that help people feel comfortable and heard. One of the statements on AT&T’s website is, “We actively seek and share unfiltered experiences moving from tolerance to understanding.” Secondly, AT&T partners with 30 different diversity organizations that range from the Asia Society to the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council. They are constantly seeking to improve the pipeline of employees through partnerships.
Lastly, AT&T has an incredibly impressive Annual Diversity Report which tracks practices and measures at multiple levels. The annual report is analogous to a financial report in that it has multiple charts and graphs that measure Male/Female ratios at each level of the company, as well as percentages by race and ethnicity so that they can track how they are doing. The most impressive is that they analyze Executive Level, Management Level, and overall level to make sure this is practiced at every level.
Ernst and Young has also been commended as a leader in diversity practices. One of the things they seek to do is make sure they recruit from diverse talent pools, concentrating on schools and organizations to make sure they are finding qualified, and also diverse talent. Secondly, their leaders are held accountable for mentoring and sponsoring a diverse group of up and coming leaders within the firm. Lastly, they are making sure that their policies and mission statements constantly emphasize inclusion. For example, they received praise from Diversity Inc. for being one of the first to equalize parental leave, and even have developed a program to hire highly functional people with Autism.
Banks should care about diversity because their employees should reflect the community they serve. Even in smaller communities there are almost always pockets of people with diverse backgrounds that need to be serviced and connections within that community are crucial. Developing tracking mechanisms and implementing initiatives within human resources practices should be dynamic and ongoing just as these companies have done.