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Diversity & The Bar™

CEOs Speak Out on the Business Case for the 21st Century
Diversity in Dollars and $ense

Articles and profiles by Dr. Arin Reeves

As U.S. companies seek to create competitive advantages in a rapidly changing global marketplace, workforce diversity has emerged as one of the primary sources through which a company can gain and sustain a competitive advantage. Today's discussion has evolved from one of moral imperative and being "the right thing to do" to the business imperative of being "the necessary thing to do."

Profiled

F. Duane Ackerman
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
BellSouth

Alan Lacy
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Kenneth D. Lewis
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President
Bank of America

J. W. Marriott, Jr.
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Marriott Corporation

Philip J. Purcell
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Morgan Stanley

Michael I. Roth
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
The MONY Group

William C. Weldon
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Johnson & Johnson

Companies that integrate diversity into their business fabric as a core value are positioning themselves to maximize their organization's potential in the global arena, where diversity of perspectives at every level of an organization is criticalto success.

Even as diversity differs in substance and form from organization to organization, integrating diversity into the business values of any organization starts in the same place—at the very top with the chief executive officer.

In the pages that follow, you'll read diversity profiles of CEOs representing seven of the most successful and admired corporations in the world. These CEOs are sharing their personal and business philosophies about diversity as a core business value guiding their organizations to national and global success.

Individually, each CEO highlights the importance of diversity for his own organization and leadership style. Together these leaders carve out a business case for diversity that cannot be ignored.

As each of the CEOs profiled have articulated so passionately, achieving sustainable diversity in organizations begins with committed leadership from the very top. In addition to personal and professional commitment from the CEO, the business case for diversity must be clearly defined, thoroughly developed, and effectively communicated to each and every employee within the organization.

As these business leaders have emphasized individually and collectively, diversity is no longer a choice for businesses that seek to compete in the global marketplace; it is a business imperative and a business necessity.

Dr. Arin N. Reeves is a principal consultant with The Athens Group, where she specializes in diversity strategies and solutions for legal and corporate workplaces.

From the November 2002 issue of Diversity & The Bar®

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Fast Facts

Americans aged 25-34 have the second highest rate of bankruptcy (just after those aged 35 to 44), indicating that Gen-Xers were more likely to file for bankruptcy than were young baby boomers at the same age.
Source: "Generation Broke: The Growth of Debt among Young Americans."
The average young-adult household spends almost one quarter of every dollar earned on debt payments.
Source: "Generation Broke: The Growth of Debt among Young Americans."
The annual unemployment rate in 2012 for Management, Professionals, and Related Occupations was 4.1%.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Nearly two-thirds of the 5.4 million legal immigrants from Mexico who are eligible to become citizens of the US have not yet taken that step. Their naturalization rate-36%-is only half that of legal immigrants from all other countries combined.
Source: Pew Research Center
The overall U.S. birth rate declined 8% from 2007 to 2010. The birth rate for U.S.-born women decreased 6% during these years, but the birth rate for foreign-born women plunged 14%-more than it had declined over the entire 1990-2007 period.1 The birth rate for Mexican immigrant women fell even more, by 23%.
Source: Pew Research Center
Three-quarters of retirees said they worked longer than they would have otherwise to maintain access to their employer healthcare plan. The Affordable Care Act does include provisions aimed at reining in prices by limiting the amount insurers can charge older Americans to 3 times what they charge younger subscribers.
Source: The Washington Post
Only four in ten third-graders in the District of Columbia can read proficiently, and only about four out of ten young adults in the District have a full-time job.
Source: Raise D.C.
In 1779, before his time as president, Thomas Jefferson proposed a law to castrate gay men and to destroy the nose cartilage of gay women.
Source: Washington Lawyer
Pennsylvania was the first state to repeal the death penalty for sodomy in 1786.
Source: Washington Lawyer
In 1924 the Society for Human Rights in Chicago became the country's first gay rights organization. Other organizations such as the Mattachine Society and the daughters of Bilitis, were formed decades later.
Source: Washington Lawyer
In 1962 Illinois became the first state to decriminalize homosexual acts done in private between consenting adults.
Source: Washington Lawyer
The nationalities with the highest rates of nationalization in the US - about75% - are Vietnamese, Russian, Filipino, Korean, Laotian, and Cuban.
Source: The Pew Research Center
To become a citizen of the US, a legal permanent resident must be at least 18 years; have lived in the US continuously for 5 years; be able to speak, read, write, and understand basic English; pass a background check; demonstrate knowledge of US history and government; swear allegiance to the US; and pay the $680 application fee.
Source: The Washington Post
The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., metropolitan area, near New York City, had the highest percentage (17.9%) of households with at least $191,469 in income. At the other end of the spectrum are two metro areas named Danville -- in Virginia and Illinois -- each with 1.1% of households having such high income.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
National Women's History Month dates back to March 8, 1857, when women in NYC factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women's Day was first observed in 1909, but it wasn't until 1981 that Congress established National Women's History Week, celebrated the 2nd week of March. In 1987, the week was expanded to a month.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Americans aged 25-34 have the second highest rate of bankruptcy (just after those aged 35 to 44), indicating that Gen-Xers were more likely to file for bankruptcy than were young baby boomers at the same age.
Source: "Generation Broke: The Growth of Debt among Young Americans."
The average young-adult household spends almost one quarter of every dollar earned on debt payments.
Source: "Generation Broke: The Growth of Debt among Young Americans."
The annual unemployment rate in 2012 for Management, Professionals, and Related Occupations was 4.1%.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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