There are dedicated professionals who strive each and every day to make the workplace more inclusive by changing organizational culture, processes, and perspectives. They are passionate about what they do and believe the core value of Diversity & Inclusion is crucial to success in the USA and globally.
The 2020 Top 10 Influential Women in Diversity are a very special group of business professionals who bring decades of experience, people and business skills, and a desire to be change agents for making the workplaces in every location more diverse and more inclusive. In their multinational or multi-location organizations, these women are transforming organizations at their very core – the culture. It is a challenging role they have accepted because changing the hearts and minds of people to ensure everyone is given equal opportunity requires relentless effort and a willingness to start and join difficult conversations.
The women selected this year represent a wide variety of large successful organizations – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Boston Scientific, Cleveland Clinic, Diageo plc, Eaton, Ford Motor Co., Legg Mason, PepsiCo, Mutual of Omaha, and the Executive Leadership Council. It is exciting to see such a diverse set of organizations because it is proof that the principles of Diversity & Inclusion have been accepted, and it is thanks to people like the Influential Women. Having reached high leadership levels, they use their decision-making skills and influence to help their respective organizations move forward into the future – a future that must include respect and understanding of diversity and inclusion.
The Influential Women are visionaries who imagine a place where all people deeply believe that diversity is a Human Capital asset and inclusion is a success factor. To reach this goal, each has developed an approach that leverages their personal and work experience, and leadership skills. All began at the top by bringing the business case for D&I to the C-suite. Each and every woman attributes their successes to having strong executive leadership support.
With executive support, they developed strategies that were most likely to start or continue the transformation process. For one woman, it meant instituting unconscious training and helping decision-makers see D&I through a systems lens. For another woman the focus was on developing talent ambassadors to engage associates. Other approaches included strengthening community engagement, building stakeholder relationships around the globe, getting regular and in-depth employee feedback to identify the challenges to overcome, helping women re-enter the workforce after a work leave, developing multiple culturally relevant initiatives, working with ERGs, building diverse talent pipelines, and on and on it goes.
The endlessness of the ideas and strategies the women leaders present are inspiring. How did we find these movers and shakers who set the standard so high? DiversityGlobal Magazine asked the nominees to answer three questions. First, what are the most successful initiatives or achievements that you most proud of? Second, what are the key best practices driving the success of diversity and inclusion in your organization? Third, what are your leadership strengths from a global diversity perspective.
From these three questions flowed a wealth of information about how the women leaders have influenced their organizations. They are not spending their time simply talking. They develop and implement actionable strategies, build networks of organizational supporters, develop workshops, reach out to community members, work with advocacy organizations, and use data and analytics to analyze Human Capital systems and processes and to present the facts to Board of Directors and the C-suite. For the Influential Women in Diversity, their role is not to convince people to believe in D&I. It is to prove D&I value to their organizations as a source of skills, innovation, and a success future.
It is certainly not always easy work. After all, they are striving to change perspectives, and that requires helping people understand the way they think and respond to people different than themselves. The women are clearly up to the challenge as they transform organizations. They are deeply caring leaders who want the best for employees, their organizations, communities, and all other stakeholders.
The staff at DiversityGlobal Magazine is immensely pleased to present the Top 10 Influential Women in Diversity. We can all learn from them as they share their experiences and knowledge in the pursuit of a more inclusive business environment and world.