5 Keys to Unlocking Diverse Talent
Sodexo, President & CEO - Sodexo North America
Last week I had the privilege of attending the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meeting. The event brought together nearly 1,000 leaders from business, philanthropy, and government to develop solutions for economic growth, long-term competitiveness, and social mobility in the United States.
While the conference was extremely informative and very inspirational, the words of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper particularly resonated with me when he said “The American dream is embedded in that promise that everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed…regardless of their zip code or where their story began.”
Yet, while women comprise over half of the American workforce, they make up less than 20 percent of S&P 500 board members and still only earn an estimated $0.77 on the dollar when compared to men. In addition, people of color are far more likely to work in low-quality jobs than white workers. Numerous studies suggest that increasing the gender, ethnic, racial, and socio-economic diversity of the corporate workforce and its leadership can pay high dividends in terms of expanded market share and GDP. Improving job quality and workforce diversity is essential not only for employee engagement and retention but also for organization productivity and performance which ultimately strengthens the U.S. economy.
The task seems simple enough, but as the CEO of North America for the 18th largest employer in the world, I can tell you that attracting and retaining top diverse talent presents some challenges that forward-thinking businesses have the opportunity to address head-on.