In today’s global marketplace, New Jersey businesses are increasingly discovering how a corporate culture centered around diversity and inclusion can have significant benefits – not only for their workforces – but for their bottom lines. That’s why businesses across all industries are making efforts to implement diversity and inclusion initiatives within the workplace, ranging from networking groups to employee seminars and training. The following profiles are just small examples of the big initiatives that companies have put in place.
The law firm of Archer & Greiner P.C. has implemented various initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion, such as a commitment to including at least 30% diverse candidates when hiring as well as scholarship programs and employee retreats. “Diversity is a factor in every one of the major decisions that we make,” asserts Lloyd Freeman, partner, chief diversity officer, and chairman of the diversity and inclusion committee for the firm. “Whether we’re talking about hiring, promotions, how we staff cases, or anything else we do, diversity is always part of the conversation.”
Archer & Greiner P.C. also offers employee resource groups for its diverse employees, including women and employees of various ethnic groups. These resource groups offer employees the opportunity to discuss challenges specific to them, such as maternity leave for female employees, as well as topics relevant to their own personal career development. “These groups also help build relationships and promote mentorships, as they’ll bring together a female first-year associate with the firm’s COO, who also happens to be a woman,” Freeman adds.
At Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), leadership development is one of the primary focuses of the company’s diversity and inclusivity efforts. “How do you empower, engage and mobilize an entire workforce to shape the culture of an organization? We focused on the development of three inclusive leadership habits based on the neuroscience of leadership and habit formation in order to build a culture of inclusion over time,” explains David L. Gonzales, global chief diversity officer for BMS.
To that end, BMS has made numerous investments in initiatives related to diversity and inclusion, such as developing a sophisticated set of HR analytics and building a team that focuses on cultivating the talent, skills and capabilities to meet the needs of patients in the 21st century. “The approach we take is very much focused on how to drive business performance and innovation through the lens of global diversity and inclusion,” he says.
According to Gonzales, BMS has taken a very deliberate focus on all aspects of diversity and the kinds of people who become members of the BMS family – including women and under-represented ethnic groups, such as Asian, Latino and African-American employees, but also members of the LGBTA community as well as veterans. BMS also launched a series of People and Business Resource Groups (PBRGs) that are open to the entire global workforce. These groups provide opportunities for networking as well as continued professional growth and development, and focus on global diversity and inclusion priorities to drive business results while fostering a culture of inclusion, employee engagement, and productivity. Among the eight PBRGs are Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD), Differently-Abled Workplace Network (DAWN), and Cultivating Leadership and Innovation for Millennials and Beyond (CLIMB).
The company recently performed a longitudinal study that discovered employees are not only more likely to remain with the company as a result of participation in leadership groups, but they’re also twice as likely to be promoted. “When senior members of our organization are modeling inclusive leadership behaviors, employees are more likely to recognize the importance of inclusion and adopt the same behaviors through habit formation,” he says. “That has a significant impact on our culture as it opens the doors for creative grassroots movements that propel the idea of inclusion.”
Similarly, ADP has cultivated 10 business resource groups (BRGs) that help shape the company’s culture of inclusion. “BRGs are the place where associates influence the business, develop their careers, and volunteer for great causes,” explains Aisha Thomas-Petit, chief diversity, inclusion and corporate social responsibility officer at ADP. “BRGs foster talent acceleration, generate talent referrals, help drive engagement, and shape strategy for reaching diverse markets. They are instrumental in allowing us to make everyone feel welcome and included by increasing awareness, advancing business objectives, and supporting the recruitment and professional development of multicultural groups.”
According to Thomas-Petit, ADP strives to create an environment in which all associates contribute to the company’s success and receive the support they need to reach their full potential through programs and initiatives that help foster a culture of inclusion across the organization. These initiatives range from ADP’s global business resource groups to diversity and inclusion training and efforts to eliminating bias in the hiring process.
“We believe an engaged, inclusive and diverse workforce attracts top talent, galvanizes creativity, drives innovation, and leads to better business outcomes. The business case for diversity is simple: Through establishing a culture of inclusion, where all employees can contribute, grow and thrive, businesses can gain both intrinsic rewards and improved results,” she asserts.
“When it comes to diversity and inclusion, there’s always more ground to cover, and it can get harder to make progress the better you do,” Thomas-Petit concludes. “To lead meaningful change, it’s about continuously considering the impact you’re making, and setting your sights higher.”
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