CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Launches Nationwide Unconscious Bias Tour to Engage 12 Million Employees and Students
Releases a Free Suite of Diversity Resources to Drive Action with Signatories
Representing a cross-section of more than 450 CEOs and 12 million employees, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ (CEO Action) announced it will launch a nationwide educational tour, continuing to help the current and future workforce recognize and minimize their unconscious bias. The mobile information centers will provide free unconscious bias education for any organization.
Launching in the fall of 2018, CEO Action’s Check Your Blind Spots mobile tour will make 100 stops across the country delivering interactive sessions, educational materials and creating space for participants to reflect on real-world experiences and how unconscious biases can impact business. The tour will also include pop-up events with musical artists, celebrities and business leaders who are personally committed to advancing inclusion. Exploring topics people are grappling with such as race, bias, and harassment through intimate dialogues, the pop-up events hope to fuel social awareness and further motivate action around diversity and inclusion in business and society. The tour will kick off in Chicago and make stops in cities in Ohio, Texas and Georgia. The tour stop list will be released in July.
“We’re seeing unconscious bias education become an increasingly critical tool for diversity and inclusion strategies, but not all companies are equally equipped to roll out the training,” said Tim Ryan, US Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC and chair of the steering committee for the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™. “As a lead signatory, PwC is investing $10 million over the next twelve months to create the Check Your Blind Spots mobile tour and help organizations build the inclusive environment employees are not only asking for but deserve.”
This action builds upon one of the coalition’s three initial pledge goals to help individuals begin recognizing, acknowledging, and therefore minimizing unconscious bias. Furthermore, it responds to the number one request by signatories in year one for additional resources to engage the workforce, and recent research that 78 percent of Americans want companies to address important social justice issues. While institutional change must be initiated at the leadership level, CEO Action recognizes that in order to drive real change, it must create opportunity for CEOs as well as the current and future workforce to collectively participate in cultivating inclusive environments.
Marking its first year, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ has rallied a record number of CEOs who acknowledge that more can be done to drive diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In addition to achieving a significant number of signatories and sharing nearly 500 actions on the CEOAction.com database, the coalition has focused on helping its signatories fulfill their commitments within the pledge. Key accomplishments include: hosting leaderships sessions that facilitated hundreds of conversations between signatories in order to share resources as well as creating formal peer networks to help signatories remain motivated, persistent and focused on driving change within their workforces.
“Greater equality is not only good for society, it’s good for business. A more equal world brings forth economic inclusion and has both short and long-term benefits. But we know getting there is not easy,” said David Taylor, Procter & Gamble Chairman of the Board, President and CEO. “Beyond simply doing the right thing, it requires continued, productive dialogue on tough topics leading to greater understanding and collaboration.”
With recent news article citing companies reportedly spending almost $8 billion a year in diversity training, CEO Action will also release a free suite of educational materials to help organizations create and maintain a diverse and inclusive culture. The tools will be designed in part by the CEO Action Working Groups, which are comprised of more than 120 experienced diversity and inclusion and human resources leaders, and represent a key part of the coalition’s evolved strategy to truly impact the existing and upcoming workforce and engage more CEOs. Included in the suite of materials will be tools to measure diversity and inclusion within companies, complete self-assessments to gauge progress and toolkits on a range of topics.
CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ aims to drive investments that create collective opportunity for CEOs as well as the current and future workforce to address the diversity and inclusion challenges faced by the business world and society at large. Leaders interested in learning more about the coalition and accessing the upcoming free resources can visit CEOAction.com.
CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ steering committee quotes:
Accenture North America CEO Julie Sweet: “At Accenture, we have an unwavering commitment to inclusion and diversity and creating an environment where every person has a sense of belonging — and can succeed both professionally and personally. With more than 50,000 employees in the United States, we have a responsibility to not only create this environment for our employees, but also to contribute to the communities where our people work and live. We have benefitted from the rich conversations and sharing of best practices with CEO Action committee members.”
BCG’s Regional Chairman of North America Joe Davis: “The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ speaks to the need for business leaders to work together, across organizations and industries, as we tackle one of the most pressing issues of our time. Direct engagement with our people leads to informed action and thoughtful conversation at the organizational level, by pushing further and collaborating across our organizations we aim to harness the power of this collective thinking to affect even deeper change.”
Deloitte US CEO Cathy Engelbert: “We recognize that teams with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, thoughts, and insights lead to more meaningful dialogue, stronger solutions, and better business outcomes. We should be purposeful in helping each other to recognize unconscious bias in our everyday interactions, and the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™’s unconscious bias education and training will help people to grow into inclusive leaders who facilitate more open and honest conversations.”
The Executive Leadership Council President and CEO Skip Spriggs: “Continuing to bring the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge to life by creating these tangible moments is key to bringing about continued growth, leadership and impact in the business community and in the communities where we work and live. The more we can cultivate diverse leaders who make a conscious effort to have their actions match their values, the better we will all be. ”
EY US Chairman and Americas Managing Partner Steve Howe: “Our current workforce and the next generation of leaders demand a lot of us, and we strive to live up to their expectations. The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge brings together leaders with a mindset that encourages us all to take on one of society’s toughest challenges and create workplaces that empower people to drive innovation through diversity.”
General Atlantic CEO Bill Ford: “With more than 450 CEOs coming together in such a unique way, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ continues to represent an incredible opportunity for innovation and disruption for the business community. Through growth and the transformational power of collaboration, we have the chance to bring new experiences and resources to our people that will hopefully not only impact their workplace, but their communities as well.”
KPMG US Chairman and CEO Lynne Doughtie: “As leaders we are raising a mirror to ourselves and the business community at large to redefine the tools we all use to advance inclusion and diversity. By collaborating on the development of resources and making those tools available at scale, we are helping to position the business community to thrive. At KPMG, we embrace that responsibility and CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ provides a platform for all leaders to come together to achieve this goal.”
New York Life Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas: “The role we share affords us the opportunity – and the responsibility – to lead by example and help society get to a place that reflects America’s true spirit and values. The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge enables us to work more closely together, learn from each other, and drive integrity and respect within the communities we serve.”
Procter & Gamble Chairman of the Board, President and CEO David Taylor: “Greater equality is not only good for society, it’s good for business. A more equal world brings forth economic inclusion and has both short and long-term benefits. But we know getting there is not easy. Beyond simply doing the right thing, it requires continued, productive dialogue on tough topics leading to greater understanding and collaboration.”
About CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™
CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. Bringing together more than 450 CEOs and presidents of America’s leading businesses, academic institutions and nonprofits representing 12 million employees, the commitment outlines actions that participating organizations pledge to take to cultivate a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected, employees feel comfortable and encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion, and where best known—and unsuccessful—actions can be shared across organizations. Learn more at CEOAction.com and connect with us on Facebook: CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion and Twitter: @CEOAction.