In business, the commitment to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive environment starts at the top; to excel, it must become ingrained in the fabric of the company.
For instance, Cynthia Bowman, chief diversity officer at Bank of America, drives the diversity and inclusion strategy for the company. She emphasizes the importance of the CEO’s dedication to best practices. “The commitment is very clear; it’s from the top. Brian Moynihan, our CEO, sits on our global D&I council that’s comprised of leaders across the bank in all of our regions. The council is charged with partnering with our organization to develop and implement our D&I strategy throughout the bank.”
Bowman says that even though inclusion is at the core of the bank’s operating principles, progression is still paramount. In addition to using scorecards to measure progress, she and her team conducted a study of Bank of America’s data over the last five years to understand the state of the company. “We cut the data multiple ways to really understand the progress we’ve made and where we need to focus moving forward.”
In the case of some of the nation’s largest corporations, diversity executives drive the inclusion strategy and implement policies to not only recruit a diverse workforce and supplier base, but also to retain a pool of talent and leadership that reflects the communities or clients in which it serves. As such, Black Enterprise has developed the 2016 list of “Top Executives in Corporate Diversity” to highlight the most influential, high-ranking executives that lead diversity initiatives at the nation’s largest companies.
This year’s roster represents C-suite executives and senior directors whose primary responsibility is to design and implement corporate policies and programs that promote advancement of African Americans, Latinos, and other ethnic minorities, as well as women, the disabled, and the LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) community throughout the rank-and-file, senior management teams, and the supply chain.
To select our Top Executives in Corporate Diversity, BEÂ editors consulted major corporations and identified the leading corporate executives charged with drivingÂ corporate diversity efforts within some of the nation’s largest entities.
We selected chief diversity officers, global diversity executives, executive and senior vice presidents, vice presidents, assistant vice presidents, and directors who lead diversity initiatives vital to the business objectives of their respective parent companies.
- All executives have overall diversity and inclusion as their sole function or primary responsibility as part of their managerial role.
- We excluded HR execs who deal solely with human resource functions and corporate foundation executives without diversity management in their responsibilities.
- All executives listed have confirmed roles as of April 15, 2016.
- We excluded all companies that declined to respond to the verification process of BE Research.