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10 Companies Around the World That Are Embracing Diversity in a BIG Way

Diverse organisations perform better. We’re always saying it, but there’s a very good reason why. It’s a cold, hard fact! In SocialTalent’s E-Book on How to Increase Diversity Through Improved Hiring & Recruitment Processes, it was uncovered some very interesting insights on the benefits of embracing diversity, including:

  • Most studies surrounding diversity in the workplace have found that for every 1% increase in gender diversity, company revenue increases by 3%.
  • Higher levels of ethnic diversity increase revenue by a whopping 15%.
  • According to Glassdoor, 67% of active and passive job seekers say that when evaluating companies and job offers, it is important to them that the company has a diverse workforce.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the companies around the world that are excelling when it comes to diversity hiring. You’ll notice that they vary from industry to industry and all of them are embracing diversity in different ways. However, as a recruiter, you can stand to learn something from every company on the list to develop your own diversity and inclusion strategy.


Industry: Quality of Life Services

Employees Worldwide: 420,000+

Diversity & Inclusion: Although gender, generations and sexual orientation are all part of the diversity hiring strategy at Sodexo, they state that ‘gender balance is our business’, and their mission is to make it everyone else’s business too. 40% of all staff members in Sodexo are women – that’s up from just 17% in 2009. 43% of the members on the board of directors are female and the company runs 14 Gender Balance Networks worldwide. What they have found is that when there is an optimal gender balance within an organisation, employee engagement increases by 4 percentage points, gross profit increases by 23% and brand image strengthens by 5 percentage points. They also show no sign of stopping on their mission to optimise gender-balance, vowing that by 2025, 40% of their workforce will be made up of women.

2. Johnson & Johnson

Industry: Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical and Consumer Packaged Goods

Employees Worldwide: 127,000+

Diversity & Inclusion: J&J have pumped a lot of resources into ensuring that all employees help to create an inclusive environment. The organisation’s Global Diversity and Inclusion vision is “to maximise the global power of diversity and inclusion to drive superior business results and sustainable competitive advantage.” How they’re making this happen is through employee resource groups, mentoring programmes and ‘Diversity University’, which is a dynamic website that helps employees to understand the benefits of working collaboratively. The Chief Diversity officer also reports directly to the CEO and Chairman of Johnson & Johnson, meaning that the whole operation is being overseen by top-level management. Various rewards and recognitions the company has received include being recognised by U.S. Veterans Magazine as the “Best of the Best” for strides made in diversity efforts, and being one of only two companies that have been on the Working Mother 100 Best list for the past 28 years.

3. Mastercard

Industry: Financial Services

Employees Worldwide: 10,300+

Diversity & Inclusion: For the past 4 years in a row, Mastercard has made it into the Top 10 of DiversityInc’s 50 Best Companies for Diversity list. They believe that “diversity is what drives better insights, better decisions, and better products. It is the backbone of innovation”. A particularly unique project that Mastercard has executed over the past few years involves getting older employees in the company more active when it comes to social media. To address generational barriers, “YoPros” BRG (the Young Professionals Business Resource Group) offers a one-on-one ‘Social Media Reverse Mentoring’ program to older employees who want to become familiarised with the platforms.

4. Accenture

Industry: Professional Services/Consulting

Employees Worldwide: 375,000+

Diversity & Inclusion: Accenture believe “that no one should be discriminated against because of their differences, such as age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, religion or sexual orientation.” Diversity training within the company is broken into 3 different categories; 1) Diversity Awareness – to help people understand the benefits of working with a diverse organisation, 2) Diversity Management – to equip executives to manage diverse teams and 3) Professional Development – to enable women, LGBT and ethnically diverse employees to build skills for success. The organisation also hosts a company-wide celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities as well as endeavour to help their employees with various support like assistive technology, flexible work arrangements and additional training.

5. Kaiser Permanent

Industry: Healthcare

Employees Worldwide: 177,500+

Diversity & Inclusion: As the largest managed care organisation in the USA, the Kaiser Permanente labour force reflects no racial majority, with nearly 60% of the staff comprising of people of colour. Additionally, three-quarters of all employees, nearly half of the executive team, and more than one-third of their physicians are women. Part of the diversity agenda is to provide culturally-acceptable medical care and culturally-appropriate services to all of the 140 cultures currently represented in the population of the US. The company also ranked No.1 on the DiversityInc list, staying within the top 5 in the last 6 consecutive years.

6. EY

Industry: Professional Services

Employees Worldwide: 212,000+

Diversity & Inclusion: At EY, they believe that “only the highest-performing teams, which maximise the power of different opinions, perspectives, and cultural references, will succeed in the global marketplace.” The organisation was the first of the Big Four to assign full-time, partner-level leadership to diversity recruiting. Ever since, the number of women in top executive management positions has increased by more than 20% and programmes such as EY Launch have begun, which is for ethnically diverse college freshmen, sophomores and transfer students, and builds awareness of accounting as a major and professional services as a profession.

7. Disney

Industry: Mass Media Entertainment

Employees Worldwide: 180,000+

Diversity & Inclusion: They say that Disney World is the happiest place on earth, but is it one of the most diverse places to work? “As a company built on the magic of storytelling that entertains, enlightens and inspires families around the world, Disney recognises that diversity and inclusion are fundamental to its success.” Along with setting up the Global Workplace and Women’s Initiative (GWWI) programme, which focuses on expanding opportunities for women, the organisation also successfully achieved more promotions for Latinos than 75.6% of the rest of the companies that made it onto the DiversityInc Top 50 list.

8. Coca-Cola

Industry: Beverage

Employees Worldwide: 123,200+

Diversity & Inclusion: At Coca-Cola, diversity is seen “as more than just policies and practices. It is an integral part of who we are as a company, how we operate and how we see our future.” Diversity education programmes include Diversity Training, a Diversity Speaker Series and a Diversity Library. In 2017, a new parental benefits policy will be implemented, whereby 6 weeks of paid leave will be extended to all new mothers and fathers. The move was championed by ‘Coca-Cola Millennial Voices’, a group of young employees tasked with making sure there is a healthy level of employee retention in millennial consumers and staff members.

9. Marriott International

Industry: Hospitality/Tourism

Employees Worldwide: 200,000+

Diversity & Inclusion: Named as one of the ‘World’s Best Multinational Workplaces by Great Place to Work’, the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence, Marriott International extends their commitment to creating an inclusive guest experience to their workforce around the globe. Women-owned business enterprises make up approximately 10% of Marriott’s supply chain and they vow to have 1,500 open hotels owned by women and diverse partners by 2020. LGBT inclusion is also a top priority for Marriott International. They received that ‘Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality’ accolade when they earned a perfect score on the HRC’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index, a widely recognised benchmark for diversity and inclusion.

10. Novartis

Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Employees Worldwide: 118,700+

Diversity & Inclusion Hiring Methods: Novartis believe that diversity is integral to their success, because it helps them to understand the unique needs of their patients and find innovative ways of addressing those needs. Within the organisation, the word ‘disability’ has been replaced with ‘diverseability’ because they don’t view people living with disabilities as having a lack of a bility, but rather having diverse skills and proficiencies. Human Resources professionals in the company are also educated on topics such as unconscious bias, inclusive leadership, disabilities/accommodations and compensation/pay equity in order to improve their diversity hiring methods.

Originally posted by Michelle McSweeney

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