white, black, Latino and Asian-American employees, it is 91 percent
across the board. The company
placed the first black and first female
presidents of hotels on the Las Vegas
strip—Lorenzo Creighton, president
and COO, New York-New York
Hotel & Casino, and Renee West,
president and COO of Excalibur.
West, however, is not the only female
president and COO in the MGM
MIRAGE family. In April, Holly
Gagnon was named president and
COO of Gold Strike Tunica resort
and hotel in Tunica, Miss.
Of the hotel-and-resort company’s entire management, 33. 75 percent were people of color, while at
Top 50 companies the average was
23. 8 percent. Of its mid-level managers (reports to direct reports to the
CEO), 11. 25 percent were black,
14. 75 percent were Latino, and 10. 75
percent were Asian American. At Top
50 companies, the averages were 5. 57
percent black, 4. 19 percent Latino
and 4. 94 percent Asian American.
To increase promotions of people
of color, MGM MIRAGE created
Reach, tailored for line-level
employees who want to become
supervisors. MGM management
partnered with the employee’s union
to provide Reach training. Beyond
Reach is Take Flight training that
develops supervisors into directors
through weekend-long training.
Of the company’s management
promotions, 14. 20 percent were
black, while 8. 48 percent went to
Latinos and 8. 85 percent to Asian
Americans. At Top 50 companies,
management promotions were
10. 14 percent black, 7. 27 percent Latino, and 8. 34
percent went to Asian American employees of the
The next level is reached by CEO commitment and
measurement. Harris Bank has both. The company is
developing a strong diversity initiative enabling it to
provide products tailored for its customers’ needs.
“We require managers to submit, along with a request
for promotions, that they have identified a diverse slate of
candidates,” says Yasmine Meralli, vice president of diversity and workplace equity for BMO Financial Group, the
parent company of Harris Bank, No. 41 on The 2006
DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list.
Harris Bank convened its first diversity task force in
1989. It looked at recruitment, retention and promotions and works with employee-resource groups to
recruit a diverse array of executives. The CEO, Franklin
J. Techar, utilizes his CEO Council on Equitable
Workforce, which features a membership of the bank’s
most senior leadership, to look at the company’s performance relative to its objectives for representation.
The company actively recruits people with disabilities
and utilizes two of its employees-with-disabilities-resource groups, Step Ahead Group and EnVision
Group, to assess employee and marketplace needs.
“People with disabilities are supportive and are very
Innovation Pays Off
pleased with the progress Harris has made,” says Meralli.
Recruiting in nontraditional spots has proved a plus for
Compuware, No. 49 on The 2006 DiversityInc Top 50
Companies for Diversity list. The software-development
company’s Chinese Association helped recruit employees
at a children’s school. The employee-resource group had
members who sent their children to weekend Chinese-language school. While parents waited for their children
to finish their studies, Chinese Association members
talked to them about working for Compuware.
The company is experiencing an increase of clients
who ask for proof of its diversity commitment, says
Penny Deitch, director of diversity and community
relations at Compuware.
Of Compuware’s new hires, 41 percent were people
of color, while of its management employees, 29. 5 percent were people of color. At Top 50 companies, 40. 2
percent of new hires and 23. 8 percent of management
employees were people of color.
“Sometimes clients will say they want to see a mirror of their community in the staff we offer them,” says
Deitch. “Sales is so much about relationships, so it
behooves us to use every tool we can to be successful in
the market.” DI