tunities and challenges with regards to diversity. I say
opportunities because of the obvious business and vendor synergies that can [be] fostered across the globe and
challenges because we need to educate and integrate our
leaders to understand how to do business with, and perhaps employ, individuals in these markets.
Because of IKON’s broad definition of diversity, we
have found that our model is applicable to the countries in
which we operate. Additionally, our overall message to our
leaders and teams is clear in any culture—ensure that we
include all points of view at the table. Coming from our
background as 450 separate companies rolled into one
operating company, early on we developed the ability to
bring everyone to the table and build consensus among
different groups. We empower our local leaders to address
local issues or needs, while holding them accountable
through operations reviews. I believe the keys to success in
a global environment are education, empowerment, and
constant, concise communication to all constituencies.
Clay Osborne—Bausch & Lomb (No. 33)
Bausch & Lomb recognizes that diversity has different
meanings throughout the world and, therefore, should
not be managed everywhere in the same way. Diversity
definitions and issues vary from place to place, from culture to culture. For example, we know that workplace
diversity issues in the United States are focused mainly
on race and gender. But we learned that what diversity
means in the United States is not what it means in other
parts of the world. For example, in China, in addition
to gender issues, there is reluctance to hiring people
with disabilities. In India, a “brain-drain” is occurring as
older, more experienced workers are forced into early
retirement to make room for younger employees. In
Europe, many of the challenges revolve around immigration, national conflicts, religious differences and ethnicity. Finally, in Latin America, the challenge here is to
level the playing field for women, eliminate inequities in
the workplace based on gender, and overcome barriers
resulting from class differences.
Our ability to adapt to these diversities is essential
as we continue to grow as a global company. The
ascendance of global diversity has benefited our U.S.
diversity management in that it allows us to educate
our employees that diversity encompasses all dimensions of life—worldwide. We must continue to look at
diversity not only from a U.S.-centric perspective but
rather from a broader perspective, encompassing thinking styles, cultures, religions and lifestyles. The emphasis of our global-diversity efforts continues to be on
increasing the representation of women in leadership
bands and ensuring that diversity of thought has a level
field for all employees.
Philip Berry—vice president of global workplace initia-
tives, Colgate-Palmolive (No. 39)
We sell products in more than 200 countries around the
world. We define global diversity as fostering an inclusive
workplace that mirrors the diversity of the marketplace,
engages the entire organization and reflects positively on
the company externally.
Our global initiative of becoming the best place to
work, where people can contribute to the business based
on their unique talents and background, is a company-wide effort to attract, retain and develop the best talent. It
supports that belief and serves as a critical component of
our operating strategy … allows us to better focus on the
consumers, the profession and our customers. This leads to
effectiveness and efficiency in everything we do, innovation everywhere and maximizes leadership capabilities.
By being globally diverse and inclusive, we look at
the skills and capabilities of our people that enable us to
be sensitive to the needs of the consumer in whatever
country we happen to be in. Also, being sensitive to the
diverse needs of the consumer helps us to be innovative
in marketing, packaging and distributing our products
in a way that satisfies the needs of the consumers.
4. Please share with us your company’s definition of
how diversity contributes to the bottom line.
Xerox (No. 7)
In at least three ways:
One, a diverse, inclusive workplace environment that gives
everyone the opportunity to succeed
leads to a more motivated, loyal and innovative work force.
Two, the broad range
of experiences and
talents that a diverse Philip Harlow
work force brings ensures that Xerox best meets the needs
of a broad customer base. Three, supplier diversity
enables us to partner with diverse suppliers in efforts to
create and grow Xerox market share and revenue.
Anise Wiley-Little—Allstate (No. 8)