2006 TOP 50 RANK: 20
EMPLOYEE-RESOURCE GROUPS INVOLVED:
Body Size Affinity Group and Pride Network
WHAT THEY TOLD THEM: Macy’s Florida’s
Body Size Affinity Group met with Macy’s
buyers for its petite and women’s sizes to
ensure they purchased clothing that reflects the
diverse sizes of women within the market. The
group discussed the need for different size
assortments for female consumers, including
larger-sized models in print marketing.
And Macy’s Florida’s Pride Network, which
is comprised of mostly gay and lesbian
employees, told the company’s senior leaders
about the benefit of attending Walt Disney
World’s Gay Days at Disney.
WHAT HAPPENED: “I know the body-size
group influenced the use of plus-size models
and influenced the assortment and decisions
buyers made,” says Corliss Fong, operative vice
president for diversity management at
Federated Department Stores, owner of
Pride Network members sold Macy’s products, opened credit-card accounts and provided
employment information at the Gay Days. In
management’s viewpoint, the event was such a
success that Macy’s Florida decided to hold
events targeting other groups based on the
advice of its employee-resource groups. The
company is planning a spring cosmetics event
targeting black, Latina and Asian-American
women, showcasing Macy’s cosmetic lines.
“The point is creating the connection with
our key consumer groups,” says Fong.
COMPANY: Red Lobster (Darden Restaurants)
2006 TOP 50 RANK: 50
EMPLOYEE-RESOURCE GROUP INVOLVED:
WHAT THEY TOLD THEM: When Darden’s Red
Lobster was preparing to roll out Spanish-language advertising, the company’s Latino-employee network told executives that Red
Lobster’s advertising agency got it wrong.
The ad agency refused to change the ad and
Darden let focus groups decide which group
was right, says Linda Landman-Gonzalez,
director of diversity and community affairs
for Darden Restaurants.
WHAT HAPPENED: Guess who was right? The
employee network. The ad never ran—and
Darden won’t tell us what it said. After this,
Darden’s employee groups informed company
leaders on everything from menu items to dining experience to employee surveys.
“It’s incredible market insight to know what
works and doesn’t work in everything we do,”
says Landman-Gonzalez. “[Employee groups]
build diversity into how we make decisions.”
COMPANY: Merck & Co.
2006 TOP 50 RANK: 34
EMPLOYEE-RESOURCE GROUP INVOLVED:
Women’s network; black- and Latino-employee networks.
WHAT THEY TOLD THEM: These three employee groups informed company leaders of the
need to advertise more of the pharmaceutical
giant’s products directly to their communities.
Merck’s employee networks invited experts to
discuss health disparities in communities of
color during events attended by the networks
and top executives.
WHAT HAPPENED: For its asthma product,
“the [Latino] group is giving us guidance on
key media outlets, [Latino] celebrities who
would endorse the product and get attention
in the Hispanic community, and how to
ensure marketing is culturally sensitive,” says
Deborah Dagit, executive director, Diversity
& Work Environment.
The Latino network also is helping Merck
create a marketing strategy for Januvia, an oral
medication for diabetes.
The women’s network partnered with other
employee networks to help develop Merck’s Tell
Someone campaign about the new vaccination
against cervical cancer aimed at younger women.
The idea was that if everyone told their friends
and family, the public-health message would
spread exponentially through personal networks.
“We knew that women are going to be the
primary drivers of girls being vaccinated, and we
wanted that to happen cross-culturally, so we
worked with all of our networks,” says Dagit. DI