AT&T Reaches 10-Year Milestone of Celebrating Employee Resource Groups

The annual gathering is significant because it's the "life blood of the culture of our company," said Corey Anthony, senior vice president-human resources and chief diversity officer.

AT&T (No. 3 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) reached a milestone this fall with its 10th annual Employee Resource Group (ERG) conference in Dallas. The company is committed more than ever to expanding its 12 ERGs, which grew in membership in 2018.

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Kavanaugh vs. Ford

A tale of a complete lack of diversity causing bad decisions, and shifting opinions nationwide, as well as a teachable moment for corporate America.

By DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti

Having zero diversity, and by trying to make it "Kavanaugh vs. Ford," the old, white Republican men lost control of the nomination, and made it about them versus all women, a situation that, at best, will be a Pyrrhic victory.

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Serena Williams' Iconic Wimbledon Run Makes Her a Champion for Working Mothers

Executives tell DiversityInc they can relate to the tennis star's return after a difficult childbirth and then missing an important milestone in her daughter's life.

At Wimbledon, Serena Williams, playing only her fourth tournament after returning from childbirth, reached the finals. Though Williams ultimately lost to Angelique Kerber of Germany, she climbed 153 spots in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranking, putting her at no. 28 in the list published Monday.

"To all the moms out there, I was playing for you today. And I tried," Williams, 36, said on Saturday. "Angelique played really well."

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Prudential Report: Asian Americans Financially Outpace U.S. Population

Asian Americans doing better finically, but carry more family caregiver responsibilities than U.S. general population.

Asian Americans also have more caregiver responsibilities at home.

By Eve Tahmincioglu

Asian Americans significantly outpace the U.S. general population when it comes to income and retirement expectations, while at the same time provide more caregiving and financial support to family members, a Prudential Financial report released Thursday found.

Prudential’s 2016 Asian American Financial Experience survey found that the median personal income for this group is $62,000 and median household income is $87,000, compared to $42,000 and $62,000, respectively, for the population overall. (Prudential is No. 10 on the 2016 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list.)

Contributing factors for the income difference, the study pointed out, include where this group tends to live and educational attainment.

  • Asian American populations are concentrated — in the East and West—and income levels are comparable to those of the general population.

  • Asian Americans are more likely to have higher levels of education, with 38 percent holding a bachelor’s degree versus 26 percent for the general population.

  • Asian Americans also are more likely to hold professional, managerial or administrative jobs that tend to pay more than other positions (55 percent hold such jobs, versus 47 percent for the general population).

On the home front, this group is pitching in more.

  • Approximately one-third of Asian Americans identify themselves as caregivers for another person (e.g., spouse, parent, relative), compared to 22 percent of the U.S. general population.

  • 20 percent of Asian Americans provide financial assistance to their relatives, versus only 6 percent of the U.S. general population.

“Today’s Asian Americans are devoting substantial resources to helping their families, and many also want to retire at an earlier age than most Americans,” said Sri Reddy, senior vice president and head of full service investments at Prudential Retirement, at a press conference Thursday to share the report findings.

Overall, the financial picture for this group was largely positive:

  • More than a third of Asian Americans believe they could maintain their current lifestyle for a year or more if their household lost all of its regular monthly income.

  • Asian Americans believe they will be able to retire at age 64.6 – more than a year earlier than the U.S. general population.

  • 58 percent of Asian Americans surveyed feel that they are better off financially than their parents were at the same age, versus 49 percent of the U.S. general population.

While the financial news is rosy, the numbers of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in senior management ranks still lags. While DiversityInc’s Top 10 Companies for Diversity have nearly 15 percent of Asians in management and 8 percent in the senior management ranks, U.S. organizations overall have less than 6 and 5 percent, respectively.

Reddy said part of what may be driving this disparity is that many Asian Americans look for occupations with a higher predictability of success, so they may opt to become doctors, dentists, etc., instead of focusing on climbing to the top at organizations.

But he also stressed that the numbers we see in managerial ranks aren’t as gloomy as some people think. “There are about 5 percent Asians in the workforce,” he explained, so their representation in the corner offices as they stand today may not be out of line.

Some additional key findings from Prudential’s report:

  • Asian American respondents are more likely than the general population to have access to a retirement savings plan at work: 76 percent versus 66 percent.

  • What’s more, 58 percent of those with access to a workplace plan contribute to it at a percentage equal to or greater than the amount their employer matches.

  • Only 38 percent of Asian Americans surveyed responded that they carry credit card debt, compared with 48 percent of the general population.

  • Asian Americans also are less likely to have medical debt (7 percent of Asian Americans, versus 12 percent of the general population), and auto loans (30 percent versus 36 percent).

  • Mortgage balances are higher. By contrast, reflecting the higher housing costs in the East and West where the majority of them reside, Asian Americans tend to have higher mortgage balances (7 percent have mortgage balances of $500,000 or more, versus less than 1 percent of the general population).

 

 

 

Lawsuits May Widen LGBT Protections

Two federal lawsuits could lead to far-reaching legal protections for LGBT employees who face discrimination in the workplace.

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EEOC files first ever sex bias cases based on sexual orientation

By Eve Tahmincioglu

Two federal lawsuits could lead to far-reaching legal protections for LGBT employees who face discrimination in the workplace.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed its first sex discrimination cases based on sexual orientation. The twin lawsuits – one against Scott Medical Health Center and the other against IFCO Systems – allege harassment based on sexual orientation.

"With the filing of these two suits, EEOC is continuing to solidify its commitment to ensuring that individuals are not discriminated against in workplaces because of their sexual orientation," said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez. "While some federal courts have begun to recognize this right under Title VII, it is critical that all courts do so."

What opened the door to lawsuits like these was the agencies ruling in July that workplace bias against people for being gay, lesbian or bisexual constitutes gender discrimination under the law.

Greg Nevins, a lawyer with Lambda Legal in Atlanta, told Bloomberg BNA that the EEOC’s move sends a “very empowering” message for LGBT individuals and educates both workers and employers that the law is advancing. 

It’s unclear how these cases will play out, but what is clear is that the focus on LGBT rights in the workplace continues.

Many of DiversityInc’s Top 50 companies have already taken great strides to level the playing field for LGBT employees and are known for being more inclusive when it comes to recruiting and employees this group.

Why? These three factors are a big part of the reason:

  • • The right culture — one with a no tolerance for discrimination

    • The right benefits, including for transgender employees

    • The right support system, especially an LGBT and employee-resource groups

 

Indeed, being branded as an LGBT-inclusive employer takes effort. Companies that receive a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index have to go through several qualifying steps, including offering transgender reassignment benefits.

Top 50U.S. (HRC)
LGBT non-discrimination training100%80%
Include gender identity in employment protections100%66%
Offer gender reassignment surgery86%28%

 

Forty-two of the DiversityInc Top 50 earned 100 percent CEI scores, as well as 18 on the DiversityInc 25 Noteworthy list. To be considered for DiversityInc’s Top 10 Companies for LGBT Employees, a company must have a 100 percent CEI score.

DiversityInc Top 50 companies have long been at the forefront of LGBT inclusivity.

 

 

 

 

 

EY: Proactively Recruiting Employees with Disabilities

EY sees to it that their recruiters are well prepared to find viable candidates with differing abilities. The firm’s nontraditional recruiting methods can be used at any company trying to recruit and retain people with disabilities.

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EY sees to it that their recruiters are well prepared to find viable candidates with differing abilities. The firm’s nontraditional recruiting methods can be used at any company trying to recruit and retain people with disabilities.

By Tamika Cody

As baby boomers retire in droves and millennials venture out every two to three years for a new opportunity, filling the void in the employment gap has become more challenging than ever. But it’s a challenge that can be easily conquered if companies consider recruiting candidates with disabilities.

The talent is there. According to the 2014 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Labor Force Characteristics Summary, the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities was 64.6 percent. And over the past 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, the unemployment rate for the group has only decreased by 5.4 percent. It’s a number that companies should pay more attention to, especially those scrambling to figure out how to replenish the dwindling talent pool.

          Steve Howe

One company that has stayed on top of tapping into the disabled workforce is EY. The accounting firm currently holds the No. 1 spot on DiversityInc’s Top 10 Companies for People With Disabilities (and the No. 4 spot on the Top 50 Companies for Diversity). It’s a position that the firm earned by communicating its priorities from the executive level. “Part of my job is to set the right tone from the top,” EY’s managing partner, Steve Howe, said during an interview with DiversityInc. Howe also expressed the importance of educating team leaders on how to be inclusive with people with varying abilities. “We are doing all of those things in terms of communication, awareness, changes to the workplace and educating our leaders to be inclusive.”

Recruiter Preparation

The firm tapped several individuals within its diversity recruiting area to focus on veterans and people with disabilities. “Their focus is really strategic,” said Lori Golden, EY’s abilities strategy leader. “It’s not that they are the individuals who interview people with disabilities that happen to come our way. They are the people who spend time thinking about new and creative ways for us to find partnerships with organizations, for us to continually educate our recruiters so that our recruiters understand our commitment and themselves feel comfortable interacting with people who have differing abilities.”

         Lori Golden

One of the interesting new things EY has done is take the initiative and seek out opportunities, rather than wait until a prospect makes his or her way to the firm. “We proactively look for opportunities for our recruiters to get out into the marketplace where they are helping guide students and job candidates with disabilities,” said Golden.

The recruiters assist potential candidates with résumé review, attend networking events and sit on panel discussions throughout the year. “This gives us an opportunity to meet candidates,” shared Golden. “It also gives us an opportunity to give that recruiter direct interaction with a lot of students with disabilities. When [a recruiter] comes back and starts recruiting, it’s easier for the recruiter because he or she is more comfortable.” She added that it’s also a way to get recruiters out in the field to give back and invest in the pipeline: “The other benefit is that we are educating [recruiters] through direct experience. That is one of the practices that I think is unusual, which we’re proud of.”

Training and educating EY recruiters is an ongoing, multilayered process. “We don’t believe in one shots. We don’t do just one training and say we’re done,” Golden explained. On a quarterly basis, EY recruiters receive updates on what’s taking shape in the marketplace around issues of diversity, what the firm is doing that’s new and different and what some of the success stories are within the firm.

The firm has recruiters, managers and those higher up than managers go through inclusive leadership training. “Disabilities is woven into the fabric,” said Golden. “We have case studies in almost every area of diversity, including disabilities,” which Golden noted is part of the foundation.

Although EY exemplifies best practices on recruiting and retaining employees with differing abilities, other companies are also really getting it. “There are more companies focusing on the culture, the leadership and driving inclusion throughout all aspects of the organization rather than simply going out and recruiting,” Golden said. “To me, that’s what’s really exciting.”

Take a Second Look

Recruiting people with disabilities has been important to EY approach since its founding thanks to its co-founder, Arthur Young, who was deaf and had impaired vision. But Golden who admits the firm has had to re-evaluate its approach over the years. “What we hadn’t done, until about 10 years ago, is to take a step back and ask, ‘Is our culture as welcoming as it needs to be? Is our environment welcoming?’”

Golden said the firm didn’t just look at the physical space, education or accessibility. Rather, EY took all business processes into consideration. “Are your business processes really inclusive for all of your people? Do you do things like caption routinely? Do you take into account that people may need information in different formats and that you need to create transcriptions of [documents] that needs to be available seamlessly? … Are you thinking through how it is to participate with someone with different abilities at social events? More and more companies are doing that.”

Click here to see the 2015 DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for People With Disabilities.

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