Notable Employers with a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion
The need for equal opportunity continues to be prevalent across all industries, and the following are some companies who have begun creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace
In the not so distant past, diversity and inclusion in work and business were viewed as something good to have but not really needed, or something beneficial to the workplace but not necessary to the bottom line.
Fortunately, that viewpoint has changed over the years, with research and data from the likes of management consulting firms like McKinsey & Company and educational institutions like the Peterson Institute for International Economics showing that diversity and inclusion are actually correlated to value creation and a company’s profitability.
So now, even if it seems that some employers have struggled to cultivate cultures that welcome and support all workers, others have already realized that this is fundamental in their long-term success. The following are some of these companies, which either serve among the leaders for diversity and inclusion or have recently upped its “D&I” efforts.
In June of 2018, Canadian multinational mass media and information firm Thomson and Reuters came out with its 2018 Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Index. The index examined company performance based on different factors that embody inclusive workplaces, and out of the publicly traded companies that were objectively evaluated on 24 metrics, multinational professional services company, Accenture emerged on top.
With offices in India, the Philippines, and the U.S., the company has shown its commitment to diversity and inclusion via its hiring. In 2017, Accenture added 1,800 employees of diverse backgrounds, up from an approximate 1,000 in 2016, and increased the number of women in their workforce from 36% to 37%, nearing its goal of doing this by 40% by 2020.
For the company, diversity is beneficial to both their bottom line and to keeping employees happy. As mentioned by Accenture’s chief leadership and human resources officer, Ellyn Shook, on the company’s website: “We believe that diversity is a source of innovation, creativity, and competitive advantage and creates a workplace where everyone feels equally accepted with a real sense of belonging.”
While local companies have a significant amount of ground to cover in terms of keeping up with the diversity and inclusion initiatives of their counterparts overseas, there are homegrown brands that continue to make strides in building workplace cultures that welcome and support all of its workers.
Among these has been Philippine holding company Aboitiz Equity Ventures. While widely known for its subsidiaries in industries such as power, real estate, food, and banking services, the company is also known in these circles as one which presents equal opportunities to employees and takes significant lengths to ensure their safety and success.
There are several examples of these that can be seen in the company, be it the Aboitiz Parenting Club, created for the many career-driven moms and dads working in the company, the run-of-river hydropower subsidiary HedCor pioneering the company’s “First Name Culture”, a program geared towards breaking company hierarchy and establishing a friendlier work environment, or power subsidiary Therma South, Inc. (TSI)’s first employee being a former 'payong-payong' driver who became TSI’s company driver then one of eventually one of its auxiliary operators.
Heineken International, by way of a joint venture with Asia Brewery, Inc. to form AB Heineken Philippines, Inc.,is still relatively new in terms of having operations in the Philippines. It has, however, been in business since 1864 when it was founded in Amsterdam.
It has since seen and been part of the different changes in workplace standards and, not surprisingly, is among the signatories of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) Inclusion and Diversity Pledge. In 2018, the same year it signed the pledge, Heineken also joined Workplace Pride, a non-profit foundation dedicated to improving the working lives of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI).
The company continues to roll out its Inclusion and Diversity action plan, which it claims to drive inclusion and diversity in its business by building inclusive behavior capabilities across the organization, establishing a worldwide community of ambassadors to support and engage people in its overall inclusion and diversity agenda, and developing company-wide programs that support its female high potential leaders in their development and career progression, among others.
Another company which appeared in Thomson and Reuters’ 2018 Diversity and Inclusion Index (ranked 52 with five other companies), Sun Life Financial is one of the largest financial companies in the world and has been a presence in the Philippines even before it was founded as a republic.
Given its long history, Sun Life is also widely known for being a major partner of change, and is notable for its commitment “to creating an inclusive and respectful environment, where all employees can contribute to their full potential.” The company’s Diversity and Inclusion Index, created from data the company collects via a bi-annual employee survey, is what it uses in the development of its D&I initiatives.
Another notable aspect of Sun Life’s initiatives has been applying its program to its employees and clientele, but also to the suppliers it works with. The company claims to “encourage the inclusion of diverse suppliers as part of our competitive bidding process. We strive to provide equal opportunities and access to qualified diverse suppliers while maintaining our high standards of quality, service and information security.”
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