Diversity by Design:
Driving Inclusion and Opportunity in Corporate America
By Judy Turnock
The collective Hispanic buying power in the U.S. is already near $1 trillion, and that figure will continue to increase along with the projected growth of the Hispanic population. How can Corporate America most effectively tap into and develop this substantial talent pool? How can companies reach this vast market of increasingly affluent consumers and businesspeople?
The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), a coalition of 16 national Hispanic leadership organizations, works with almost 50 corporate members and the broader corporate audience to capitalize on today’s—and tomorrow’s—Hispanic buying power in the U.S.
“As HACR prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary, a milestone in its mission to advance Hispanic inclusion in Corporate America, it’s also looking ahead,” says Carlos F. Orta, HACR’s president and CEO. “HACR will continue offering unique leadership development programs to build and maintain a robust pipeline of corporate executives and leaders who hold a competitive advantage in the war for talent.”
Here are highlights of some key HACR programs.
Next Generation of Achievers
The HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ Program (YHCA) recognizes the accomplishments of young Hispanics who have shown commendable leadership qualities within their corporations and a proven commitment to the Latino community. HACR offers YHCAs the opportunity to attend a comprehensive leadership development, education and training program, where they are encouraged to share success strategies in dynamic peer-to-peer conversations, and engage in thought-provoking sessions with other young leaders who share their drive for corporate excellence.
Building the Ranks of Executive Leadership
Hispanic executives gather annually at the HACR Corporate Executives Forum™ (CEF) for the unique opportunity to share best practices, exchange views of Hispanic inclusion, explore different challenges and solutions, and network with peers and corporate directors.
The forum gathers a high-level group of thought leaders to discuss topics of critical importance, including the current state of corporate governance, strategic planning and response to multicultural market needs, and effective leadership in corporate boardrooms, inviting participants to exchange effective best practices and further strengthen Hispanic leadership in Corporate America.
Increasing the Pool of Hispanic Corporate Directors
HACR’s annual Corporate Directors Summit (CDS) brings together a group of Hispanic executives who have reached the pinnacle of corporate success to discuss efficient corporate governance. “The CDS was a fantastic opportunity,” reports Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president of Toyota North America and a Levi Strauss & Co. director. “Engaging with industry thought leaders enhances our ability to work toward greater inclusion of Hispanics in our individual businesses.”
Through HACR’s signature programs and value proposition for the advancement of Hispanic inclusion in the United States, the organization will continue delivering the tools needed to build a solid pipeline of Hispanic leaders. To learn more about HACR, visit www.hacr.org.
Mark Your Calendar: Annual HACR Symposium— May 2-3, 2011 Washington, D.C.
The world is becoming increasingly connected, visible and transparent. More than half of Cargill’s 131,000 employees work outside the United States, so our employee base is quite diverse. Each employee’s unique talents, perspectives and life experiences are critical to our success—which is why we appreciate and celebrate individual differences at our company.
Q: How do your CEO and senior executives participate in diversity and inclusion?
A: The Cargill leadership team is very involved in diversity and inclusion, and our chief executive officer, Greg Page, leads the initiative. The leadership team considers it a priority for Cargill businesses to pursue diversity and inclusion, including both the diversity of suppliers to Cargill and the diversity of Cargill employees.
For example, our vice president of Corporate Diversity, Margaret Studer, leads a team that is charged with creating focus and building foundations to increase diversity in Cargill’s global workforce. This includes creating and implementing relevant programs that make Cargill an employer of choice; increasing the company’s capabilities and capacity to effectively lead and manage diversity and inclusion; and positively impacting diversity best practices through knowledge generation, analysis and review.
Q: What role do employee resource groups and mentoring play in Cargill’s diversity and inclusion?
A: Employee resource groups started as a grassroots effort to increase awareness of diversity initiatives and to support Cargill in creating a work environment that maximizes each employee’s unique talents and perspectives.
While the employee resource groups still meet their original objectives, they have transformed into much more. They have become a business resource for Cargill by collaborating with our Global Diversity & Inclusion group to develop mentoring programs for senior leaders, create business conferences for women and people of color, connect businesses to resources for hiring diverse employees, and spotlight Cargill to external diverse talent. Employee resource groups are open to everyone and include the Asia America Alliance, the Disability AWAREness Council, the Ebony Council, GROW (for bringing new employees on board), the Hispanic-Latino Council, the Rainbow Alliance, and the Women’s Council.
“Quite simply, more diversity means more ideas, which ultimately results in more value for our customers—and that makes a great business.”
Q: What business advantages have diversity and inclusion provided Cargill?
A: Selecting, developing, engaging and retaining diverse talent enables our businesses and functions to achieve strategic goals. Not only does diversity make the workplace more dynamic, interesting and rewarding for everyone, but having diversity and inclusion as part of the fabric of the Cargill culture leads to successful business results.
For example, creativity increases when people with different backgrounds come together to meet challenges and solve problems. Productivity can also increase when diverse people work together toward a common goal. Cargill has a variety of different businesses with people in 66 countries, so there are endless opportunities to make connections that are rewarding for employees and result in innovative solutions for our customers. Quite simply, more diversity means more ideas, which ultimately results in more value for our customers—and that makes a great business.
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