175 CEOs pledge to promote workplace diversity, inclusion

Some 175 companies are joining forces in an effort to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The new CEO-lead alliance, called CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion commitment, has three goals — to encourage conversations about diversity and inclusion, implement and expand unconscious bias education, and share diversity strategies — to help employers create better workplaces for millions of their employees.

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Cans of Coke soda sit in a storage area prior to shipping at the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co. SA plant in Brovary, Ukraine, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Heineken NV, Coca-Cola HBC AG and Castel Group are among companies bidding for a majority stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, according to people familiar with the matter. Photographer: Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg

“We are living in a world of complex divisions and tensions that can have a significant impact on our work environment,” says Tim Ryan, U.S. chairman and senior partner of PwC, who first proposed the idea of the alliance. “ Yet, it’s often the case that when we walk into our workplace — where we spend the majority of our time — we don’t openly address these topics. By sharing best known actions and programs, we are helping to create a more inclusive environment that will encourage all of us to bring our greatest talents, perspectives and experiences to the workplace.”

See also: PwC to mandate unconscious bias training

Company strategies, unconscious bias education modules and other information will be uploaded to CEOAction.com, a website that will serve as a communal hub for companies to catalog effective programs and measurement practices to help with their own diversity and inclusion strategies.

In the fall, signatories from employers such as Anthem, Coca-Cola, Pfizer and Under Armour will come together to assess initial progress, understand fundamental gaps and determine the next phase of this work, according to the coalition.

“As industry leaders, we are seizing the opportunity to help drive meaningful change in the communities we serve,” says Bill Ford, CEO of venture capital firm General Atlantic, one of the companies part of the initiative. “Acting now and having open conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace will empower our people to deliver their best work which will undoubtedly lead to greater business.”

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