Late last year, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, the largest CEO-driven coalition to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace, announced three key actions at its second annual CEO Closed-Door Session. These actions support the coalition’s foundational commitments to broaden awareness of unconscious bias and encourage difficult conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

“The bold actions announced today will help leaders draw on our collective power to drive change,” said Tim Ryan, US Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC and chair of the CEO Action steering committee. “Together, we have made unprecedented progress, but we must continue to challenge ourselves in new ways to foster more open, inclusive and diverse workplaces and communities.” 

The three actions announced include:

• Launching the new “Check Your Blind Spots” unconscious bias mobile tour with experiential elements and online resources to give people the opportunity to learn about and explore ways to mitigate unconscious bias in their everyday lives. The tour will make 100 stops across the country and engage one million people.

• Initiating the “I Act On” pledge, in conjunction with the unconscious bias mobile tour, individuals can commit to action through a personal pledge to mitigate any personal unconscious biases, and act on driving more inclusive behaviors in their everyday lives. Individuals can also take the pledge via ceoaction.com/pledge.

• Hosting a “Day of Understanding,” the largest conversation about diversity and inclusion in the business community and beyond. More than 150 signatories will come together to take bold action and host a day of candid conversations within each of their respective companies surrounding race, gender and age in order to further embrace differences in our organizations.

In addition to discussing the new actions, CEOs and presidents will collaborate during working sessions and hear from employees about their real-life experiences at signatory companies. Speakers Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and Van Jones will also offer their perspectives on key diversity and inclusion topics.

The coalition will also release “Beyond the Bottom Line”, a five-part landmark series featuring conversations between CEOs and their employees, unpacking diversity and inclusion issues confronting the workplace today hosted on the Huffington Post’s Purpose + Profit platform, and sponsored by PwC.

“The collaborative sessions, direct CEO-to-CEO engagement and the new actions announced today are tangible examples of how CEO Action realizes the significant role individual CEOs can play in continuing to advance diversity and inclusion,” said David Taylor, Chairman, President and CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company. “As leaders in our industries, organizations and communities, creating positive change and making an impact is our responsibility.”

With research showing that 78 percent of Americans want companies to address important social justice issues, the actions outlined at the second annual Closed-Door Session will help the coalition’s more than 500 signatories, representing 85 industries and 12 million employees, glean ideas and opportunities to drive additional progress within their companies and organizations around diversity and inclusion.

Here are some key leadership quotes from CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion steering committee members:

Accenture North America CEO Julie Sweet: “Workplace equality needs to be treated like a business strategy.  That means establishing a vision, goals, accountability, measurement and an action plan as well as ensuring transparency across the organization.”

The Boston Consulting Group’s Regional Chairman of North America Joe Davis: “Convening today, leader to leader, is critical to helping us stay accountable to our diversity and inclusions commitments and most importantly our people. We have to keep challenging our thinking, taking bold action and really listening to our employees to thrive as a business and employer, delivering value to our clients and the marketplace.”

Deloitte US CEO Cathy Engelbert: “It is important that we continue to raise the bar on the awareness of issues influencing diversity and inclusion and empower courageous conversations in the workplace. As leaders, we have a responsibility to keep an open dialogue, educate, and train our people in ways that promote true inclusivity, including awareness of unconscious bias. The actions announced today will help equip us as evolving leaders to do just that. I believe the power of our collective efforts can serve as a catalyst for strengthening inclusion across our nation.”

KPMG US Chairman and CEO Lynne Doughtie: “The leaders gathered here today have a shared belief that diversity and inclusion will make us better— better employers, colleagues and neighbors. The actions announced today show just how serious we are about leading change, taking action and making an impact for a better tomorrow.”

The Executive Leadership Council President and CEO Skip Spriggs:  “CEO Action leaders know the value, the need and the power of inclusive leadership. The actions announced today will lead to more open and candid conversations about race in the workplace, unconscious bias education and training, and an elevated level of employee engagement on race and other key diversity and inclusion issues that are important to employees and communities across industries, sectors and geographies.”

EY US Chairman and Managing Partner and Americas Managing Partner, Kelly Grier: “Building an environment that celebrates and includes differences is essential to developing the transformative leaders we need in today’s complex business environment. It takes bold action to make an impact, and today’s announcements show how passionate CEO Action leaders are about driving cultural change.”

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. Bringing together more than 500 CEOs and presidents of America’s leading businesses, academic institutions and nonprofits representing 12 million employees, the commitment outlines actions that participating organizations pledge to take to cultivate a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected, employees feel comfortable and encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion, and where successful and well-known—and unsuccessful—actions can be shared across organizations. Learn more at CEOAction.com

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