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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

GovCon firms make commitment to diversity

CSRA CEO Larry Prior has joined a coalition of other CEOs working to advance workplace diversity and inclusion.

Prior joins just a handful of other government contractor senior executives who are members of CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion. Some of those contractors include Booz Allen Hamilton, Engility, Mitre, and Northrop Grumman.

The group has over 270 CEOs from a broad range of companies and industries such as Coca Cola, American Express, Kroger and Viacom.

There also are several other CEOs from companies that have significant public sector businesses including Accenture, AT&T, the Carlyle Group, IBM and Cisco.

Prior said that with 18,000 employees, “CSRA has a unique opportunity to influence and impact our employees and customers.”

Supporting diversity and inclusion shapes how the company makes decision, improves employee relations and “motivates us to provide innovative and imaginative next-gen solutions for our customers,” he said in a statement.

The CEO group helps member companies take concrete action and set goals for diversity and inclusion. One way they do this is through a clearinghouse of actions and practices by its members.

For example, the ceoaction.com website includes a CSRA case study about how they collected demographic information when the company was first formed. The survey they conducted helped them define what diversity and inclusion means at the company and gave them a starting point to measure progress.

Mitre holds an annual women’s leadership conference that both men and women attend.

While emphasizing diversity makes for positive PR, this isn’t about being politically correct. There is increasing evidence that diversity makes good business sense.

For example, diversity can help foster better decision making because multiple views and perspectives are present. Companies need to value diversity so contrary opinions and ideas are freely expressed.

Fostering diversity and inclusion takes leadership and that’s what I like about this CEO group. The emphasis on diversity is a commitment from the top of the organization.

Employees need to see and hear the CEO talking about diversity but they also need more than words. They need to see action and a personal commitment as well.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jul 25, 2017 at 10:45 AM

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