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Diversity Matters

Harland Clarke Hosts Diversity Management Panel Discussion

Panelists offer four key take-away ideas for financial institutions


Diversity has many dimensions, including visible aspects such as race and gender, as well as non-visible qualities like family status, generation, tenure, social styles, work experience, abilities, and the unique skills, characteristics and perspectives of a collective mixture of people. Similarly, a variety of approaches to diversity management exist. But diversity management leaders often agree on one point: Know your why. Know why your organization is engaged in diversity management activities, and what it hopes to achieve by implementing them.

Harland Clarke recently hosted a diversity panel discussion with several diversity management leaders, each of whom shared experiences and insights. Here are four of their take-away ideas for financial institutions.

Carolyn Cartwright, Vice President and Director of Diversity and Inclusion, SunTrust Bank

One way to strengthen support for diversity management objectives is to align them with the strategies and goals of the organization as a whole, Cartwright suggests. Linking diversity management to the organization’s value proposition and bottom line will further bolster diversity and inclusion efforts. In addition, finding ways to measure diversity initiatives, such as a scorecard, will help measure progress.

 

Kevin Clayton, Chief Diversity Officer, U.S. Tennis Association

When it comes to recruitment, there tends to be significant competition among companies to hire minority candidates from the top-ranked colleges and universities in the country. Clayton suggests broadening the field of talented prospective candidates by recruiting at other respected institutions, like historically black colleges and universities

 

Rosalie Chamberlain, Diversity Manager at the Law Firm of
Alston & Bird

For the first time, four generations are interacting in the workplace. Chamberlain suggests fostering an environment where those in each generation can share what’s important to them, learn from others and offer their perspectives on various workplace issues. The same applies to internal networking groups that form around a characteristic members have in common, such as race, gender, lifestyle preference or family status

 

Frank McCloskey, Vice President of Diversity, Georgia Power

According to McCloskey, “The ultimate measure of success for diversity is to sustain a culture of excellence where every employee feels valued, respected and productive. This outcome can best be achieved by the one-on-one, trusted relationship between a manager and an employee.”

Financial institutions have long understood the need to build relationships with their account holders. More than ever, the same is true of focusing on internal relationships. Benefits can include more productive and satisfied employees who are more likely to build positive relationships with account holders, a lower personnel turnover rate and fewer costs associated with employee attrition.