When I read the day’s news to stay abreast of trends and stories that may impact my company, I am drawn to stories that call attention to social issues, such as the recent opposition to Ellen DeGeneres being named spokesperson for retail giant JC Penny’s.
Since being hired to represent the retail giant, DeGeneres has faced growing opposition by a social activist groups angered by the company’s decision to hire a “non-conventional” representative to support the “traditional” family-oriented brand due to, DeGeneres sexual orientation.
While many have taken to the blogs in outrage of DeGeneres treatment recently and in support of the company, I pondered the country’s attitude towards diversity. We have made monumental advancements; however we can no longer ignore the fact that more needs to be done in building awareness around the importance of diversity & inclusion.
I was encouraged to see a retail giant stand firm behind its decision to support, DeGeneres and spoke volumes to its commitment as a leader and supporter of a brand that supports diversity & inclusion.
This controversy is timely, coming off the heels of the recent Global Diversity Leadership Exchange which I attended at the New York Stock Exchange.
The exchange not only brought out some of the best and brightest leaders in business but also sought to build awareness of the importance of diversity & inclusion, and there is no better place to have the exchange than at the world’s economic center.
The event was sponsored by Pitney Bowes
, Toyota Motor Sales USA, AT&T, Sodexo, Hewlett-Packard Company and Group O and featured a rich panel discussion featuring executives exchanging their perspectives and experiences in strengthening diversity & inclusion in their organizations.
It was affirming to see that what was once a “nice thing” to do is now a business imperative. This ensures that all individuals, regardless of their differences, are treated fairly.
The exchange not only enabled each company to share best practices and opportunities to improve current D&I programs in their organization but it also tasked each individual with a role in heightening the awareness of inclusion in today’s rapidly changing global marketplace.
Leaving the exchange I felt encouraged and inspired to know that I work for a company like Pitney Bowes that supports diversity and inclusion
and even more proud to see other global companies like JC Penny’s taking the same firm stance in support of it as well.