Women Business Collaborative held its Virtual Summit from September 21, 2021 – September 22, 2021 where eight CEOs were presented The Excellence Award in Gender and Diversity. The awards were selected from in depth criteria-based analysis.
Edie Fraser, CEO, WBC shared her excitement, “The Summit was extraordinary with the motivation of the speakers extending to the 3550 registrants. The CEO award winners individually and collectively were clear, compelling, and committed to driving results with passion and resolve.”
What was interesting was the actual conversation with these eight CEOs, which I had the privilege to moderate, along with my WBC co-host and fellow board member Becky Shambaugh. To bring you into this riveting — and incredibly important — discussion, below are actual quotes from each of the CEOs (in order of the photo):
- Laurence D. Fink, Founder, Chair & CEO, BlackRock
- Jim Fitterling, Chair and CEO, Dow
- David Taylor, Chair, President & CEO, P&G
- Barbara Humpton, President and CEO, Siemens Corporation
- Mary T. Barra, Chair and CEO, General Motors
- Ronald P. O’Hanley, Chairman and CEO, State Street
- Tricia Griffith, President & CEO, Progressive Insurance
- Doug McMillon, President and CEO, Walmart Inc.
Mary Barra, General Motors: “At General Motors, we aspire to be the most inclusive company in the world. As a company, we want to reflect the world around us and make sure every employee knows they can bring their true self to work. GM has long been a global leader in advocating for women’s equality in the workplace, and I have the honor of leading the company today because of the many decades of commitment to providing opportunities and advancing women. As our industry transforms, we’re working to lead that transformation with teams made up of diverse backgrounds and experiences, which offers various points of view and can help drive better decisions.”
Jim Fitterling, Dow: “It’s not so much about policies on the wall or vague HR statements. It’s doing the hard work to create an inclusive culture. It’s talking, frankly and openly, about where we’ve succeeded and where we’ve failed. It’s outlining a true and achievable path forward on all of these issues, including gender parity and equity. More than anything, though, it’s about people and leaders and about role models. And, often, the best role models are those who are not only leading by example, but those who have their own examples and experiences to draw from.
If we’re hoping achieve our ambition and purpose, we need individuals who bring fresh ideas, new perspectives, and boundless energy. We need the most diverse, most inclusive, and most engaged talent we can get.”
Tricia Griffith, Progressive: “I’ve long been an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, as these elements are fundamental to our Core Values. As the CEO, I’ve put a premium on creating a diverse and inclusive environment for all of our employees, where all people can bring their authentic selves to work and feel safe, welcomed, valued and respected, “said Tricia Griffith, President and CEO of Progressive Insurance. “Like every part of our business, we have objectives in which we measure our performance and reassess our initiatives and investments. Our goal is to ultimately reflect the customers we serve and for our leaders to represent the people they lead. While we’ve made progress, we know we have work to do, and our commitment has never been stronger.”
Barbara Humpton, Siemens Corporation: “We’re championing a couple of priorities that I think are important to connecting women with leadership opportunities throughout our organization. The first is empowering people to bring their full, authentic selves to work. The second is fostering a growth mindset in which we encourage everyone to learn and try new things. Our aim is to be a business that reflects the diversity of the customers, industries and societies we serve. So we have to model the change we wish to see. It’s how we’ll solve big problems and drive the best results, but it’s also how we’ll make it possible for everyone to realize their full potential.”
Doug McMillon, Walmart: “The past 18 months, more than ever, have shown us that we are stronger when people are heard, included and empowered. We need to keep finding ways to leverage our collective strengths to create a more equitable society. It will take all of us to bring about the change we want to see, and that’s the vision we embrace at Walmart.”
Ron O’Hanley, State Street: “To help ensure long-term success and value creation, business leaders must harness and embrace ideas from diverse backgrounds. At State Street, our 10 Actions to Address Racism and Inequality are a guide to drive equity across our company, our industry, and the communities we serve. Our 10 Actions, focused on transparency, accountability, and action, are not only helping us drive better business outcomes, but also forging a greater sense of engagement and belonging across our business.”
David Taylor, P&G: “Our commitment to equality and inclusion starts at the top of our company. From our Board of Directors to me to our Leadership Team, our equality and inclusion efforts are embedded in how we do business. It isn’t bolted on. It’s intentional and strategic. Representation is an ongoing commitment. It’s one of many ways we make and measure our progress. From the Board level on down, we believe that equality benefits all of us, and it will take all of us, working together, to make a bigger impact.
It starts with clear aspirations and accountability. You have to personally make it important to yourself and to your leadership team and P&G is committed to making progress at all levels of our company. My vision is unleashing the tremendous human capacity in our company and to be part of unleashing the human capacity of the many stakeholders we serve. It starts with myself and having the accountability and personal responsibility and owning that vision.”
On a final note, Edie Fraser summed up WBC purpose, “WBC is the movement to advance and accelerate gender and diversity with positive active to achieve impact against our Nine Action areas from women CEOs to C Suite and boards; entrepreneurship and capital and supplier diversity; capital firms change; parity and pay parity; technology and pipeline.”
To watch and listen to the CEO interviews, go to The CEO Forum Group.