A. For companies big and small across all industries my advice is to start by listening deeply. Leaders must create a safe space for people to share their life experiences inside and outside of your company. You will gain empathy and insights into the space between what you think your culture is, and how it is really experienced by others. Then you can focus your efforts to implement the most relevant, impactful solutions.
A. Great talent can go anywhere. At Ford, we know that it takes many different perspectives and backgrounds to create the innovative products, services and experiences our customers want. Finding and retaining those diverse voices is the only way to transform our company and deliver on our corporate strategy. To be successful, we must create a culture of belonging where everyone can bring their authentic selves to work.
A. Internally, my team within the DEI Office advances diversity, equity and inclusion by working closely with our 11 employee resources groups (ERGs). While our ERGs have a proud history of serving and supporting their members and communities, we are capitalizing on the strengths of their lived expertise to help solve business problems and reach customers in new ways. We lead governance of DEI-related activities across the enterprise, provide experiences and events designed to educate and raise the awareness of all employees, create prototypes to improve the employee experience from recruitment to departure, and attract future diverse talent by engaging with professional organizations, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and using software to support inclusiveness and gender neutrality.
Externally, my team shares our work in the sector through the Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of the company. From providing contributions to food banks and other organizations after natural disasters, to the #FinishStrong campaign donating masks to every state in our nation to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, we are able to impact many underserved communities. Ford is also proud of our decades-long, significant investments in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and entrepreneurial community initiatives that affect lives every day.
A. George Floyd’s death was an awakening for so many of us. In response to the moment, we launched the U.S. salaried DEI audit, part of a comprehensive, global examination of the employee experience. This process revealed that many women, Black and Hispanic employees felt excluded and faced unique barriers along the employee journey. Listening deeply was critical. We held many listening sessions and focus groups that provided insightful observations on our company culture. The sessions, combined with workforce and policy evaluation data, taught us that we must lead with a culture of belonging for everyone and establish governance, transparency and accountability. The experience brought us to our North Star, the framework for DEI work, and the guide to the following mantra: “We are family. We celebrate our differences. We all belong.”
I3, the flagship magazine from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, focuses on innovation in technology, policy and business as well as the entrepreneurs, industry leaders and startups that grow the consumer technology industry. Subscriptions to i3 are available free to qualified participants in the consumer electronics industry.