Career Communications Group CEO Tyrone Taborn joined corporate and academic signatories of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ (CEO Action) for an inaugural discussion in New York this weekend.

The closed-door session was designed for CEOs to identify actions that the business community can achieve within their own organizations and as a collective coalition to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

“This work is vital because our employees, communities and college campuses are continuing to face complex and escalating issues. We are committed to ensuring that our organizations can make positive and sustainable differences in the areas of diversity and inclusion. The only way to do that is to have the difficult conversations that address our differences and learn how to do this work together,” said Tim Ryan, chair of the CEO Action Steering Committee, and PwC senior partner and U.S. chairman.

At the weekend session held in New York, seventy of the 330+ signatories discussed advancing the diversity and inclusion agenda with a focus on issues around gender, race, and measuring impact. They also strategized how to implement actions within the CEO Action pledge collectively and within their own organizations.

The CEOs will continue to communicate programming and measurement practices to strengthen commitments and serve employees and society as a whole better.

The coalition also announced the formation of the CEO Action President’s Circle to help translate the CEO Action pledge into actions that engage students, faculty, and administration around diversity and inclusion to drive lasting change for the future workforce at college campuses across the country.

“Today’s leaders in higher education are uniquely positioned to contribute to the nation’s ongoing conversation around diversity and inclusion. Presidents of colleges, universities, and higher education associations oversee wide-ranging scholarship and campus initiatives, lead a diverse workforce, and have real-time access to the voices and perspectives of today’s student,” said University of San Francisco President Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J. “I look forward to working with members of the President’s Circle, who have committed themselves and their institutions to this essential work, joining with more than 330 CEOs of the world’s leading companies and business organizations to advance diversity and inclusive excellence in the workplace.”

Comprised of presidents from academic institutions and associations, the CEO Action President’s Circle builds upon recent campus-focused engagements, including the “Check Your Blind Spots” campus tour which focused on bringing students an interactive and engaging experience about diversity and inclusion.

Signatories participating in the President’s Circle include University of San Francisco (chair), AACSB International, Bentley University, Binghamton University, Lehigh University, Miami University of Ohio, National HBCU Deans Roundtable, Oregon State University, University of Dayton and Xavier University of Louisiana.

“Binghamton is proud to be one of 330+ signatories of the CEO Action Pledge,” said Harvey Stenger, president of Binghamton University. “College is about expanding one’s worldview, embracing new ideas, and challenging pre-conceived notions — and that experience hinges upon exposure to people from all walks of life,” he said.  “These types of conversations are crucial to the development of a healthy, well-rounded mindset, one open to change and acknowledging the beliefs, cultures, and backgrounds of all. These conversations lead to dialogue that helps students better understand their world and contribute to society in a more thoughtful way. We have learned that achieving true inclusion is more complicated than hiring one person or implementing one single program. A truly inclusive campus takes buy-in and support from students, faculty and staff, at all levels. It’s about an ongoing dialogue, listening to all key stakeholders, and making changes both large and small, year-round.”

“To successfully develop the leaders of tomorrow, colleges and universities must continue to drive impact through innovation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing—and an appreciation of diverse perspectives and elimination of unconscious biases are imperative to those goals. In our role as connector within the business education sphere, AACSB is proud to serve as an active champion of diversity and inclusion globally,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of AACSB International. “Now, as part of the CEO Action’s President Circle, AACSB looks forward to partnering with leading businesses and higher education institutions to outline ways that both industries can leverage diversity to cultivate a more just, inclusive, and global society.”

“I’m delighted to be a part of this group and to learn what the work colleagues across the country are doing to improve campus communities and business organizations through effective diversity and inclusion efforts,” said John Simon, President, Lehigh University. “A fundamental expectation at Lehigh is a campus environment that values every one of its members and celebrates the richness each brings. I look forward to learning more about ways to advance our progress in this arena and continue to expand our efforts.”

“The National HBCU Business Dean’s Roundtable looks forward to sharing thoughts and best practices with the President’s Circle for CEO Action to enhance diversity and inclusion efforts,” said Joe M. Ricks, Jr. president of the National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable.

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

Bringing together more than 330 CEOs of America’s leading organizations and universities, the commitment outlines actions that signatories pledge to take to cultivate a workplace and culture where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected, employees feel comfortable and encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion, and where best known—and unsuccessful—actions can be shared across organizations. Learn more at CEOAction.com and connect with us on Facebook: CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion and Twitter: @CEOAction.

The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is led by a steering committee of CEOs and leaders from Accenture, BCG, Deloitte US, The Executive Leadership Council, EY, General Atlantic, KPMG, New YorkLife, Procter & Gamble, and PwC. The coalition represents nearly 85 industries, all 50 US States, and millions of employees globally.

Companies represented by their CEO at the closed-door discussion include: AACSB International, Accenture, Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering, Asian American Business Development Center, Bashen Corporation, Bentley University, Career Communications Group, Inc., Carnival Corporation & plc, Catalyst, CNA, CSAA Insurance Group, Deloitte, DentaQuest, Discovery Education, DiversityInc, Edelman, Engility, Equilar, EY, Fannie Mae, Feeding America, Flagstar Bank, General Atlantic, Great Place to Work, HARMAN, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, Holland America Line, HSBC, Huntington Bank, IKEA US, Information Technology Senior Management Forum, INROADS, Inc., Institute for Corporate Productivity, Jackson Lewis P.C., K12, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, L’Oréal USA, Latham & Watkins LLP, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP), Lehigh University, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Macy’s, Marsh & McLennan Companies, MDC Partners, Miami University, Minor League Baseball, Moody’s, National Center for Women & Information Technology, National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable, Network of Executive Women, New York Life, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Perdue Farms, Porter Novelli, PPL Corp, Procter & Gamble, Publicis Groupe, PwC, QVC, Ralph Lauren Corporation, RRD, SEO, Tanenbaum, Tapestry, Inc., The Bozzuto Group, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., The Executive Leadership Council, The Hartford, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Tufts Health Plan, Welbilt, Inc.

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