Ep. 81: D&I means anyone has a seat at the table.

While there are many conversations happening about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, many organizations still see D&I as a numbers game, as well as a politically correct employer branding initiative. These companies just happen to be “diverse” because they hire without discrimination. In fact, they lack a proper strategy in place to make this diverse workforce included in the workplace.

Without clarity on why diversity matters for the business, it’s no surprise that many of these conversations feel unproductive. Even if there is good intention, it’s often difficult to take action. Simply because a successful D&I strategy must be people-centric. It’s less about the business defining the individuals and much more about the individuals defining the business.

Diversity is not the end goal, but a means to a more inclusive, more attractive, and more effective workplace. In other words, having diverse teams creates a better company.

When you think about a 100-year-old diesel engine manufacturer headquartered in central Indiana, Diversity & Inclusion may not be what fist comes to mind. You’re simply wrong. D&I has been part of Cummins’ core values for more than 40 years. Those values date back to the company’s CEO J. Irwin Miller, who led the company until 1977.

Miller believed in the power of listening. He wanted to hear from a wide variety of voices before reaching a decision, believing no single gender, race or ethnicity had a monopoly on wisdom.

Danielle Vetter is the Global Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Cummins. She currently works for Cummins strengthening the global workforce by helping leadership manage talent. She coordinates implementation of the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy. Her work focuses on data analysis, external engagement, and employee resource groups.

Today with Danielle we talk about:
– What are some of the challenges Cummins faces around employee attraction and retention.
– What D&I means at Cummins and how it fits in the company’s talent strategy.
– Danielle shares with us some successes around D&I and its impact on business performance.
– Where to start in your D&I strategy and what pitfalls to avoid.
– What D&I means to her personally, as a woman in a male-driven industry.

Note: you can follow Danielle on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Cummins on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

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If you want to send me feedback, suggestions for future topics or guests, you can reach me at svincent@exsummit.com or on Twitter @eX_Summit.

Thanks for listening.

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