Founder & President
My background as a CPA, CMA, and head of Investor Relations for The Coca-Cola Company provided me a decidedly business-focused approach to diversity. When Coke tapped me to lead its diversity efforts, my first question was, ‘are we prepared to do things differently?’ Investor Relations had taught me the value of portfolio diversification and it seemed to me that these principles should also offer leverage when dealing with human diversity dimensions. Every organization can benefit from a workforce with different perspectives just as a portfolio benefits from financial assets with different characteristics. This provided me an approach to unify a workforce that was in the midst of a class-action racial discrimination lawsuit. Clearly, bringing closure to the litigation was the first step. But I set my sights on higher aspirations. I would sum up my approach as follows: shifting the focus from ‘what the company should do to advance diversity,’ to ‘what diversity can do to advance the business.’ Diversity Leadership in Action™ believes the most important factors for success with any diversity initiative are one, an all-inclusive definition which gets the entire organization engaged; and two, a link to the organization’s mission, which demonstrates that diversity can be a resource that drives greater organizational success.