Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Moving from Rhetoric to Reality

In this panel, hosted by Indotronix, CEIPAL was joined by DE&I experts from LVMH Inc., ADP, and Guggenheim to discuss the fallout from 2020, the challenges we face today, and practical solutions to empowering marginalized demographics.

The future of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is looking very promising as a result of the social justice movement and also because of a major paradigm shift. Employees are becoming vocal and letting CEOs know why they deserve to be treated equally regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, or disabilities. The year 2020 fundamentally shifted the discussion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Progress of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Paula Frank of ADP said there have been so many positive changes with respect to the progress of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Some of the positive strategies discussed were:

  • Giving scholarships and internships to people of diverse ethnicities to study and better their communities
  • Work on bringing more diversity at senior leadership levels by looking at the recruitment process for biases and addressing any unconscious biases
  • Increase in the rate of women in leadership positions in different sectors
  • Rightful placement of talented people in places their abilities are required


Measuring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

What gets measured is what matters. This only reinforces the utmost importance to measure DEI in order to know whether the DEI strategies implemented are working or not. Different companies measure Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion using different metrics. These metrics include:

  • Gender. Most companies have become intentional about improving the workforce gender-wise that they have put in place programs to aid in realizing this intention. Such programs include things like ADP’s initiative in advancing women leadership. Also, some companies have attached metrics to the advancement and promotions that take place at the workplace.  The gap between the number of women who receive promotions or advance in their careers in different firms and that of men is gradually being breached.
  • Ability. Most talented people regardless of whether or not they are disabled have an equal shot at various positions where their abilities are needed. In certain firms, these talents are rotated in these varying positions.


Final Thoughts

2021 is looking to be a better year as the chasm that diversity has brought upon all sectors is gradually being closed as every firm has become aware of the importance of impacting positively in the matters of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


About our Panelists:

Evelyn Chen

Corey Smith
Head of Diversity & Inclusion, North America at LVMH

Corey Smith – currently serves as the Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) at LVMH Inc. Prior to joining LVMH Corey was Head of (D&I) at Major League Baseball. With 20 years in D&I, he has worked in several major industry verticals. Corey’s overall D&I experience includes developing and implementing workforce and employee initiatives such as recruitment programs, learning & development programs, training & mentorship programs, executive rotational programs, Business Resource Groups as well as Supplier Diversity initiatives. He has also led initiatives around shifting corporate culture. Corey has has led customer-facing D&I strategies focused on diversifying customer engagement, growth marketing strategies and experiential activations focused on inclusion. He has served on several boards including Diversity Information Resources (DIR) and NY/NJ Minority Supplier Development Council. Mr. Smith holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA, both from Columbia University.  

Evelyn Chen

Kate Kleyman
Passionate Advocate, Expert and Leader in Supplier Diversity and Diversity and Inclusion

Kate Kleyman – at the time of the discussion was responsible for leading Guggenheim Partners’ first Vendor Diversity Program. She currently serves as the Vendor Diversity Program Manager at McInstry. She has been responsible for managing a number of Guggenheim’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and programs. Kate has assisted in developing and launching the firm’s Vendor Diversity Advisory Council, Women’s Innovation and Inclusion Network, and the Multicultural Employee Business Network She worked in Strategic Sourcing and Expense Management and transferred to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in March of 2015. She has also worked with several non-profits including Human Rights Watch and the Save Darfur Coalition. Kate received her Bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University.

Evelyn Chen

Paula Frank
Owner, Luxe & You Gifts and Floral Design | Home & Lifestyle Influencer

Paula Frank – At the time of the discussion, Paula was the Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) at ADP. In that role she advised business leaders on how to grow and harness the power of diverse teams. Paula also led global initiatives focused on culture, engagement, talent, development, mobility and retention of underrepresented groups. She provided subject matter consultancy to leaders on best-in-class DE&I practices. She led the design and delivery of several women and minority leadership development programs, Diversity Councils and other inclusion initiatives like Disrupt Bias, Drive Inclusion, one of the company’s key strategic approaches to addressing unconscious bias in support of the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity. In her previous roles she has also worked on contract negotiationand Supplier Diversity.
Paula has held strategic, results-oriented leadership roles in diversity, recruitment, contracts and vendor management throughout her career. Paula was born, raised and educated in New Jersey. She earned a MS in Management Information Systems from Stevens Institute of Technology and a BA in Psychology from Montclair State University.

Evelyn Chen

Anu Rao
Head of Marketing at Indotronix Avani Group & Avani Healthcare Staffing

Anu Rao – Currently serves as the Director of Marketing for the Indotronix Avani Group. Anu is an experienced business development & marketing professional with a demonstrated history of success in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in sales, digital marketing, and business growth, Anu has over 10 years of experience in the staffing industry. She also serves on the board of ISM-NJ chapter where she serves on several committees including Supplier Diversity. She is also an award-winning speaker and a past President of Somerville Toastmasters.

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