This article originally appeared on Nielsen.com.
Today’s world is becoming more fragmented as a result of demographic shifts. People—and the products and services that appeal to them—are changing. In order to better understand these shifts as a global measurement company, our organization, across all of our areas of operation and at all levels, must reflect the diversity in the communities where we do business.
That’s why we’re excited to release our third-annual Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report. As Angela Talton, our Chief Diversity Officer, explains in the video above, the report shares an update on our strategic diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives, metrics, partnerships, results and awards during 2017.
Throughout the year, we made great strides through our diversity and inclusion efforts. Some of the highlights from last year include:
- Globally, our female representation at the senior leadership level is 33.8%. This is higher than other global companies, where percentages of women in senior management range between 24% and 29%, according to Catalyst, a global nonprofit that advocates for inclusive workplaces for women.
- We launched the global D&I ambassador program, comprising 20 leaders and influencers who meet monthly to support the activation of D&I initiatives that are tailored to meet the needs of their specific markets and countries. Our global D&I ambassadors are essential to ensuring our D&I strategy is implemented in each of the more than 100 countries where we operate.
- The Diverse Leadership Network (DLN)—our 15-month ‘mini-MBA’ leadership development program for mid-career, high-potential diverse talent—saw 45% of its participants and alumni begin new roles or expanded their responsibilities during 2017, which showcases our commitment to identifying, developing, and promoting our diverse talent. The DLN also continued its momentum by graduating its third class and inducting its fourth.
- We held our first Hispanic Employee Forum, convening more than 150 U.S.-based associates from 19 cultural backgrounds spanning Latin America (including Central and South America), the Caribbean, and Europe, as well as 13 clients and community partners. Our employee forums are designed to foster greater retention of our diverse associates by giving them visibility and access to our senior leaders and the opportunity to network and build relationships in a culturally authentic atmosphere. To date, we have had a 97% retention rate among Hispanic Employee Forum attendees.
- Over 1,000 new associates around the world participated in our “Working in an Inclusive Environment” training, which is a mandated part of their new hire onboarding program. The course, available in 10 languages, is designed to increase each associate’s understanding of what D&I is, why it matters to Nielsen, and how they can bring our D&I program to life in their work.
- Our global employee resource group (ERG) membership outside the U.S. grew by 60%. We also launched our ninth ERG, Multinational Organization Supporting An Inclusive Culture (MOSAIC), in the U.K., as well as 22 new ERG chapters around the world. ERG members contributed over 1,500 volunteer hours in the communities where we live, work and serve.
- We co-created a week-long event called HeroZona, which was designed to connect military veteran business owners with corporate procurement teams. The event continued to drive our Supplier Diversity goal of spending at least 10% of our total U.S. sourceable spend with diverse businesses.
- We provided $1 million in financial support to more than 130 U.S. local and national nonprofit organizations that help advance a cause within our five giving priorities: education; with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); D&I; civil rights and social advancement; civic engagement; and hunger. Additionally, in order to maintain the representativeness of our panels, we prioritize supporting organizations that serve the African-American, Hispanic/Latinx, and Asian Pacific American communities.
- For the seventh consecutive year, we released the Nielsen Diverse Intelligence Series (DIS) reports, which explore the unique preferences and undeniable power of diverse consumers. In 2017, for the first time, all three reports shared a unified theme. Asian-American Women: Digitally Fluent with an Intercultural Mindset, Latina 2.0: Fiscally Conscious, Culturally Influential and Familia Forward and African-American Women: Our Science, Her Magic each tell unique stories of how multicultural women continue to influence mainstream culture. Our DIS reports are designed to give diverse communities empowering knowledge of their consumer power and to reinforce with our clients that Nielsen is the definitive source of insights on diverse consumers.
- Our D&I thought leaders shared our insights on diverse consumers at more than 120 engagements last year. Our leaders engaged with our clients, members of diverse communities, political leaders, the press, and our internal associates to increase our stakeholders’ cultural IQ around diverse consumer behavior.
- Our efforts to infuse D&I into everything we do were recognized by several influential organizations, including DiversityInc, DiversityMBA, Fortune, Human Rights Campaign, United States Business Leadership Network, and many others.
We hope that this report will serve as both a resource and a call to action and that global corporations, our clients, community organizations, diverse suppliers and the public will view Nielsen as an example of a company focused on diversity and inclusion in this rapidly changing consumer landscape.