2018 Year in Review
A Letter From the Commission Co-Chairs: Bold Leadership Makes a Difference
We started our two-year term as co-chairs of the Commission on Economic Inclusion at the end of 2016. Much has happened in our world in that time and much of it related to the Commission’s work. In our first co-chair column we strongly encouraged Northeast Ohio’s business leaders to speak out boldly and publicly on matters of racial equity.
At that time, our country was witnessing an unprecedented number of race-based tragedies unseen in recent times. Unfortunately, this hasn’t abated; which makes the Commission’s work even more relevant and important. As leaders, we have an obligation to lead courageously when the opportunity calls for us to do so and when it can truly make a positive difference in our businesses and in our community.
We are proud of the work accomplished in 2018. We share a few highlights below. We also welcome the Commission co-chairs for the next two years: Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, M.D., Edgar B. Jackson Endowed Chair for Clinical Excellence and Diversity, University Hospitals; and Deborah Read, firmwide Managing Partner, Thompson Hine. There is no doubt that the Commission will flourish under their leadership and we wish them success in their tenure.
Paul Clark, Regional president, PNC Bank Northern Ohio
Lonnie Coleman, President, Coleman Spohn Corporation
2018 Year in Review
HR Leadership Group partnership
The Commission presented “The Intersection of Inclusion and Employee Engagement” in partnership with the HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio.
Boardroom-to-Boardroom kicks off
The Commission kicked off its first session of the Boardroom-to-Boardroom program. With Boardroom-to-Boardroom, we identify one high-potential, minority-owned business each quarter to undergo an impactful, deeply-personalized business advising experience. The MBE is paired with a professional service provider to work on a case study of their business. After roughly two months, the MBE presents this case to a mock boardroom of CEOs and C-suite leaders who provide strategic guidance and feedback. The Commission curates the boardroom for each session, inviting business leaders in Cleveland who have complementary experience for the MBE, depending on both industry and expertise in the MBE’s strategic challenge areas.
CSU hosts Procurement Professionals Group
Cleveland State University hosted the Procurement Professionals Group: Supplier Diversity Goes to College - Best Practices in Higher Education.
Best Practice Library Launch
The Commission launched the Best Practice Library, a collection of recent articles, reports and research that is a valuable source of information available to all GCP members. The Best Practice Library contains critical information for any organization regardless of where it is on its diversity and inclusion journey.
Tim Ryan Keynotes CEO Forum
Tim Ryan, PwC U.S. chairman and senior partner, keynoted the Commission’s annual CEO Forum. Ryan spoke to nearly 200 CEOs and senior leaders from GCP member companies about his decision to talk openly about race in the workplace. “Discussing these types of difficult topics is usually assumed to be the responsibility of community leaders, politicians, and activists,” Ryan shared, “but our people spend a good portion of their lives within the walls of this firm and more than anything, I want them to be able to bring their whole selves to work.” Click HERE to listen to the podcast.
Commission Hosts ‘Toward Racial Equity’
The Commission hosted “Toward Racial Equity,” a convening of economic development professionals from 13 different regions across the nation. Over the two-day program, participants shared best practices, ideated around common challenges, and developed strategies on how to work together to ensure an equitable future for our cities. To read the recap, click HERE.
The Business Growth Collaborative (BGC), convened by the Commission on Economic Inclusion and Jumpstart, Inc., was featured in the media. Our partnership of 11 technical assistance organizations works together to streamline the resource ecosystem for minority entrepreneurs. Click HERE to read the full article.
‘Bias in Talent Recruitment’ Featured
In April, nearly 40 HR managers, diversity professionals, and recruitment specialists gathered for the Commission’s quarterly Diversity Professionals Group. The focus was on Bias in Talent Recruitment and Selection. Participants spent time assessing and analyzing ways to Reduce Unconscious Bias in Job Descriptions and job requirements. The group also examined recruitment strategies, including how and where jobs are posted and the resume.
Business Growth Collaborative Honored at Summit
The Business Growth Collaborative was a finalist in the Economic Development category at The Cleveland Foundation’s African-American Philanthropy Summit. Representatives from BGC partner organizations presented our collective work at the Summit, held on April 28, 2018.
In May, we awarded 14 GCP members for being named Best in Class for diversity and inclusion. These awards recognize businesses and organizations that demonstrate a true commitment to advancing equity within their organizations and within our community. Awards were presented at the GCP Annual Meeting on May 15, 2018 at the Huntington Convention Center.
GCP Launches Internal D&I Discussions
GCP staff will conduct monthly open roundtable discussions on diversity and inclusion. The goal of these discussions is to better understand how diversity and inclusion is and should-be incorporated into all aspects of our work – as opposed to a stand-alone initiative. GCP leadership will explore the appropriate structure and facilitation of these sessions. Two-thirds of the discussions will revolve around an advance reading or a video clip. One-third of the discussions will focus on a specific aspect of the COEI work. Guest speakers may also be invited to participate.
Bridging the Racial Divide with GCP Members
The Commission on Economic Inclusion offered GCP members a day for leaders in the community to come together and have an open dialogue about “Bridging the Divide: Racial Equity’s Role in Economic Growth”. The event, hosted at the Federal Reserve Bank, was sponsored by Cuyahoga Community College. The most striking piece was how much money is left on the table every year due to income disparities by race and gender. The loss to our gross metropolitan product is estimated in the billions of dollars and increasing. Our presenter from the Fund for our Economic Future Kevin Alin said, “Race neutral policies aren’t correcting race disparities.” It takes direct and concerted effort from the institutions in our region to achieve the change our local economy deserves. The Racial Equity Institute asked for one thing during their presentation, our undivided curiosity as they attempted to dispel any idea that disparities in this country are due to socio-economics and education instead of systematic, albeit sometimes unintended, racism. “The Racial Equity Institute provides compelling data that is clear, insightful and somewhat overwhelming. Fortunately, by scoping inequities it also provides a path to align interventions and solutions towards measurable progress.” - Scott Chaikin, Executive Chairman, Dix & Eaton, and Chair of Greater Cleveland Partnership
Bold, Inclusive Conversations
On Aug. 23, some 200 diversity and inclusion practitioners; senior HR managers; and others attended a daylong discussion on how to have Bold, Inclusive Conversations in the workplace during the 10th Annual Inclusion Conference, hosted by the Commission on Economic Inclusion. During her opening remarks, Mary-Frances Winters, president and CEO of The Winters Group, acknowledged that it’s not uncommon for employees and company leaders to shy away from holding talks that center around difficult topics such as race, politics and religion. It’s important to have these conversations, however, as doing so can yield many positive benefits for companies, Winters said. Attendees experienced a powerful performance from Karamu House; they presented several scenes that examine the realities of so-called “post racial” relations when two co-workers, one black, the other white – are driven apart by the schemes of their boss. Read more HERE.
Federal Reserve Bank hosts Procurement Professionals Group
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland hosted the Procurement Professionals Group on Sept. 14. Attendees heard from and discussed with their peers about best practices for supplier diversity being embedded within the culture of their organizations.
Brian Hall Featured in Crain’s
Our region is often recognized by others because of the infrastructure and relationships we have built to improve inclusion. Now it's time to determine how we can use our strengths to both fuel equity and drive economic growth. Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Senior Vice President, Brian Hall, shared his view in Crain’s.
Partnering to share ERG Best Practices
The Commission, Plexus and Accenture co-sponsored an event on Oct. 18 with more than 40 diversity and ERG leaders representing dozens of businesses in our region. Attendees organized into facilitated breakout sessions focused on ERG engagement, metrics or communication. Chris Morris, Executive Compensation Professional at Goodyear captured the event on LinkedIn. Read more HERE.
Commission earns an Award of Excellence from Profiles in Diversity Journal® Profiles in Diversity Journal® announced the 15th Annual Innovations in Diversity & Inclusion Award Winners for 2018 honoring corporations, organizations, and institutions that have developed innovative solutions in workforce diversity, inclusion and human equity. The Commission’s Business Growth Collaborative was highlighted as an innovative approach to growing minority-owned businesses. Check out pages 52-53 HERE.
Healthcare Procurement: Anatomy of a Successful Healthcare Bid
For the third year in a row on Nov. 16, the Commission co-hosted a Healthcare procurement event with the supplier diversity departments of Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Health System and the MetroHealth System. The attendees of the Anatomy of a Successful Healthcare Bid learned about the state of healthcare and the healthcare procurement process which included tips on how to be more successful in the bidding process. Attendees were also provided with valuable networking time with each of the hospital systems.
On Nov. 29, the Commission’s Diversity Professionals Group met to discuss the ways an organization can use metrics and analytics in their diversity and inclusion initiatives. Three organizations – the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Lifebanc, and Westfield – each shared how they use data to strengthen their D&I efforts, including using the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s Diversity & Inclusion Organizational Assessment.
NEO Inclusion Networking Event
On Dec. 7, members of Deloitte, EY, KPMG & PwC held a NEO Inclusion Networking Event. This is an initiative of an industry cluster they created for professional services firms earlier this year. It was a professional development and networking opportunity for firm professionals of color and allies. Attendees heard from area senior leaders on the topic: The Advantage of Stereotypes. The discussion on reframing stereotypes into strengths was well received by attendees.
BGC Serves 160-Plus Minority Businesses
The Business Growth Collaborative finished its year having served 160-plus minority-owned businesses in the City of Cleveland and surrounding neighborhoods. Resources deployed include waived certification fees, free onsite technical consulting, industry-based training programs, access to capital coaching, business plan development, and more. The work was recognized with an Award of Excellence for Innovation in Diversity & Inclusion by the Profiles in Diversity Journal.