CEO: Diversity, inclusion more than a formula
When Tim Ryan started his job as PwC chairman and senior partner on July 1, 2016, he had a plan to grow revenue, expand the firm and invest for the future. Sounds pretty much like any new CEO armed with a 30-60-90-day plan.
Everything changed, though, over the course of three days that first week in July 2016. After two black men were fatally shot by white police officers in separate incidents in Louisiana and Minnesota, a black man ambushed police in Dallas, killing five officers and wounding nine.
Racial tension in our country was high, and suddenly Ryan, the new CEO, knew he had to do something. But what? He huddled with his leadership team and decided to send an email to the 50,000 employees at PwC: "We know you're hurting. We don't have all the answers, but we want you to know we care and we're open to your feedback." That email sparked an overwhelming outpouring from PwC employees that prompted Ryan to throw his business plan out the window. He realized that despite all the diversity and inclusion programs at PwC, something was lacking — a true understanding of how people think and what they experience.
Ryan shared his journey to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace last Monday, March 12, for nearly 200 Northeast Ohio business leaders at the annual CEO Forum presented by the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Commission on Economic Inclusion.
Click here to hear the podcast of the full event