Working together to improve diversity and inclusion

Getty Images

As leaders from the private and public sectors, we believe diversity and inclusion are more than goals to strive for. Both government and businesses must make diversity a priority in practice, not just a promise. While we have made significant progress, we must do more to ensure everyone is able to achieve their dreams and potential.

The Congressional Black Caucus and Business Roundtable are partnering together in an initiative to encourage all companies and organizations in America to increase diversity and inclusion at all levels – with the goal of making companies look more like the American public they serve. That’s not just good corporate citizenship – it’s smart business.  

{mosads}Business Roundtable CEOs, who lead companies with nearly 15 million employees collectively, share the CBC’s commitment to creating a culture of respect and equal opportunity for people of all races, genders, ethnicities, abilities and orientations. Through continued collaboration, the CEOs of Business Roundtable and members of the CBC are reaffirming a steadfast commitment to these vital concepts and working to translate that resolve into action.

Driving efforts on Capitol Hill is the CBC Diversity Task Force, whose mission is “enriching institutions by diversifying.” Co-chaired by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), the Task Force works not only with Congress, but also with private companies and other organizations to show how diversity is good for business and our economy.

The Task Force led the creation of the CBC’s Tech2020 Initiative, which provides a framework to help technology companies recruit, hire, promote and retain diverse job candidates. Tech2020 helps employers connect with workforce pipelines such as America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions. Through candid dialogue, listening sessions and recommendations, CBC initiatives like this are helping pair business leaders with the talented, diverse employees they need while opening up promising new career paths for young people of color. Continuing this engagement and recruitment from institutions such as HBCUs can help employers find qualified candidates to fill millions of jobs. 

In addition to the CBC’s ongoing work, a new Business Roundtable initiative offers an inside look at what leading U.S. corporations are doing to develop and implement new and emerging best practices on diversity and inclusion. The Roundtable has gathered more than 120 individual CEO narratives, along with each company’s extensive diversity and inclusion programs and the results those programs are producing. For example:

  • Johnson & Johnson is utilizing the power of its diverse workforce and supply chains to better understand and meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders. The company has learned through 132 years of experience that true innovation is seldom the work of solitary genius. Rather, it is the result of collaboration enriched by diverse opinions, approaches and experiences.  
  • In 2016, JPMorgan Chase introduced Advancing Black Leaders (ABL) – a dedicated diversity strategy focused on attracting, hiring, retaining and developing talent within the black community. Two years into this initiative, it is already having an impact, increasing the number of black professionals in leadership roles and investment in programs for black students.
  • Dell has spent more than $3 billion over the past six years on certified suppliers and small businesses owned by African-Americans, Hispanics, women and other minorities.
  • Lockheed Martin is partnering with the private and public sectors to improve educational achievement in STEM fields. The company is actively collaborating with more than 25 organizations nationwide – including HBCUs – that represent a broad cross-section of talent with respect to women, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities.

As leaders in the private and public sectors, we believe it is our responsibility to help make our workplaces and communities welcoming and inclusive environments that respect every individual and promote opportunity for all. This is a shared challenge, and we welcome the partnership of all businesses, organizations and public officials who share our dedication to doing better on behalf of the American people and our nation.

Rep. Cedric Richmond represents Louisiana’s 2nd District in the United States House of Representatives and is the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Alex Gorsky the chairman & CEO of Johnson & Johnson, and chair of the Business Roundtable Corporate Governance Committee.

Tags Barbara Lee Cedric Richmond G.K. Butterfield

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video