Recognizing that change starts at the executive level, Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway has signed on as one of nearly 2,000 leaders who have collectively committed to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace through CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion.
The central aim is to take measurable action to cultivate a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected and where employees are invited to engage in the work of diversity and inclusion.
“This action signals Rutgers’ focus on cultivating a workplace where employees can openly address challenges and share perspectives. It is one more way we are affirming our ongoing commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive university, recognizing the experiences and needs of our staff,” Holloway said.
By signing the initiative’s CEO pledge, Rutgers has agreed to take the following actions:
- Take active steps to make our workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion;
- Implement and expand unconscious bias education;
- Share best — and unsuccessful — practices as our current diversity strategies evolve and are enhanced;
- Create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with our governing boards.
During his early days as president of Rutgers last year, Holloway underscored his goal to assure Rutgers is providing wide access to opportunities to learn, work and teach at the university. He named Enobong (Anna) Branch to the newly created senior vice president for equity position to ensure a purposeful, universitywide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Since then, Rutgers has taken steps to better understand the impact of its diversity efforts on the university community and chart an inclusive path forward. A University Equity Audit was completed in September 2020, and the diversity strategic planning process launched soon after in January 2021.
“The University Equity Audit identified the need for us to expand ongoing efforts to increase diversity, ensure equity, and identify and remove all barriers to inclusion, as well as ensure individuals have the cross-cultural skills necessary to engage with others in ways that open dialogue and understanding. The university is in the midst of a diversity strategic planning process to help assess and align efforts across the institution to advance these goals,” said Branch.
“As we make progress in diversity strategic planning in University Human Resources, we are joining this group of organizations committed to diverse and inclusive workplaces to help reach our goal of creating a more equitable and supportive community that values and listens to our employees,” said Vivian Fernandez, senior vice president for human resources.
Joining CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion demonstrates the ways in which Rutgers is engaging with partners across the country to realize its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The university is a member of the American Talent Initiative, which works to expand access and opportunity for talented low- and moderate-income students. Also, this spring Rutgers joined the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) initiative to commit to more diverse, equitable and inclusive spaces in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is led by a steering committee of CEOs and leaders from Accenture, BCG, Deloitte US, The Executive Leadership Council, EY, General Atlantic, KPMG, New York Life, Procter & Gamble and PwC. The coalition represents 85 industries, all 50 U.S. states and millions of employees globally.
To learn more about the pledge, visit CEOAction.com.