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Organizations that leverage diverse talent and manage diversity with their “heads, hearts and wallets” will gain long-term competitive advantages, noted Greg Garrison, partner and vice chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), in a keynote speech at the 2010 Ascend Annual Gala in New York. Ascend is a 5,000-member professional leadership organization dedicated to leveraging the potential of Pan-Asians.
Though organizations typically approach diversity from three perspectives – the head, which looks at diversity academically; the heart, which view it in moral terms; and the wallet, which ties diversity efforts directly to the bottom line – unsuccessful diversity commitments often occur because organizations approach the effort from just one of those mindsets.
"Successful leaders approach diversity using all three lenses,” stressed Garrison. "Looking through these lenses, leaders must act upon what they see and anticipate what is to come to successfully shape the talent that will drive business performance."
Diversity training is a key element to cultivating a workplace where everyone feels included and offers opportunities for all professionals to climb the ladder to success. But unlike many organizations, PwC does not mandate diversity training. Instead, it is integrated into the core curriculum of all of the firm's training - from intern orientation to partner learning programs.
Garrison also noted the importance of global mobility in building cultural dexterity into present and future leaders. "An international assignment has become a fundamental milestone in many career paths," he said. "You cannot overestimate the value of the leadership experience, knowledge and cultural awareness that participants carry home."
In addition to Garrison, Niloufar Molavi, partner and chief diversity officer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, spoke on the “Living in a diverse and inclusive world” panel.
"As a DiversityInc 2010 top company for Asian-Americans, we believe that inclusive cultures are created by acknowledging the unique experiences and perspectives of all people," said Molavi. "Diversity is a business imperative that has the ability to drive new thinking and innovation."
PwC has also been named to Working Mother's "Best Companies" list for 15 consecutive years, including six successive years in the top 10, and won the 2007 "Catalyst Award" for its efforts to advance and retain women. The firm has was also ranked 6th in the 2010 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list.
PwC was recently named to Fortune’s "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for the sixth consecutive year. In 2009, the firm was ranked No. 2 in the first-ever "Universum Global Top 50" employers index, a ranking of the world's most attractive employers.
For more information on PwC's commitment to diversity, visit www.pwc.com/diversity.