IPG Employees Talk About Race on Inclusion Forum Call
IPG held its third Inclusion Forum conference call this week, led by Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO, and Heide Gardner, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and hundreds of participants from across the IPG network.
“Forums like this are key to our understanding of how diversity and inclusion are progressing at IPG,” commented Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO of IPG. “In order for us to serve our clients and our people most effectively, we have to be moving the needle on D&I. Providing an opportunity for our employees to be heard is essential. We want to make sure that ideas around these kinds of issues don’t just live in HR or in the C-suite, but that our employees are empowered to effect change around them,” he continued.
On the call, Heide Gardner shared data, including recent research sponsored by IPG, from the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) about the effects of race at work. The study, called Easing Racial Tensions at Work revealed that most professionals of color have encountered discrimination outside of the workplace. CTI notes that at companies where no one talks about discrimination encountered outside of work, employees — particularly black professionals (35%) — feel increasingly isolated and alienated by the lack of outreach from their colleagues.
The Inclusion Forum follows Michael Roth signing onto The CEO Action for Diversity as one of the initiative's first signatories, and was an opportunity to begin a conversation on what some consider to be the third rail of diversity-related topics – race.
“The Inclusion Forums are an important step toward opening the dialogue on race,” commented Heide Gardner. “We are pleased that so many IPG employees were a part of the call and were active participants posing questions, offering comments and sharing personal stories. By engaging with one another on issues that affect us, but can be uncomfortable, we begin the process of culture change. I look forward to continuing this process through additional programming,” Ms. Gardner added.
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