Our Commitment to Racial Justice & Equity

Update from President & CEO John R. Ryan on Internal Actions CCL Is Taking to Advance an Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Culture

Our Commitment to Racial Justice & Equity at CCL

Following the killing of George Floyd, a powerful movement for racial justice and equity has gained momentum globally — and the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)® is committed to engaging with these critical and historic efforts to identify and rectify systemic racism and bias in communities and organizations where we have influence throughout the world.

Our Board of Trustees, Board of Governors, and Executive Team understand this journey begins at home with the actions we take at CCL to continue to advance an equitable, diverse, and inclusive (EDI) culture within our own organization.

Our internal EDI team researched best practices for anti-racism work within organizations, drawing on insights from external experts and our own clients. We looked closely at feedback and observations offered by CCL staff via our race conversations, while also reviewing our internal policies and practices. Additionally, we are internally leveraging our REAL™ framework, which helps clients committed to EDI initiatives Reveal Relevant Opportunities, Elevate Equity, Activate Diversity, and Lead Inclusively.

As a result, we are focused on change in 5 key areas: policy, training, employee engagement, talent recruitment, and leadership.

Actions taken related to Policy include:

  • A high-level U.S. pay audit for CCL employees was completed and shared with U.S. staff in September 2020. It examined the relationship between average pay for CCL employees and the pay grade midpoint for their jobs. Results were reported by gender, ethnicity, generational group, and other factors. More recently data was also shared regarding the representation of gender and ethnicity by career level at CCL and for the U.S. workforce.
  • CCL’s Human Resources team is conducting a review of our U.S. Employee Handbook in order to reflect more specifically our commitment to equitable and just policies and practices. Our HR team is working with CCL employees and our in-house EDI experts to incorporate diverse viewpoints into this review.
  • Last fall, we modified our existing policy to provide U.S. employees with at least 2 hours of paid leave to vote.

Actions taken related to Training include:

  • Our HR team has researched and shared with all staff a number of valuable resources related to building an EDI culture internally, with a focus on Supporting People of Color, Anti-Racism & Allyship, Why Diversity is Good at Work, and other topics.
  • In August 2020, we partnered with NTL (National Training Lab), a world-class network of consultants and facilitators who have deep expertise in EDI, to provide immersive capability development for faculty and sales team members. This training was repeated in January 2021 with another cohort. Additionally, NTL is leading CCL’s Executive Team through a 5-month EDI journey.
  • In January 2021, in partnership with the EDI Practice team, employees were offered a virtual opportunity to attend Beyond Bias™ training in coordination with planned capability development for faculty and staff.

Actions taken related to Employee Engagement include:

  • We are launching a number of Employee Resource Groups with sponsorship from senior management and leadership from staff to educate co-workers and advocate for EDI-related policies and actions. Several of these groups are active across the organization. Focus areas include women professionals, Black professionals, LGBTQ+ professionals, Asian American Pacific Islanders, young professionals, veterans, parents, and those interested in health & wellness.

Actions taken related to Recruitment include:

  • We aim to build on recent success with increasing the diversity of our Americas region sales and faculty by increasing proactive recruitment of candidates of color across the organization globally. To that end, we’re working closely with our Employee Resource Groups, our Board, and other key stakeholders to ensure diverse candidate pools for open positions. Specific measures to track our progress on hiring and promoting women and people of color, both across the organization and in senior leadership roles, are currently being developed for CCL’s fiscal year Balanced Scorecard.
  • We will establish formal internship programs with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other organizations committed to assisting young people of color with professional opportunities. To pilot this initiative, we will partner with a local organization in Greensboro. Timing is dependent on the continuing impact of the pandemic on higher education.

Actions taken related to Leadership include:

  • In addition to senior leadership diversity actions referenced in the prior item, we have also analyzed and shared with the organization data on how diversity on our Board of Governors changed from 2015 to 2020. Over that time, representation by women improved from 21% to 29% and representation by people of color improved from 16% to 35%. Recruitment of diverse Board members remains a top priority.

We are grateful for the candid feedback and insights that we have received on our EDI journey from our Board, clients, alumni, and employees, and we look forward to moving ahead together with the entire CCL community on this enormously important journey. We will periodically update our ongoing actions and commitments in this space.

In the meantime, we are grateful to everyone working for justice — for what they have done, are doing, and will do to help us achieve a world of greater and enduring equity.

And we believe this is possible and completely necessary, for in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

John Ryan
John Ryan's signature

John R. Ryan
President and CEO
Center for Creative Leadership

Our Board of Trustees, Board of Governors, and Executive Team understand that the journey toward a truly equitable, diverse, and inclusive organizational culture is never done and requires intentional, sustained effort. Learn more about our EDI journey and commitment.

About the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)®

At the Center for Creative Leadership, our drive to create a ripple effect of positive change underpins everything we do. For 50+ years, we’ve pioneered leadership development solutions for everyone from frontline workers to global CEOs. Consistently ranked among the world’s top providers of executive education, our research-based programs and solutions inspire individuals in organizations across the world — including 2/3 of the Fortune 1000 — to ignite remarkable transformations. Learn more about CCL.

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