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Our Commitment to Racial Justice & Equity

Our Commitment to Racial Justice & Equity at CCL

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

Following the killing of George Floyd, a powerful movement for racial justice and equity has gained momentum globally – and 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.

To that end, I joined the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion Group in 2018. We invested in EDI training for CCL’s Executive Team and staff over the past 2 years. And we recently held a candid series of race conversations across all of CCL’s global regions that involved more than 225 employees. These are important steps – and we know there is more to do.

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 have revealed a series of relevant opportunities that we will begin acting on now.

To Elevate Equity, we will make the initial policy changes noted below and continue to examine areas of opportunity for positive change:

  • By September 1, 2020, share internally the results of CCL’s annual pay equity audit, which examines our adherence to U.S. pay equity standards by race, gender, and age, and make any necessary adjustments to ensure pay equity.
  • Conduct a thorough review and update to CCL’s U.S. employee paid and unpaid leave-related policies through the lens of implicit and explicit equity goals and outcomes, including policies for parental leave, paid-time-off, and paid holidays. Implement revised policies effective January 1, 2021.
  • Communicate more regularly and directly our support for voting rights for all CCL employees. In the US, we are modifying the existing policy providing all employees with unpaid leave to vote. Effective immediately, we will now provide at least 2 hours of paid leave to vote, ensuring that all employees are encouraged and supported to participate fully in democracies globally.

To Activate Diversity, we will:

Accelerate and expand recruitment of diverse talent by:

  • Building on our recent success at increasing the diversity of faculty and sales teams in our Americas region by increasing proactive recruitment of candidates of color across the organization globally. We will establish criteria for measuring success annually.
  • Establishing formal internship programs with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as with other organizations committed to assisting young people of color with professional opportunities. The timing of this initiative will be determined as we assess the impact of COVID-19 on higher education enrollment this fall.

Commit to further diversifying our leadership:

  • By September 15, 2020, the Executive Committee of CCL’s Board of Governors will review how diversity on our Board of Governors and Executive Team has changed over time and where there are opportunities to improve. The Committee will share this information with our Board and all CCL staff and determine the next steps.
  • We will continue to recruit people of color to CCL’s Board of Governors and put greater focus on diversifying the Executive Team.

To Lead More Inclusively, we will:

Provide training that:

  • Builds on our existing, mandatory anti-harassment training, which includes anti-racism content, by providing mandatory training on Bias for all managers globally. We will institute this training by the end of this calendar year.
  • Ensures all CCL staff globally participate in the EDI training sessions we began in 2019.

Enable greater employee engagement and continually learn from our diverse talent on all matters related to equity, diversity, and inclusion:

  • By October 1, work with our colleagues to launch self-organized, self-led Employee Resource/Affinity Groups that will offer identity groups a chance to connect within and across groups, educate the organization, and voice concerns and strategic recommendations that will impact the well-being of the organization.
  • By October 1, create a global EDI Council that contributes to CCL’s business decisions by advising on best practices and offering counsel for all CCL business groups, including the Executive Team.

We are grateful for the candid feedback and insights that we have received on our EDI opportunities 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.

Lastly, among the actions we can all take to stand against racism:

  • Become educated by learning more about racism in American history and its legacy. Here is a great resource to get you started.
  • Challenge individual biases and institutional racism by engaging with your friends, family members, and co-workers in candid, civil ways.
  • Join us in bringing about fundamental leadership shifts in the systems that have failed a significant portion of our populations. Now, more than ever, is the time to commit to equity and inclusivity, to prioritize trust and relationships, and to recognize that leadership is the product of processes that involve everyone working together.

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)®

CCL is a top-ranked, global provider of leadership development. Learn more about CCL.

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