LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Change Starts at the Top
Chairman, President & CEO
As the world leader in innovative workforce solutions, connecting human potential to the power of business, ManpowerGroup is a $19 billion multinational corporation that works with 400,000 clients and 3.4 million associates each year. Every day ManpowerGroup connects more than 600,000 people to meaningful work through their brands and offerings: ManpowerGroup Solutions, Experis, Manpower and Right Management.
Why is diversity a priority for your company and for you personally?
“Diverse organizations perform better- businesses with the highest representation of women in top management see a 34% increase in total return to shareholders. Change starts at the top. Culture is not the sort of thing you can delegate. The CEO has to own it, communicate it and measure it. As a freshly minted CEO a few years ago, I sent personal letters to each top leader in the company outlining my goals for talent development and gender parity at ManpowerGroup and senior leaders know that growing workforce diversity is one of their key performance indicators.”
What is your plan to maintain a diverse board?
“We set clear and measureable goals for business: we already have the most diverse Board in the industry and by 2020 we’re on track for 40% of our Executive Leadership Team and Key Leadership Team roles to be held by women. Gender parity begins at home. Actions speak louder than words. In our report Seven Steps to Conscious Inclusion we offer actionable solutions for organizations that are serious about gender parity in senior roles. Leaders need to be committed to a culture of Conscious Inclusion - an all-male succession bench isn’t going to cut it. We’re explicit about where we want women to progress and by when, and it’s not just in HR, communications and support roles.”
Do you believe a diverse board and leadership contribute to your bottom line? Why? Can you provide any data around this?
“Besides it being the right thing to do, having a gender balance also leads to better decision-making and better results; you need diverse perspectives to navigate a rapidly evolving world, where old assumptions can be dangerous to the long-term health of the business.Companies with gender balanced Boards perform better on share price, have higher income growth and tend to have less debt and higher valuations.”