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26 Jan. 2016 | Comments (0)

The way in which companies approach diversity and inclusion and corporate responsibility has come to define the corporate sector in the twenty-first century, as stakeholders demand an increasingly responsible approach to business by the world’s largest companies. Today, a responsible company is one that nurtures diversity and inclusion, creates social impact as well as business value, and minimizes its environmental footprint. These elements cannot—and increasingly do not—exist in silos. In this Council Perspective from The Conference Board, we take a closer look at how and why companies are increasingly integrating the diversity and inclusion, and corporate philanthropy functions. Today’s case study comes from FedEx.

FedEx’s diversity mission focuses on fostering diversity and inclusion among communities, employees, and suppliers. Driving this focus is the fact that FedEx operates in a diverse world of more than 220 countries and territories and 300,000 team members. With communities as a key element of the diversity strategy, the Global Citizenship function can easily explore related opportunities and alliances.

Education and opportunity programs

Investments target innovative solutions to close the achievement gap. For example, through its work with Teach for America (TFA), FedEx has four main goals, all of which center on diversity:

  • Increase the number of highly qualified, diverse leaders and role models in low-income communities
  • Build a platform of diversity and inclusiveness inside the TFA organization
  • Raise awareness nationwide of the importance of addressing diversity in education
  • Build a pipeline of diverse leaders in education.

As a result of these efforts, FedEx and TFA reach 500,000 minority students annually with educational and leadership programs.

Relationship-building programs

FedEx supports influential nonprofit organizations that empower and celebrate diverse individuals. Some of the company’s key relationships in this area include:

  • The National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • National Civil Rights Museum’s Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Black Enterprise
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
  • National Council of La Raza’s National Affiliates Program
  • National CARES Mentoring Movement

Collaboration between the diversity and inclusion, and corporate citizenship functions is achieved by strong leadership support, team member involvement, and strategic plans that effectively connect education and relationship-building initiatives.

About the Council Perspective

Better Together: Why a United Front Can Propel Diversity and Inclusion and Corporate Philanthropy in the United States explores how and why companies are increasingly integrating the diversity and inclusion, and corporate philanthropy functions. The report provides a range of examples of management approaches to achieve effective collaboration—from restructuring teams and business units to individual initiatives that encourage awareness, collaboration, and cohesion. Members of The Conference Board can download the report for free here

  • About the Author:Alex Parkinson

    Alex Parkinson

    Alex Parkinson is Principal of Parky Communications, a communications agency specializing in sustainability and CSR reporting and communications. He serves as the Co-Leader of The Conference Board Cor…

    Full Bio | More from Alex Parkinson

     

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