The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 
Former Cardinal Health Chairman and CEO George Barrett Views Diversity and Inclusion as a Critical Driver of Business Innovation

30 July, 2020

George Barrett, Former Chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health, discusses the fundamental roles that access and opportunity play in creating a more equitable and inclusive workplace. 


In a conversation with Rebecca Ray, PhD, Executive Vice President of Human Capital at The Conference Board, Barrett shares his perspective on the “network effect” and strongly encourages executives to approach the concept of diversity and inclusion as a business imperative within their organization.


“I knew that if everyone looks like, thinks alike and sounds alike, the likelihood that we’re going to get the kind of positive tension necessary for innovation is less likely,” said Barrett. “I wanted an organization that had people that came from different backgrounds, world views and point of view. I thought it would be a competitive advantage and make our organization stronger.”

The CEO Forum series features CEOs from across American industry who focus on actionable insights to address underlying challenges of economic opportunity, childhood education, health care, workforce skills development, workplace equality and corporate governance. 



Rebecca L. Ray, PhD

Rebecca L. Ray, PhD
Executive Vice President, Human Capital
The Conference Board

Rebecca Ray is the Executive Vice President, Human Capital, at The Conference Board. She leads the US Human Capital Center and is responsible for member engagement and retention as well as the overall quality and continuing integration of all research and offerings across the human capital spectr...Full Bio

George S. Barrett

George S. Barrett
Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Cardinal Health, Inc.

George Barrett is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Cardinal Health, Inc., a role he held from August 2009 through end-2017, when he became executive chairman of the board until November 2018.

Previously, Barrett spent a decade at global pharmaceutical manufacturer Teva P...Full Bio








Support Our Work

Support our nonpartisan, nonprofit research and insights which help leaders address societal challenges.