It was a pleasure attending the New York Times 2018 DealBook Conference in New York City last week. It was also an honor to be recognized as a “Groundbreaker” for our on the ground work at Operation HOPE, around the necessary agenda of financial inclusion for all.  

In addition to a main stage session which brought together the issues of diversity and the business case, I helped round out and co-lead two roundtables, where we discussed diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and likewise the groundbreaking experiences that have helped to define how I lead, work and live.

Here is what the New York Times had to say about the session:

How can corporate America improve diversity?

David Gelles, Corner Office columnist at The New York Times, presented the findings of a DealBook conference task force on diversity in the workplace, characterizing it as a “really lively discussion” that could have gone on for hours. Nonetheless, “we made a remarkable amount of progress in an hour,” he said.

Among the conclusions of the report:

• Aspirational goals are in general a good thing, but they’re not enough, said Stephanie Cohen, chief strategy officer for Goldman Sachs. Companies also need to be transparent in how they’re achieving those goals. In addition, there can’t be separate business and diversity scorecards – diversity needs to be part of the business.

• Legislation and federal policies need to play a role. John Hope Bryant, founder and chief executive of Operation HOPE spoke about the need for a federal policy to give credit to companies that offer internships and apprenticeships, and when the effort is especially aimed at women and people of color, “you should get a double credit for that double reach,” he said.

• Companies have to realize diversity is a long-term goal, and it has to be baked into its culture. “You can have policy and tactics, but if the culture is not ready to receive it,” it won’t work, said Thasunda Duckett, the chief executive of consumer banking at JP Morgan Chase. And everyone has to join the conversation, she said.

Alina Tugend

Check out the video of our task force discussion HERE. Also, click HERE to see more updates form the conference, including the conversation with Google’s CEO, Sundar Pinchai.  A full list of co-panelists and speakers can be found here


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