Emilio Egea, Prudential Financial’s vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer, says his company approaches diversity through, in part, integrating diversity into business processes and relationship-building with diverse organizations. For example, when the company executed its IPO, Egea asked about minority participation of underwriters and worked with the top brass on a game plan to ensure that roughly 27% of the underwriters were minority-owned firms. In another instance, when there was a perception that Prudential couldn’t find black talent from HBCUs, the company sponsored a business case competition in collaboration with Hampton University’s School of Business in which students were asked to develop and recommend long-term strategies for real-life business cases within the company. “The idea is to plant the seed. Once people see the success you have, they start to run with it,” he says. “The real breakthrough comes from getting people to build authentic relationships across differences. We take people out of their comfort zones and put them in situations where they are the ones who are in the minority. That’s where the real learning comes from. My job is to expand people’s frame of reference.”
Turn the page to find other leading executives who mean business when it comes to diversity.
—Additional reporting by
Carolyn M. Brown & Sonja D. Mack
To select our top executives in diversity, BE’s editors sought to identify the highest-ranking and most influential corporate executives in the field. We set out to identify those senior managers responsible for leading the corporate diversity initiatives in the top 1,000 largest publicly traded companies and 100 major global companies with significant American-based operations. As part of our comprehensive search, we consulted major corporations, diversity professionals, trade associations, and resources such as the Executive Leadership Council, Diversity Best Practices Reports, National Diversity Council Inc., and The Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute at Bennett College for Women, among others.
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