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ASCM Insights

ASCM Seeks Volunteers for New Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce


The majority of people credit diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs with boosting both innovation and employee retention at their companies, according to an executive survey by global consulting firm Korn Ferry. Nevertheless, 59 percent of respondents say they still experience unconscious bias, which is defined as forming social stereotypes about certain groups outside of our conscious awareness.

“Progress is being made to create a culture of [D&I] in organizations, but much more needs to be done,” urges Andrés Tapia, Korn Ferry global D&I strategist. “Organizations need to address the structural issues that are keeping bias alive, including pay parity, role expectations and high-potential talent criteria that favor one group over another.”

There are some notable companies working toward these goals:

  • Microsoft is hiring people who are neurodiverse, meaning they have differences such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autistic spectrum disorder, dyslexia or Tourette’s syndrome.
  • Pfizer Inc. added an inclusion index to its annual engagement survey that reveals areas where workforce groups are feeling excluded so that the business can address those situations.
  • Goldman Sachs and PayPal are bringing back to the workforce women who have taken career breaks.
  • PepsiCo has real-time data on race, gender, age, and promotion and retention rates for all 260,000 of its employees in order to determine where to focus improvement efforts.
  • Ingersoll Rand is prioritizing the advancement of women, having pledged to bring gender parity to its corporate leadership structure by 2030.
  • DowDupont embeds D&I metrics into its overall corporate scorecard as a component of a holistic, global strategy.

These and countless other organizations today recognize the importance of advancing their D&I initiatives for a multitude of reasons. Diverse and inclusive businesses are better able to attract, develop and retain top talent in order to drive long-term success; enhance the customer experience; and make better decisions. Furthermore, McKinsey & Company reports that businesses in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians; those in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have greater financial returns.

“The case for diversity improving the bottom line is well-documented,” write Rashi Dubey and Arlene S. Hirsch, for the Society for Human Resource Management. “The ability to innovate successfully depends on applying the broadest set of perspectives to business challenges.” The authors encourage organizations to embrace D&I so that their workforces may be infused with fresh perspectives, problems are examined from all perspectives, and assumptions are always questioned in order to protect the businesses from groupthink and “the plague of complacency.”

Call for volunteers

ASCM is committed to fostering professional environments that value equality and individual differences. One way we are doing this is by partnering with Korn Ferry, which transforms organizations by helping them hire the right people into productive roles and develops individuals through Korn Ferry Advance. The services provide job seekers of all profiles and backgrounds the expertise they need to succeed in supply chain careers. ASCM members enjoy exclusive discounts on resume review, career coaching, traits assessments, interview preparation and more.

In addition, the brand new ASCM D&I Taskforce will be a platform to increase the awareness and importance of D&I at every level of supply chain. I invite you to take part in this exciting opportunity. To be considered for a position on the taskforce, complete your application by April 12, 2019.

About the Author

Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE CEO, ASCM

Abe Eshkenazi is chief executive officer of the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the largest organization for supply chain and the global pacesetter of organizational transformation, talent development and supply chain innovation. During his tenure, ASCM has significantly expanded its services to corporations, individuals and communities. Its revenue has more than doubled, and the association successfully completed three mergers in response to both heightened industry awareness and the vast and ongoing global impact driven by supply chains. Previously, Eshkenazi was the managing director of the Operations Consulting Group of American Express Tax and Business Services. He may be contacted at

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