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Diversity in the Workplace Essay

This diversity audit begins with a background about the company, as well as some important information about key Diversity executives. What will be addressed in the audit are what efforts Johnson & Johnson made to foster diversity competence and understand, what efforts were made in furthering the knowledge or awareness about diversity, what strategies were used to address the challenges of diversity and how will you ensure that your leaders and managers will be committed to the diversity initiative. The audit concludes with a quote from the vice president of recruiting at Johnson and Johnson, as well as their Diversity and Inclusion Programs and Activities from the Johnson and Johnson Website. In 1886 three brothers, Robert Wood Johnson, James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson, fount the Johnson & Johnson company in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Today, the company employs approximately 128,700 people with more than 275 operating companies in more than 60 countries. The worldwide headquarters remains in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The company prides itself in caring for everyone in the world, they feel this inspires and unites the people who work there. Johnson & Johnson is the world’s sixth largest consumer healthy company, the world’s largest and most diverse medical device and diagnostic company, the world’s fifth largest biologics company and the world’s eighth largest pharmaceutical company. These companies together touch the lives of more than a billion people throughout the world every single day. This company, without a doubt, knows what diversity is. Their product line in itself is so diverse that I would say that diversity is what this company was built on and continues to grow from. They offer health care products that go from taking care of a skin blemish or a headache, to beautifying your hair and teeth products, to products used for metastatic breast cancer, hip placements and coronary stents, to prescription drug products treating everything from migraines to cancer and serious infections.

According to the company website, diversity is described as follows, “People and values are our greatest assets. Diversity is a central part of the cultures across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. It’s a key to our people’s passion for improving the health and well-being of people the world over. Further, our commitment to diversity and inclusion is deeply rooted in the values instilled by Our Credo and is exemplified in a number of our companies’ programs and activities. We recognize that differences in age, race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, physical ability, thinking style and background bring richness to our work environments. Such differences help us connect better with the health needs of people in communities around the world. We believe that attracting, developing and retaining a base of employees that reflects the diversity of our customers is essential to our success.

We also believe success hinges on relationships with diverse professional and patient organizations, civic groups and suppliers”. (jnj.com) In addition, Johnson and Johnson offers mentoring programs and leadership development programs to ensure personal professional growth. During my research I found that Johnson & Johnson has supporting affinity groups that has strengthened the impact of diversity not only within the organization, but in the community as well. Some of these groups include the Community of Asian Associates at Johnson and Johnson, South Asian Professional Network and Association, Gay and Lesbian Organization for Business and Leadership, Women’s Leadership Initiative, African-American Leadership Council and Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Achievement. These groups are just the tip of the iceberg as far as diversity for Johnson & Johnson. A key executive, Anthony P. Carter is Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion, as well as Chief Diversity Officer for Johnson and Johnson. In an article from Diversity Global Magazine, Mr. Carter was named a 2013 Diversity Executive of Distinction.

The article stated that Mr. Carter’s focus on developing cutting edge Diversity and Inclusion programs and strategies is successful because it is aligned with the company’s strategic business objective. As I researched deeper into the company’s responsibility to its customers, employees, communities and shareholders I found that Johnson & Johnson’s respect towards these groups of people who keep the company alive is supported by Anthony’s implementation and design of an inclusive global organizational system, as well as Diversity and Inclusion incentives. He has further developed opportunities for Johnson and Johnson to maximize their diversity. He oversees an office that implements programs such as Crossing the Finish Line, which is a career acceleration program for people of color. Programs such as these are crucial in developing world-class diverse leaders. An interesting quote by Anthony P. Carter sums up his role nicely, “Diversity and inclusion describe how we can work together to bring innovative ideas, products and services together to advance the health, well-being and the quality of life of those we serve.” (Diversity Global)

In the article Harnessing Diversity to Affect the Bottom Line by Ron Dory, it was noted that one of Carter’s best practices in relation to diversity is the use of ERGs (Employee Resource Groups), which have brought in new markets and impacted the company’s growth in a positive way. Johnson and Johnson prides itself in it’s membership in the Billion Dollar Roundtable, an elite group of companies that spend a billion dollars annually on women owned and minority owned suppliers. Johnson & Johnson’s use of Employee Resource Groups or ERGs as an organization where people who share a culture or background, for example gender, ethnic, religion or age, can meet to rejoice within their culture or address issues in relation.

ERGs are often chartered organizations and have volunteer leaders and business plans that are in alignment with the organizations goals and bring value to the company. Mr. Carter’s use of ERGs at Johnson & Johnson has allowed everyone to see that they are not the same but different while trying to achieve the same goals and objectives. He has also advised other companies to not move towards being the same or creating an organization where differences are not acknowledged. It appears the ERGs have allowed diversity to take a strong root within Johnson & Johnson. The have led to the company receiving numerous awards as leaders in diversity. As an example, Johnson and Johnson continue to develop world-class leaders. In September 2013, The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) announced this year’s Corporate Advocate of the Year, and the award went to Johnson and Johnson’s Chief Procurement Officer for Medical Devices/Supplier Diversity, Ruben Taborda.

The president and CEO of USHCC stated, “Ruben Taborda is a visionary leader who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to fostering business relationships between minority-owned enterprises and corporate America. Mr. Taborda is a true role model, leading by example, committed to providing concrete growth opportunities for Hispanic businesses throughout the nation.” (Global Newswire) Ruben Taborda is just another example of the success Johnson & Johnson has had implementing diversity programs throughout their company. Just from my audit I have seen their success with women, Hispanics and many other minority situations. They truly believe in what they stand for and what they are trying to accomplish in the diversity arena. In retrospect, even though Johnson and Johnson has an impeccable reputation regarding diversity, even to the point that the company thrives from the immense diversity, it is always on the top of the list of the best places work and was one of Diversity Incs. Top Companies for Diversity, problems arise sometimes when employees or perspective employees do not see it the same way. Examples of this come in the form of lawsuits against the company for discrimination.

One case in particular, Francine Parham, vice president of human resources was always bothered that there was a lack of minorities in the high positions within the company. She filed a lawsuit claiming that she did not receive a promotion because she is African-American and was then fired for speaking out against “a corporate culture of discrimination” (Gordon). Perham stated that in the lawsuit that she was told by her supervisor that he envisioned a promotion for her within the next twelve months and that she never got the promotion because that position was eliminated and that she was not qualified for a higher position even though she had excellent performance review. Perham also alleged that less qualified white men and women were promoted to higher positions and she believes this was because she is black. She also pointed out the lack of diversity at the top. Johnson and Johnson’s responded, “We have a deeply established commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and deny the allegations in this case”(Gordon).

There were two other cases, one in which an African American and one a Hispanic, filed similar lawsuits, accusing Johnson and Johnson of paying them lower wages and denying promotions to people of color. After ten years, that case was dismissed. Despite the fact that five of the highest-paid executives at Johnson and Johnson are white, four of them being men, and ten of the twelve directors are white with no women of color on the board, Calvert Investments still rated Johnson and Johnson’s diversity an 85 out of 100. They have an abundance of internal minority groups and minority recruitment outreach efforts, they are a strategic partner of Minority Business Round Table and they sponsor scholarships for minority students. (Gordon) I believe that companies such as Johnson and Johnson, with such outstanding reviews regarding diversity, and notable for their roles in diversity, are sometimes an easy target for people who are looking for lawsuit settlements.

Reverse discrimination plays a large part in this process. It is very easy for a person, especially one of a protected class, to claim discrimination, especially against mega companies such as Johnson and Johnson. These people know that the company would not want their reputation tainted so they make false claims to try and get whatever they can from the company. So the five highest paying executive in Johnson and Johnson may be white, but they also may be the most qualified, they may have worked the hardest to get to that point and they may be the most dedicated thereby deserving every dollar they earn. In my own experience, in managing a small local business, it is the qualified, hard-working, dedicated and reliable employee that will be promoted, no matter what the race, gender, religion, etc. According to Global Dynamics Inc., “leading healthcare provider, Johnson and Johnson has been rated, by Diversity Inc. Magazine as the #1 company for promoting diversity and inclusion in the U.S. Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are regarded as critical factors in making Johnson and Johnson one of the “best places to work” in the U.S”.

Although Johnson and Johnson met some challenges when they wanted to expand its Diversity and Inclusion initiative globally, they succeeded in meeting those challenges and the initiative was a success. Town hall meetings led by local leaders and web-based training reached several countries within the regions, live video conferences and live international video meetings were introduced and became groundbreaking for Johnson and Johnson. This resulted in improved employee morale, productivity and communication. (Global-Dynamics) In conclusion, my diversity audit of Johnson and Johnson showed they are a major player in the diversity arena. They have diverse employees, market their products to diverse groups and have initiatives in place to expand lead their company diversity even further in the future. An article in the NY Times sums it well by stating, “Johnson and Johnson’s achievements in diversity, in concept and in practice, succeed in bringing value to all those constituents” (Forsythe).

Johnson & Johnson is a company that is focused on building their brand by building superior products and understanding the importance of diversity in achieving success in the global marketplace. They have made diversity an integral part of their processes including procurement, supply chain, product development, information management, sales and marketing, and community service. My audit research of Johnson & Johnson showed they are a worldwide leader in all of the above and they make a concerted effort to lead other companies in the same direction. Having all the initiatives and being part of outside organizations that push diversity allows them to exert pressure necessary to achieve diversity in the workplace throughout the world.

The NY Times article also quoted Marjorie Geller, Vice President of Recruiting as saying “There’s no question about it, our commitment to diversity has a powerful impact on our recruitment and our talent-development processes, as well as the products we offer to customers. We try very hard to assure that our diverse culture translates into value for our customers, our employees, our communities and our stockholders” (Forsythe).

The following is the Diversity and Inclusion Programs and Activities from the Johnson and Johnson Website: Throughout our companies, a wealth of programs and activities support our belief that a diverse, inclusive culture is essential to business success. Following is a sampling of these activities.

Employee Resource Groups

Employee resource groups are voluntary, employee-driven groups that focus on shared interests and experiences and look to apply those perspectives to initiatives that create value for the enterprise. These groups provide support, networking as well as personal and professional enrichment opportunities for their members such as mentoring, community outreach, supplier diversity, career development and cultural awareness activities.

Mentoring Programs

Mentoring is widely offered throughout the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies as formal or informal programs. We look to expand learning opportunities and support development of a diverse workforce by making these nurturing relationships available to an ever increasing number of employees across the enterprise. In the spring of 2010, Johnson & Johnson introduced a custom, web-enabled mentoring service called Mentoring Works! that contributes to the Global Diversity & Inclusion strategic objective of building a culture of inclusion. Mentoring Works! is an enabler for talent development, employee engagement, and effective knowledge transfer as it makes it easier for people to connect, network and learn from each other.

Diversity University

Recognizing that education is essential to learning about the benefits of diversity and inclusion, we have established the Johnson & Johnson Diversity University. Diversity University is a dynamic online website designed to help employees build the competencies and the skills needed to understand and value differences and the benefits of working collaboratively to meet our Credo commitments and business goals. Diversity University includes a variety of guides, toolkits and resources for self-guided learning; a strong elearning curriculum that includes Diversity & Inclusion Fundamentals, Building Trusting Relationships in a Global and Diverse Environment, and Leveraging Diverse Thinking Styles: The Whole Brain® Advantage; as well as links to other interactive portals providing cross-cultural education and skill building exercises.

Office of Diversity & Inclusion

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion was formed as a functional group within Johnson & Johnson to drive diversity & inclusion as a business imperative and to ensure a competitive advantage. The Chief Diversity Officer reports directly to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson. The team serves as business catalysts, executing a global diversity strategy that enables Johnson & Johnson to win in the global marketplace. (JNJ.com) Also of interest is the following web address which shows the details of Johnson and Johnsons Diversity and Inclusion Business Model: http://www.jnj.com/sites/default/files/pdf/Global%2BDI%2BCall%2BOut.pdf

Diversity Global. Retrieved from: http://www.diversityglobal.com/tops.aspx?id=Anthony-P-Carter-1449 Dory, R.
Harnessing Diversity to Affect the Bottom Line. Epoch Times (Oct 10, 2013). Retrieved from: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/313845-harnessing-diversity-to-affect-the-bottom-line/ Forsythe, J. (2005) Leading With Diversity. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/marketing/jobmarket/diversity/jandj.html Global-Dynamics (2013). Retrieved from: http://www.global-dynamics.com/johnson-johnson Globe Newswire (2013). Retrieved from: http://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2013/09/25/575887/10049970/en/USHCC-Honors-Ruben-Taborda-of-Johnson-Johnson-with-Corporate-Advocate-of-the-Year-Award.html Gordon, C. Fired Johnson & Johnson Exec Claims ‘Culture Of Discrimination (July 2013) Retrieved from: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2013/07/15/fired-johnson-and-johnson-discrimination/[->0] JNJ.com (2013). Retrieved from: http://www.jnj.com/about-jnj/diversity

[->0] – http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2013/07/15/fired-johnson-and-johnson-

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