By Jillian Poland
President F. Javier Cevallos joined CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, a coalition of CEOs committed to advancing diversity in the workplace, in July, according to a University press release.
CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion was formed in June 2017 by a group of CEOs and leaders from large companies, including P&G, New York Life and General Atlantic. They aim to create business-based solutions for promoting diversity in the workplace.
While the organization is primarily comprised of CEOs, it created a “President’s Circle” to help academic institutions engage students before they enter the workforce. According to the CEO Action website, the group hopes exposing future workers to concepts of diversity and inclusion early on will prime them to be more active changemakers once employed.
Other involved institutions include Howard University, Georgetown University and Penn State.
Cevallos said choosing to join the coalition was an “easy decision” because Framingham State has always prioritized diversity and inclusion.
He added, “That’s one of the things that has characterized Framingham State from the beginning and has always been something very important to me personally. All my professional life, I have been engaged – actively – in trying to promote diversity and inclusion.”
By becoming a signatory, Cevallos has committed himself and the University to the organization’s stated goals of cultivating “open dialogue” in the workplace, sharing tools among corporations and educational institutions, and providing unconscious bias training to employees.
This fall, CEO Action will be offering members free unconscious bias training with their “Check Your Blind Spots” mobile tour. According to its website, the tour will include live interactive sessions, a digital library, self-assessment quizzes and time for participants to reflect as a group on what they have learned.
Cevallos said he hopes to have the tour come to campus at some point during this academic year.
Actions already implemented at other member corporations include improved parental-leave policies, diversified supplier chains, commitments to do business with local minority-owned companies and the implementation of policies to diversify job succession.
Cevallos said, “This is just one more step for us to continue what we have been doing all along. It’s not new for FSU. It’s part of our core values.”
He added, “It’s nice to know that there is a number of large corporations that share the same core values that we do.”