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In: Business and Management

Submitted By yosoyluiv
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MANAGING TALENT: General Motors’ Commitment to Diversity
Back in the 1980s, valuing diversity was far from the minds of the leadership at General Motors. True, GM had established a program to promote minority-owned dealerships, but there were problems within the company. Women and minorities complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the carmaker was discriminating against them. In 1984, the EEOC and GM reached a $42.4 million settlement in which GM promised to promote women and minorities into management positions. Since then, the company has never swerved from that effort at inclusiveness. Today GM garners praise as a company that far exceeds legal standards for equal employment opportunity.
For GM, this commitment to diversity is a way to better serve its customers in the United States and around the world. A diverse workforce, supplier base, and dealer network show GM how to serve a diverse marketplace. And openness to diversity—what GM calls a welcoming Workplace of Choice—gives the company access to the best talent in the world, without regard to such differences as race, sex, and nationality. In the words of Alma Guajardo-Crossley, director of GM’s diversity initiatives, recruiting and hiring minorities is “business sense,” because in the United States, minority groups “are pretty much going to be the majority here pretty soon.” They have an impact because the company does not merely hire minorities, but also develops them, trains all employees to value diversity, and expects all its people to be fully engaged in helping GM “design, build, and sell the world’s best vehicles.”
Guajardo-Crossley is just one member of a team of managers dedicated to promoting diversity at General Motors. She reports to Eric Peterson, GM’s vice president of diversity. Others on the team include managers of diversity communications, diversity advertising,…...

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