Nearly 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement, there is a new crisis of opportunity in corporate America. Based on the author's groundbreaking study of Fortune 100 companies, The Diversity Index identifies a barrier that has formed as white women have outpaced people of color and, along with white male executives, have wound up creating a persistent racial ceiling. In addition, the quest for global profits has created worldwide competition for the corporate suite, and U.S.-born minorities and whites are losing out. This isn't only a civil rights issue, as studies have shown that businesses with a strong commitment to diversity outperform their peers. The book takes an in-depth look at companies that have struggled to find the perfect leadership mix. Detailing the stories of executives of General Electric, Hewlett Packard, Merck, and PepsiCo, The Diversity Index distills—into 10 clear steps—the methods that the most successful companies used to develop integration, keep it growing, and empower their employees to develop new products and markets.
AMERICANS WERE PUSHING BOUNDARIES ON ALL FRONTS in the 1960s. Plans for Progress gained momentum as businesses became swept up in the racial, social, and technological revolutions of the era. Yet the companies that adopted the protocol rarely understood its profound importance. Instead, they used it to solve pressing, short-term business concerns. Plans for Progress provided companies with a step-by-step solution that promised to allow them to keep their lucrative government contracts, to reverse bad publicity, and to be seen in the public's eye as modern and forward thinking. It offered companies a systematic method of coping with the turbulence, the protests, and the riots of the time.Walgreen Drug Stores joined Plans for Progress to finally end a decade of demonstrations against its lunch counters, which featured separate dining rules for whites and blacks. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) protested at Walgreen stores for not allowing blacks to sit in the same restaurant as whites. While Charles Walgreen, Jr., would tell news reporters that the segregation had ended, CORE members would always find another Walgreen in the South that was still segregated.The drugstore chain was founded in 1901 by Charles Walgreen, Sr., the son of Swedish immigrants, who bought a drugstore on Chicago's South Side and began to expand. By 1916, he owned nine stores in the same area, each on a busy corner. By 1919, he owned 20 stores. By 1960 the chain had grown to 460 stores throughout the country.Walgreen was always experimenting with selling new products. He started with soaps and powders, and he added special purchases such as pots and pans whenever he got a chance. A soda fountain that served drinks grew into an ice cream parlor and later developed into counters and restaurants where people could sit down and get a quick meal.