Making the workplace more diverse has many measurable benefits, but it’s essential for leadership to understand how to build more diverse teams. Lloyd Howell, Jr. is Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at Booz Allen Hamilton, a leading management and information technology consulting firm. The University of Pennsylvania alum joined host Dan Loney on Wharton Business Daily to share some thoughts.
1. It’s important to have diverse voices in upper management teams.
“At our firm, diversity is critically important. We try to walk the walk. At our board level, we have five female directors out of a total of 11. In our executive management team, we have six women out of a total of 10. And people of color are also a part of that. We have two African Americans on the board. Certainly, we’re looking to improve upon that, not just for the African American community, but also for other underrepresented classes.”
2. Diversity goes beyond race and gender.
“(We seek out) diversity of thought and diversity of experiences. We comprise our engagement teams to be as diverse as we can make them, both in terms of years of experience and other, more traditional categories. And the market is rewarding us for it.”
3. More diverse teams help company culture.
“We have a rich set of experiences that help teams learn from one another. We believe that it keeps people close, and (encourages them) to continue to work at our institution.”
4. Clients are pushing for more diversity in the companies they work with.
“When we are in a competitive bid process, it’s been more than once that the evaluators have said, ‘Hey, you guys look like us. We like the fact that not everyone is fitting one mold.’ We have (been working with federal agencies) for over 80 years. We have grown up with them. We’ve also seen the demographics of those clients change over time. When we think about diversity, it’s really about ‘Where is the client today? What do they need to be doing? And what’s the best team we can put in the field to help them execute that?”
— Emily O’Donnell
Posted: February 10, 2020