October 6, 2022
Vice President, HR and Chief Inclusive Diversity & Equity Officer, Allstate
Anchor, Yahoo Finance
Diversity has been a popular business buzzword during the past few years, and many companies have publicly committed to creating a more diverse workforce. However, business leaders must be intentional with their efforts to truly make a difference.
At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s third annual National Summit on Equality of Opportunity, Eloiza Domingo, Vice President of HR and Chief Inclusive Diversity & Equity Officer at Allstate, spoke with Rachelle Akuffo of Yahoo Finance about her company’s diversity initiatives and how it promotes inclusive growth in the workplace.
Successful Diversity Efforts Require an Investment in the Right Initiatives
It's one thing for a company to talk about hiring and promoting diverse talent, said Domingo, but what truly makes a difference is where the company spends its money consistently. For example, she highlighted Allstate’s 2020 $1.2 billion bond deal, which was exclusively comprised of minority-owned, veteran-owned, and women-owned businesses.
“[The deal] was the largest of its kind at that time that was exclusively managed by minority groups,” Domingo noted. “As a result of that, we've actually seen more companies do that, [and there has been] about 300% growth [of deals] in support of … [minority-owned] companies or enterprises.”
Allstate also decided to offer some of its existing resources, such as unused commercial office space, to minority-owned businesses, free of charge.
“We don't really need to come into our office spaces [post-pandemic, because] there's some percentage of our work that is hybrid,” said Domingo. “They're not being used anymore, so what we're doing is offering them to our minority-owned businesses, and we're saying, ‘These can be your business centers free of charge. You can go in and use our space.’ And then we're also offering mentorships and things like that.”
“If we could at least offer our real estate free of charge, that's something we can do very easily,” she added.
Companies Need to Study Diversity Data to Ensure Impactful Results
Analyzing hiring, promotion, and retention data for employees of diverse demographics is a key way for companies to hold themselves accountable for diversity efforts. Domingo admitted that Allstate’s approach to studying its diversity data was “haphazard” and not very transparent before she came on board. To fix that, her team created an Inclusive Diversity and Equity Dashboard that is now accessible to all directors and higher-ups at the company.
“You can go in [to the dashboard] right now and say, as of this date, how is my hiring for women of color? How is my hiring for Hispanic [employees]?” said Domingo. “And then you can use that data and have real-time conversations about this. [Our leaders] are held accountable on a [monthly and] quarterly basis to say, ‘OK, well, how did you actually do?’”
Diverse Employees and Leaders Must Be Further Represented in Decision-Making Roles
Although intentionally seeking out and elevating talent from a diverse pool of candidates is a good starting point, the real impact comes from having those diverse voices in the rooms where corporate decisions are made.
“What happens at a lot of companies, especially predominantly white institutions, [is that] you have great diversity numbers, but they're in your independent contributor or your lower manager levels,” Domingo explained. “If the diversity isn't in decision-making areas like our board, our officers, [or] our C-suite level, then it doesn't really mirror the communities in which we live.”
“If you are able to retain and promote … diverse individuals, especially in your leadership groups, your market can grow also,” Domingo continued. “Companies that are more diverse, especially in their leadership, see a growth of about 33,000 customers a year in comparison to only 22,000 customers a year if you [don’t] have diversity at your leadership level.”
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