Oct 25, 2007

Blogging From The ELC Summit

I arrived at the ELC summit late on Wednesday October 24th. For those who have never heard of the Executive Leadership Council, it is the foremost Leadership Development Forum for African Americans Leaders, today. I was privileged to be invited to attend their Annual Recognition Dinner on Wednesday night and then participate in the Mid-level Managers forum the next day.

The dinner was a very special event - I've never seen so many black executives in the same place. The ELC Video - produced by lead sponsor - Target, was also pretty cool. For me though, the highlight of the night was a great Live Performance by Jennifer Hudson

The key learning for me was that, though Corporate America has come a long way, in terms of understanding the value of really fostering a truly diverse workforce - there's much work yet to do.

It's great to see Companies such as Target, PepsiCo, Coca-cola, Pfizer and ING, supporting ELC events and actually fostering diversity across their organizations. Truth is that these companies can't afford NOT to do so. They understand the importance of ensuring that their work-force is reflective of the consumer base which they serve.

That said - there are other great companies - like IBM and GE which actively recruit, train and elevate visible minorities to their Management ranks. Corporate America needs to actively strive to promote a diverse workforce - made up of talented men and women from all works of life. We all have something to offer - and the fact that I don't look like you, or have the same background as you do, doesn't mean that I can't be a great asset to your Company.

Organizations such as the ELC provide a good avenue for Blacks to learn about what it takes to succeed in Corporate America, how to navigate the landscape in our ever changing world. I applaud their efforts and look forward to attending this event - next year.

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