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SALT Panel Discusses How Creating An Inclusive Workplace Bolsters Productivity

SALT Panel Discusses How Creating An Inclusive Workplace Bolsters Productivity

The SALT Conference is a gathering of the most well-known executives in finance, policy, economics and beyond. Benzinga headed out to Las Vegas to cover exciting news surrounding the financial sectors.

In the spirit of diversity, several executives spoke on how creating an inclusive workplace bolsters productivity and success across several different sectors.

Todd Sears, CEO of Out Leadership moderated the conversation with:

  • Lesley Slaton Brown, chief diversity officer at HP Inc (NYSE: HPQ)
  • Amanda Pullinger, CEO of 100 Women in Finance
  • Jonathan McBride, Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity for BlackRock (NYSE: BLK)
  • Allyn L. Shaw, Managing Director and COO of Global Information Security at Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).


“In business, you don’t have to change; survival is optional,” said Sears. For companies like HP, innovation and the measure of impact is key.

“When we look at the infrastructure and ecosystem, it was designed and developed to have the most diverse board of directors in the technology industry,” Brown said. “When you talk about innovation, we are designing products and processes differently knowing that shareholders and customers are demanding this diversity. It’s a values issue just as much as business impact.”


On the investor side of diversity, Pullinger considers this a challenging feat that has been consistent for many years and doesn't seem to be making headway.

“We’re an industry that focuses on data and performance, and there’s actual data that says diversity promotes a better workplace, but they're not a growth of more diverse teams or more female investors. We think we’re relying on the data to determine this, but movement isn't taking place.”

In order to combat this, Pullinger suggests visibility across every vertical.

“Get yourself on a stage. The people around you will think you’re smarter than you actually are. We need more of women to be seen as experts in their field.”


Both McBride and Shaw discussed the innate effect of using courage in the workplace to help improve these issues and prevent them from continuing down the road. One common denominator remains the same: do something.

“The price of inactivity has changed. In the past, you could sit back and wait because it was tricky or challenging, but the cost is simplicity. Inactivity is more of a costly and more risky place to be for your business,” McBride said.

Bank of America has started a new initiative, called “courageous conversations” to help open the communication pathway within companies. According to Shaw, this new activity has not only improved morale and inclusiveness, but hiring and recruiting strategies, as well.

“At the end of the day, it’s how you improve your bottom line by hiring and choosing the best team possible. No longer can we ignore what is going on just because we are conformed to the four walls at work,” Shaw said.

“We bring everyone into the room and talk about things that are awkward and leverage the opportunity to notice and celebrate differences.”

Related Links:

The Positives And Negatives Of Reinvesting In Opportunity Zones

Follow The Money: Wealth Management Execs Talk Disruption At SALT Conference

Posted-In: Allyn L. Shaw Amanda Pullinger Jonathan McBride Lesley Slaton BrownNews Psychology Events General Best of Benzinga


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