For Nielsen, diversity is a business imperative. Our clients’ consumers come from a multitude of backgrounds, and we’re committed to measuring consumer behavior across a wide range of ethnicities, cultures and organizations worldwide. Not surprisingly, our employees play a central role in helping us represent as many communities as possible.
Ten years ago, a group of Hispanic Americans at Nielsen had a vision to create a community that supports an inclusive work environment and leverages diverse backgrounds, all with the goal of building high performing teams and making an impact on our business. That vision led to Nielsen’s first employee resource group (ERG), Hispanic Organization of Leaders in Action (HOLA).
We’ve come a long way since 2006 and currently have seven ERG groups. At Nielsen, we invest in our ERGs to support diversity and inclusion, as well as to drive innovation and growth that make our company stronger and financially more successful. To carry-out this vision, our ERG leaders have gathered annually for the last eight years to discuss progress, opportunities and strategies to build on past achievements.
Over 115 ERG leaders from around the world gathered at our 2016 ERG Summit in Chicago. The event also attracted the attention of senior leadership including Nielsen’s chief executive officer, Mitch Barns, chief human resource officer, Mary Liz Finn and chief financial officer, Jamere Jackson. Their engagement and participation demonstrate the importance of diversity and inclusion to our clients, employees and community.
Nielsen’s chief diversity officer, Angela Talton, kicked off the summit, outlining the successes of Nielsen’s ERGs so far. However, she also referred to the long journey ahead, specifically shift in focus to generating business impact by representing the perspective of the people and groups Nielsen measures.
Mitch Barns then took to the stage to further discuss the opportunities ERGs have to add value.
“Step up efforts toward influence,” said Barns. “If all the ERGs come together and influence the company’s agenda in their own and distinguished way, I just see a multiplier effect accumulating as we progress through the year and head into 2017.”
Jamere Jackson continued the conversation by drilling deeper into specific examples where ERGs can make an impact at Nielsen. His ideas ranged from assisting with employee integration after acquisitions to being champions of living the Nielsen Experience: be yourself, make a difference, and grow with us.
Other key highlights from the event included a panel on the Nielsen Experience that was led by Mary Liz Finn and featured the ERGs executive sponsors, senior leaders who provide strategic guidance to ERGs. Megan Clarken, president of product leadership for Nielsen and an executive sponsor for the PRIDE LGBT ERG, discussed the company’s Total Audience initiative and spoke candidly about her personal and professional experiences with diversity at Nielsen.
The group also heard from Monica Gill, senior vice president of multicultural growth and strategy, and Eliana Murillo, head of multicultural marketing at Google, about multicultural business drivers, as well as a panel of global leaders who discussed the global reach of diversity and inclusion.
The three-day event was action-packed with opportunities for members to network and strategize with peers and senior leaders from across the globe. ERG leaders provided advice on a variety of topics, including event management, senior leader engagement and external partnerships, to help attendees return to their business roles and make a greater impact.
Sherri Dublin, Nielsen’s director of Diversity Programs, concluded the meeting with the vision for the ERGs, “be yourself and connect back with your team, peers, community, clients…ERGs are the force at Nielsen, a powerful catalyst to help make an impact.”