Diversity in business is not about the bottom line, ‘it’s the right thing to do,’ says former PricewaterhouseCoopers exec


Christopher Simmons tells it like it is and he isn’t afraid to make people a little uncomfortable.

He did just that during the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Power of Diversity Luncheon at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel on Monday. Simmons, the former U.S. Chief Diversity Officer ofPricewaterhouseCoopers, told the crowd that companies need to start hiring women and minorities, not based on whether it will help their bottom line, but because “it’s the right thing to do.”

But first it’s going to take a new way of making decisions when it comes to hiring and picking vendors and suppliers, he said. Executives need to stop gravitating toward only people that look like themselves.

And Simmons spoke specifically about West Baltimore, the epicenter of Baltimore’s riots after Freddie Gray’s death in police custody. He said there are potential great employees living in that neighborhood.

“They’re out there,” he said “The question is why can’t we find them.”

Simmons was on hand to help the GBC relaunch its “Bridging the Gap” minority business efforts. The business advocacy group is creating an accelerator program for minority businesses, a mentor/mentee program, an e-newsletter and educational seminars that will help women- and minority-owned businesses. The program will continue to honor businesses each year through the Bridging the Gap awards.

Source: BizJournals –



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