Technology Equals Transparency

Social media has transformed brands and how they are showcased. Employees, customers, shareholders, communities and others interact and respond in real time to organizational actions and messaging, underscoring the paramount importance of authenticity and consistency. As Jim Blasingame said in "The Age of the Customer," his line of publications and services related to economics, business operations and management, customers "co-own your brand message."

With user-generated content, responses to branding can go viral at any time, for good or bad.

Intentional inclusion in the workplace and marketplace helps create a virtuous cycle where the employer brand is elevated, and products and service offerings can be designed to better reflect new and emerging needs (Figure 1).

"We have demonstrated leader engagement and commitment and have been able to highlight how D&I enhances our brand recognition in diverse communities, leveraging D&I to source talent and market our products and services," said Michele C. Green, vice president and chief diversity officer for financial services company Prudential Financial Inc.

Capitalizing on increased transparency in the digital age requires intentional investment in diversity and inclusion, in the workplace and in the marketplace.

Grace Figueredo, chief diversity and inclusion officer for managed health care company Aetna Inc., said she is excited and optimistic about the future because of "an increased interest in the ways D&I can have a positive effect on business performance, how we work together, how we assess talent and how we reflect the constituencies we are trying to target and serve."

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