Magazine article Workforce

Diversity Lives at BellSouth

Magazine article Workforce

Diversity Lives at BellSouth

Article excerpt

Well Done

BellSouth may be cutting costs and laying people off during this recession, but its diversity initiatives are one thing it's not axing.

At the communications company, which employs about 100,000 people and is a regular on "Best Companies for Minorities" lists, managers are still trained in subjects such as building a business on inclusion. BellSouth, however, is using more internal trainers, rather than outsourcing the training.

"During times of economic declines, our shareholder's expectations are not reduced, and our customer expectations are not reduced," says Ron Freison, BellSouth's chief diversity officer. "Our diversity strategy helps meet those expectations."

Four years ago, company leaders started talking about diversity, and spent two years trying to define it. "Winning in the marketplace by respecting and engaging the talent of all employees," was what the company came up with.

BellSouth benchmarked itself against companies such as Apple and Microsoft which have "inclusive" reputations. …

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