Over the past several years, Coca Cola Enterprises has honed its focus on diversity and built a foundation for inclusion companywide. This has resulted in the organization introducing engaging and innovative programs, obtaining the enthusiastic support of senior leadership, and generally gaining momentum.
Aligning Diversity Plans with Business Priorities
Although Coca Cola Enterprises is proud of the progress already made, the organization is now challenged with maintaining momentum, better aligning diversity and inclusion plans with the priorities of business, and focusing on some specific dimensions of diversity and inclusion. For example, in order to embed diversity and inclusion more into management routines, Coca Cola Enterprises recently launched a “Diversity Is Everybody’s Business” awareness-raising program that required all managers to run a diversity and inclusion workshop during a team meeting. The company is currently considering turning this into a yearly requirement for all managers to help nurture a culture of constructive dialogue around diversity and inclusion.
To better align diversity and inclusion plans with business priorities, Coca Cola Enterprises also created the Diversity in Action program, which encourages sites and business functions to create and track the progress of diversity and inclusion action plans based on assessments and regular meetings with senior management. The company will continue this program, which has helped target most of its workplace and community initiatives. The next step is to begin exploring diversity and inclusion in relation to the marketplace and suppliers.
Good News for Gender Diversity
Gender diversity has been a priority for Coca Cola Enterprises for many years. Thanks to consistent efforts in this area, the company is seeing positive results. Woman currently account for 33 percent of its board of directors and 29 percent of its executive leadership team—two and a half times the European average for boards of directors and nearly three times the European average for executives. Female participation at all leadership and management levels is also on the rise.
Europe’s increasingly multicultural and aging workforce is making a significant impact on the marketplace, as well as the workplace. These socio-demographic trends will require Coca Cola Enterprises to focus even more closely on ethnic, generational, and disability issues in the future.