JohsonControlsWith $42 billion in revenue and operating in more than 130 countries, Johnson Controls’ commitment to diversity and inclusion is a business imperative expected to drive profitable growth.

Diversity is a top priority for CEO Alex Molinaroli. He believes supporting and believing in the value of diversity, and thinking differently, will get the company closer to becoming one of the most desirable places to work.

“Real attention to diversity requires us all to be willing to become decidedly uncomfortable,” says Molinaroli. “As leaders, we need to lead by example and give our employees permission to talk openly, and respectfully, about how to transform the complexion of what the leadership team looks like so we purposefully employ and promote the best talent across the entire diversity spectrum.”

Molinaroli is not shy when it comes to talking about diversity. During employee meetings and enterprise leadership team meetings, he often reinforces his vision for a more diverse and inclusive workforce:

“Our next company’s president probably shouldn’t look like me.”

Johnson Controls has been around 130 years and the commitment to diversity has been a company objective for a long time. The first chief diversity officer, Chuck Harvey, built upon the foundation by putting in place initiatives to make the company look more like the customers, markets and communities we serve. With Chuck’s retirement last year, Grady Crosby was appointed as vice president of Public Affairs and chief diversity officer.

In addition to leading the company’s government relations strategies, sustainability efforts and philanthropic initiatives, Crosby is dedicated to furthering efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce.

“Ultimately we will become a globally recognized leader in corporate social responsibility,” says Crosby. “We intend to grow our impact, effectiveness and value to our business in the diversity and inclusion space through greater coordination and collaboration across the global community we serve.”

Under the leadership of Molinaroli and Crosby, leaders at all levels within the company are being asked to increase their personal and organizational leadership for diversity. “As leaders we owe it to our employees, we owe it to our customers and we owe it to ourselves,” says Molinaroli.

Leaders at Johnson Controls create an engaging workplace for employees by finding ways to
authentically communicate across borders , languages and cultures. They do this through well-functioning and well-integrated business resource groups.

“We offer eight business resource groups with 32 chapters around the world, connecting employees with similar backgrounds and experiences to promote professional development and sustain an inclusive work environment,” says Crosby. “The groups are employee driven and open to everyone.”

The resource groups foster collaboration among employees with similar experiences and backgrounds who share a common interest in professional development, improving corporate culture and business results. Molinaroli says it’s crucial for the company to support groups like these to “attract and retain the best talent that stays longer, is more engaged and more productive.”

Establishing a truly diverse and inclusive culture at Johnson Controls requires specific goal setting, disciplined execution and accountability. “It’s something that’s important to me and something we will change” says Molinaroli. “When the gender, complexion, ethnicity and background of our leaders reflects our customers, markets and communities, we will be competitively advantaged.”

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