NielsenNewNielsen leverages a five-prong approach to its diversity and inclusion strategy and in two years has made significant strides to elevate representation, development, retention, supplier diversity and engagement. Rooted in measurement, Nielsen leverages business unit leader scorecards to track and trend quantitative metrics such as movement, turnover, and representation by role/level and qualitative metrics such as training attendance, D&I program participation, etc.

These scorecards are the foundation of Nielsen’s D&I strategy, and over the past year, Angela Talton, SVP of Global Diversity & Inclusion, has seen leaders recognizing their full accountability for D&I. “Our goal is for all employees to see diversity and inclusion as their role not the responsibility of the D&I team,” says Talton.

And there is no better example of that than Nielsen’s CEO, Mitch Barns who makes it clear to the organization that diversity and inclusion is a key component of their operating philosophy. Prior to becoming CEO, Mitch required that diverse slates be considered for all open positions in his organization. Following suit, within his first 60 days, Mitch made the same request in his new capacity to his direct reports. “Mitch stresses the importance of diversity and inclusion to the innovation and growth of Nielsen–in his communications to the organization, his allocation of time, his employee engagement and his hiring practices,” she continued.

Nielsen is not only focused on hiring diverse talent but on investing in the engagement, development and retention of employees. In 2013, Nielsen created an 18-month leadership development program to provide a MBA type experience to a diverse group of high potential employees through an engaging curriculum, senior leader led workshops and practical case studies. In 2014, the company held the first graduation of its Diverse Leadership Network, which included an executive capstone curriculum at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. A second class was launched August 2014 and expanded to include participants from Canada and Mexico. Nielsen continues to enhance mentoring, case studies and curriculum as the program expands beyond North America.

Nielsen understands engagement is a key component to employee retention, so the company leverages its seven Employee Resources Groups (ERGs) to exponentially increase employee engagement. ERG membership increased 47% due largely to a five-day, companywide campaign to share the value of ERGs to the company and to members. Termed “ERG Experience Week” this event was designed to engage the five senses and afforded employees around the globe the opportunity to see from senior leaders, attend on-site client engagement events, taste ethnic themed food and volunteer for social good. CEO Mitch Barns kicked off the week, and more than 6,000 Nielsen associates in Europe, India, Canada and the US participated. ERG membership increased 10% in one week, and by the end of the year, Nielsen had 11 new ERG chapters in Europe, five in Latin America and three in the US. The 2015 event will have a special emphasis on building managers’ understanding of the value of ERG membership, engaging with clients, and creating more engagement on a global scale.

“Inclusion is a cornerstone of Nielsen’s success around the world. Measuring what consumers watch and buy wherever they are and however they choose to do it is our mission. But it is our diverse workforce that helps us to reach and understand all of those consumers effectively. Diversity and inclusion are crucial to our growth, strength, and ability to innovate.”

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