AonDiverse populations are achieving greater socioeconomic status across the globe: by 2043, the U.S. will become a majority minority population; new markets are opening in Asia, Brazil and Latin America; and superdiversity is becoming an accepted term across Europe as heterogeneous populations experience unprecedented growth. It is increasingly important that leading businesses understand these cultural shifts and respond accordingly. For Aon, a global leader of risk and human resource solutions, the importance of a sustainable diversity strategy, is no surprise. As Greg Case, President and CEO of Aon, says “diversity in all its forms—race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, abilities and disabilities, age and citizenship—is the very foundation on which Aon has built a world-class organization.”

Leonard McLaughlin, an Aon veteran of 16 years, having led both national and international initiatives alongside organizational diversity efforts can attest to this first hand. “At Aon, we deliver innovative solutions through our ability to hire the best, be the best, build the best. The global nature of our business means we must understand and embrace cultural differences.” McLaughlin is also proud of the pioneering work he leads at Aon Cornerstone Innovative Solutions. “We are creating a unique supplier spend opportunity for clients, fostering the success of diverse-owned businesses and positively impacting communities. Our model aligns minority and women-owned firms with Aon’s industry experts to deliver an integrated client solution. This “teaming” approach leverages local and global strengths and exemplifies Aon’s commitment to fostering inclusive partnerships.”

From a talent perspective, Aon’s diversity and inclusion platform is robust and gaining traction. Nichole Barnes Marshall, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion is excited to lead a progressive paradigm shift: “Simply put, diversity is counting heads, inclusion is making heads count. Our focus on making heads count will create great impact over the long-term by encouraging a culture where everyone has a voice, and no one is left out”. As an enterprise-wide strategy, diversity and inclusion is embedded across sourcing, onboarding, development, retention and succession. This supports Aon’s global growth strategy and builds cultural competence with sustainable outcomes. Two years post-launch, results are encouraging: Employee engagement scores continue to increase, with diversity and inclusion rated as a top engagement driver across the firm. Aon has also maintained a 100% Corporate Equality Index score for the last eight years and was recently named one of the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.

Executive leadership has been an important part of Aon’s success. Case believes that diversity of thought is central to innovation, especially for global firms. “Through a diverse and inclusive workplace, we bring more varied and valuable perspectives to our equally diverse clients across 120 countries around the world, while empowering our 69,000 colleagues to thrive professionally and reach their full potential.” This commitment to diversity and inclusion at the top of the organization has McLaughlin, and many of his colleagues at Aon, convinced that the company will continue to be a leader in the field for many years to come.

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