Market dynamics have been swinging wide, going from recession to recovery since 2007. One afternoon in October of that year, Citigroup Inc.'s CEO received news from his CFO that ultimately wrecked careers and upended markets. Days earlier Merrill Lynch & Co. had faced its own inner demons.
Other similar events literally shook the global economy, producing depressing unemployment in the United States and leading to "The Great Recession." The pendulum is now swinging back.
In January, the Fed's chief, Mr. Ben Bernanke told Congress that annual U.S. economic growth of 3 percent to 4 percent was a reasonable forecast for the New Year given current trends.
Our annual cover story tracking the rise of "leading U.S. Hispanic c-level executives" and the story on directors on corporate boards depict a key barometer of the state of diversity human capital markets in the U.S. The stories array an outstanding group of achievers. Leading this year's pack are two CEOs, Mr. Luis Manuel Ramirez of General Electric and Mr. Fred M. Diaz of Chrysler Group LLC. Along with chief executive duties at Ram Truck Brand, Mr. Diaz is the lead Chrysler Group executive for sales in the U.S.
Mr. Ramirez became CEO of GE Energy's Industrial Solutions business in 2009. Oscar Suris, EVP, corporate communications, at Wells Fargo & Co. joined the company in 2009. Michele Aguilar Carlin Sr. VP, human resources, has worldwide responsibilities and joined Motorola in 2008. So in the midst of recent market adversities, some processes stalled while others stayed dynamic. Diversity economics were very much a part of the drama of the back and forth.
We need to remind ourselves that diversity economics is big business today. It prevails worldwide. Mr. Ramirez observes: "When they see my face in the Middle East, they think I am Middle Eastern. In India, they think I am Indian. In Europe, maybe I was born in southern Spain... ." Diversity fits in with global markets as an "icebreaker," it prompts conversation with a simple, "Where are you from?"
The conversation on diversity wasn't always like this and still isn't in many places. But from the perspective of corporate culture, it is clearly becoming more of a sought after commodity.
Gilbert "Gil" Casellas, subject of another story in this issue written by Gary Fackler, adds still another perspective. Gil is a specialist on the fields of corporate responsibility and diversity. He has served at the highest levels of government and corporate governance. He is comfortable dealing with legal issues having served as chairman of the Equal Economic Opportunity Commission. Until recently he was vice president of corporate responsibility at Dell. He explains things in a way that make sense. He says for example, "When we think about sustainability, we think of a triple bottom line: planet, profits and people." Sustainability in turn is the goal of corporate responsibility, which Dow Jones defines as "embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental and social developments."
So there you are...read on.
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