But that in no way lessens the commitment to diversity and inclusion, according to Ramon Gonzales, vice-president of people services. "Diversity within the company makes decisions much richer and, we believe, really strengthens our business acumen. We value the creativity that diversity brings at all levels of the company."
While PNM strives for greater connection to its customers and pursues employment programs reflecting an increasingly diverse labor market, Mr. Gonzales is also focused on some very specific trends.
One is planning how to hire, train, and develop replacement employees for the huge number of baby boomers now approaching retirement. "We need to be relevant to the demographic mix," he says.
Staff educational assistance and information resources on caring for elderly relatives are two more examples of how PNM is helping employees experience what Mr. Gonzales calls "meaningful engagement with the company."
Labor market dynamics are also a hot topic for Eric Falls, executive director of HR shared services for MGM Grand Resorts, part of MGM Mirage, the casino, hotel, restaurant, and hospitality conglomerate based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
With around 70,000 employees needed to maintain gambling and leisure operations, Mr. Falls is concerned about a "shrinking labor market" caused not only by the exit of baby boomers but also by the trend toward more people working from home.
To aid a growing number of Spanish-dominant applicants in an industry where a certain level of English is essential to meet safety and service standards, the company last year began offering free English tuition as part of training.
The company also has programs specifically encouraging minorities, women, and the disadvantaged to bid for purchasing and construction contracts.
The United States Postal Service says it is delivering not only the nation's mail but also a commitment to diversity within the huge organization, with suppliers and throughout the communities it serves.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Postal Service is the only federal government agency to make the Diversity Elite list and is also the second-largest employer with a workforce, including temporary staff, of around 800,000.
Tony Vegliante, chief human resources officer and executive vice-president, says the service follows federal guidelines relating to ethnicity, race, gender, and disability, closely monitoring and reporting on its own performance.
Mr. Vegliante talks about an inclusive "talent acquisition/retention strategy" that goes way beyond traditional mail carriers -- into areas such as engineering, legal, and financial -- and reflects continually changing demographics. "We see ourselves as a microcosm of America," he says.
Food manufacturer General Mills, best known for brands and products such as Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Cheerios and Wheaties, Green Giant vegetables, Yoplait yogurt, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream, has operations around the world.
And it's that global footprint that has Kelly Baker, vice-president of corporate diversity, and some of her colleagues looking ahead at how best to manage the company's diverse worldwide human resources.
General Mills, headquartered in Minneapolis, has a staff of more than 28,000. Mrs. Baker says much of that "great talent" is outside the United States, and the company is increasingly focused on ways to "leverage our differences."
She says that has been happening for a long time domestically through diversity and inclusion initiatives within General Mills that include seven employee-run support networks and close to 30 mentoring programs, plus other programs involving outside suppliers. In addition, Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg has sat on the board since 2002.
The company's Web site shows how spending with minority-owned suppliers jumped from just $5 million in 1992 to $209 million in 2004, the same year another $109 million was spent with women-owned businesses. Maerenn Ball, the corporate public relations coordinator, adds that General Mills spent $452 million with diverse suppliers in the 2007 fiscal year to the end of May.
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