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Chicago CEO calls for more multicultural hiring

Pamela McElvane
P & L Group Ltd.
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Pamela McElvane is CEO and founder of Chicago-based P&L Group, Ltd, which includes Diversity MBA Media.

Ninety percent of companies in the United States lack top executives with diverse backgrounds and white women advance at a rate eight times faster than Black women.

That’s according to Diversity MBA Benchmarking Index, which is led by Pamela McElvane, who is CEO and founder of Chicago-based P&L Group, Ltd, which includes Diversity MBA Media. She has worked with large and mid-sized companies for 25 years on expanding diversity in the workforce and recently hosted a national conference on boosting the hiring of multicultural executives.

To change that situation, she said, companies need to recruit from sources such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, improve retention, check on whether diversity goals are met and invest in training to lessen bias in training and hiring.

She said more diverse workplaces lead to more profitable companies and better workplaces.

“When organizations can mirror what's truly happening in the community, and where they're going to allow a place and a space for folks in their workplace to bring … innovative ideas and to bring their learnings to work,” she said.

She added: It's already been proven that diversity in the workplace is profitable as companies perform better on the S&P and DOW indexes. When you bring different generations and different cultures together they're able to collaborate, influence, create and produce ideas for change, new products and fresh ways to work to get things done, she said.

Maureen Foertsch McKinney is lead editor of Illinois Issues' feature articles, working with freelance writers, and covering the equity beat. Maureen joined the Illinois Issues in 1998 as projects editor. Previously, she worked at three Illinois daily newspapers, most recently the suburban Chicago-based Daily Herald, where she served stints as an education reporter and copy editor. She graduated in 1985 with a bachelor's in journalism. She also has a master's degree in English from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
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