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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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Much has been written about the disproportionate number of women who have suffered pandemic-related job losses during COVID-19, but a related consequence has not been as well explored: the serious disruption of women’s careers, particularly in fields in which “path dependence” matters for success. In this Kenan Insight, we examine this more subtle asymmetry in the pandemic’s impact as indicative of far broader issues for women’s advancement in the workplace.

On Thursday, April 29, Lyft Chief Policy Officer and Advisor to the Co-founders Anthony Foxx joined UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford for an exclusive virtual discussion. Foxx discussed his career as the secretary of transportation under President Obama and as the mayor of Charlotte, the innovative technologies transforming transportation and how we can transition to a greener economy.

Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellision shared the company's approach to diversity, equity and inclusion following this past summer’s social unrest. In this conversation-style format, Mr. Ellison gave a brief overview of Lowe’s anti-racism statement and reviewed specific actions the company has taken to combat racism and inequality. He shared insights on his hands-on leadership approach and how it impacts his relationships with employees and his success at Lowe’s.

In a recent UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School profile, Dr. Jim Johnson, director of the Kenan Institute-affiliated Urban Investment Strategies Center, talks about his journey to fulfill his mission to make a difference in young lives.

CREATE Executive Director Mark Little and Institute of African American Research Director Karla Slocum have been honored with a UNC Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for their partnership as co-chairs of Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration

Kenan Institute Senior Fellow Mary Moore Hamrick, CEO of Political Quotient Advisors, outlines the major “buckets” of President Biden’s proposed $3 trillion infrastructure bill.

This symposium is brought to you by students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University for a singular purpose, to address inequities in corporate systems and the role we can play as conduits for change.

We measure the racial/ethnic densities (RAEDs) of executives in a random sample of 523 US publicly traded companies and the S&P 500®. When we calibrate the RAEDs of executives as a whole against the RAEDs of the 2019 US population, we find that American Indians/Alaska Natives, Blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented and Whites are overrepresented. However, when we calibrate executive RAEDs against a benchmark that seeks to take into account key features of the demand for and supply of proto-executive talent, namely the RAEDs of the cohorts of students graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the broad New York Times 2017 list of the top 100 US four-year colleges and universities, matched to executives’ BA/BS graduation years, mostly different and at times opposite findings obtain.

On Wednesday, March 3, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker joined UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford for an exclusive virtual discussion. Walker discussed leading the $14 billion philanthropy, focusing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation's reckoning around systemic racism and how business plays an essential role in the public good.

Most organizational leaders have come to recognize that hiring and retaining a diverse workforce is a business imperative. But many struggle to achieve their diversity goals. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how organizations can measure their “organizational equity” — that is, their internal distribution of power and resources — and build a diverse workforce that leads to greater organizational success.

The factors that determine our health go far beyond what happens in the doctor’s office. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how the physical well-being of many Americans has been placed in jeopardy by upstream social and economic factors such as racism, food and job insecurity, and a lack of community and social support systems.

The nursing profession in the United States was experiencing a labor shortage and facing diversity and inclusion challenges prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Magnifying these problems was a shift in the nation’s population, both geographically and demographically. The result was changes in both where nurses are needed in the healthcare system and the nursing skill set required to address healthcare needs of a far more diverse clientele of patients—in terms of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, age, living arrangements, socioeconomic status and primary language.

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Experts

Kim Allen

Kenan Scholars Program Director

Anusha Chari

Professor of Economics, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Professor of Finance, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

    Sreedhari Desai

    Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior

      Olga Hawn

      Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Sustainability Distinguished Fellow and Faculty Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise

      Jim Johnson

      William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center 

      Stephanie Mahin

      Clinical Assistant Professor of Management and Corporate Communication

      Shimul Melwani

      Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School