|We've got NEWS|
|Monday, April 10, 2000 |
Tommy G. Thompson
News Media Contact
Contact: Tony Jewell (608) 266-9806
MADISON : Gov. Tommy G. Thompson today announced the recipients of this year's Diamond Awards, which recognizes Wisconsin businesses that make great strides in shattering the glass ceiling. This year's award winners are: Alliant Energy, Brady Corporation, Harley-Davison, Johnson Controls, Inc., and Procter & Gamble.
"These five companies are setting a standard across Wisconsin. Their efforts not only improve the professional lives of women and minorities all across our state, but bolster our economy by tapping into the talent of all people in the workforce," Gov. Thompson said.
The applicants for the Diamond Awards are reviewed by the Glass Ceiling Commission. Gov. Thompson was the first governor in the country to create a Glass Ceiling Commission in 1993. Its mission is to encourage businesses and organizations to voluntarily eliminate barriers and promote advancement of women and minorities to upper ranks of management.
The many efforts of these businesses to shatter the glass ceiling are as follows:
Alliant Energy, Madison; Erroll B. Davis, Jr., President & CEO
Alliant Energy has one of the industry's only black CEOs and one of Wisconsin's highest ranking black executives in Erroll Davis. Under his leadership, Alliant Energy has found ways to bring together a corporate culture that supports diversity. Women and minorities comprise nearly half of Alliant's executive team, and, in a traditionally male-dominated industry, 27 percent of its 6,200 employees are women. Working Woman magazine placed Alliant Energy on its honor roll of 10 companies considered very progressive in continually promoting women into leadership positions.
Brady Corporation, Milwaukee; Katherine M. Hudson, president and CEO
The Brady Corporation believes that diversity is vital to compete in the global arena. Katherine M. Hudson, the company's President and Chief Executive Officer, became the first woman to lead a publicly traded company in Wisconsin when she joined Brady in 1994. The company's self-directed team approach allows women and minorities at all levels of the company to have input and ownership on long-range projects as well as day-to-day activities. Female and/or minority candidates are considered for every management position. The Brady Corporation presents a total systems development program that removes barriers to upward mobility and encourages hiring practices that establish a workforce that values and embraces diversity.
Harley-Davidson, Milwaukee; Jeff Bleustein, Chairman & CEO
Harley-Davidson Chief Executive Officer, Jeff L. Bleustein, is committed to diversity and creating equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment at Harley-Davidson. This company has become innovative in recruitment and now offers the opportunity for potential employees to have special training in order to better compete and ultimately be successful in the company's pre-employment testing process. Harley-Davidson uses internship programs to develop relationships with black colleges and universities to help recruit minorities and has expanded their company's recruitment efforts to include minority search firms who will help to identify and recruit minorities in a business that has traditionally been dominated by white males.
Johnson Controls, Inc., Milwaukee; James H. Keys, Chairman & CEO
Johnson Controls, Inc. Chairman and CEO, James Keys, believes that diversity and involvement is the foundation of his company's strength. Forty-two percent of the management and professional group are women and 14 percent are minorities. A goal has been established that 50 percent of each year's new recruits be women and minorities. The CEO also has established and chairs a Corporate Diversity Steering Committee, which provides guidance and support to 23 separate employee task teams that address workplace issues. The first week of May is celebrated as Vision Week, which reaffirms that diversity is a journey, not the final destination.
Procter & Gamble, Green Bay; Robert E. Empie, Site Leader
Procter & Gamble has been developing diversity strategies through clear objectives and quality action plans according to site leader, Robert Empie. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. Since 1998, they have been recognized with the Catalyst Award for "demonstrated success in moving women into leadership positions," appeared in the top 100 companies ranked by Black College magazine, the top 100 companies for Hispanics ranked by Hispanic magazine, and the top 50 companies ranked by Latina Style magazine for promoting professional opportunities for Hispanic women. Mr. Empie says that "Diversity is a business strategy. We cannot afford to underutilize a soul."
The Diamond Award Ceremony was initiated by Gov. Thompson in May 1995 as a way to recognize those businesses who established exceptional programs that cut through the glass ceiling and provided enhanced career opportunities for women and minorities. Since then, 20 awards have been presented to Wisconsin business leaders.