From the CEO: Diversity, equity & inclusion within AME

AME | October 11, 2022

As our industries change and grow, topics like supply chain and lead times are becoming household terms. In the past two years alone, people quickly learned how integral industry is to their everyday life. It was a challenge, but we collaborated and adapted, embraced change, and listened to best practices shared by people from all different parts of the globe. We didn’t know them personally, however, we shared common challenges and embraced and shared freely so everyone would win. And we survived through listening to different voices and embracing new ideas.

Recently many of you completed the AME Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) survey. Thank you for your feedback. We are analyzing the feedback, and from an initial review, we clearly hear that we have more work to do to make sure AME is an organization where everyone feels welcome and all voices are heard. You have my commitment that this will continue to be a high priority for AME.

DE&I is centerfold to the philosophy and practice of continuous improvement. An organization cannot be truly lean until everyone is involved—this has always been the case. The numbers support this. A study by McKinsey & Company shows that companies with more gender-diverse leadership teams, for example, were 25 percent more profitable than companies whose executive teams were largely homogenous. Those in the top quartile for ethnic diversity were 36 percent more likely to experience higher than average profitability. There is a great article in the Harvard Business Review that makes a compelling case for why more diverse teams are, in fact, smarter.

Probably the most important outcome is that a diverse and welcoming workforce allows more open and positive employee relationships to form. And we know that happy employees also experience greater satisfaction and are more optimistic about the work they perform. Employee satisfaction contributes to increased productivity, decreased turnover, increased retention rates, a positive organizational culture and increased collaboration.

Billy Taylor, AME’s global head of inclusion, equity and diversity, shares, “Embracing differences and seeing new perspectives helps people and organizations grow. By getting input from a wide variety of people, you get more brains, eyes and sets of life experiences. This is the innovation engine of an organization.”

That is who we are as innovators, lean leaders and change agents, and as part of the AME community. Ensuring that we cultivate inclusive environments is an endeavor that will always remain important to me, and I strive to ensure my leadership reflects this commitment.

You will hear from a lineup of accomplished industry leaders on this topic at the annual AME International Conference in Dallas in less than 30 days. One of our keynote speakers, Deondra Wardelle, utilizes the tenants of Toyota Kata in her #RootCauseRacism initiative to address issues of systemic racism. She will also join Sarah Boisvert and Amy Gowder in a can’t-miss keynote panel on embracing cultural disruption.

AME is also honored to welcome Bhavana Bartholf to this year’s impressive list of keynote speakers. She is an award-winning leader and sought-after expert in providing vision and accelerating digital transformation for corporations across industries worldwide. She is also a recognized advocate for women and racial and ethnic minorities (REM), a recipient of the 2016 Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Award – Empowerment Award, and was named one of Diversity Journal’s 2021 International Women Worth Watching.

I’m grateful to attend my first ever in-person AME conference with DE&I efforts at the forefront of our theme of Embrace Disruption. I’m also grateful for this opportunity to lead an organization with a diverse membership that continues to strengthen our foundation and create opportunities for bright and bold minds to lead us into the future.

There’s still time to register for AME Dallas 2022! Don’t miss out on our first in-person conference in two years and a host of fascinating keynotes, sessions, tours and workshops.

As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.