GRDC News - January 2004

Kodak Advisory Panel Delivers Recommendations on Diversity and Inclusion
Eastman Kodak Company today announced the results of an external advisory panel's two-year review of the company's diversity and inclusion efforts, recognizing the company's achievements to date, and offering recommendations to further strengthen Kodak's long-term initiatives in this regard.

"In 2001, we formed this advisory panel voluntarily and asked it to help build upon Kodak's record of embracing employees and customers of all backgrounds," said Kodak Chairman and CEO Daniel A. Carp. "We knew then that there were immense business benefits for companies that take a broad view of diversity and inclusion. And we wanted a panel of experts from different cultural, ethnic, educational and professional backgrounds to tell us, basically, how we were doing and what more we needed to do."

At Carp's request, panelists first convened to study Kodak's comprehensive strategy for diversity and inclusion. In its second year, he asked the panel to assess future trends and their potential impact on Kodak. The panel found that changing trends in global demographics and the overall workforce would prompt Kodak to expand its diversity efforts in order to remain competitive in the race for talented employees and to meet consumers' needs.

"In our first year, we found that Kodak does a lot of things right," said Eric Holder, a former U.S. Deputy Attorney General, who chaired the panel. "The company is very focused on diversity and inclusion, but needs to consider how its focus would need to evolve in the years ahead. Our recommendations center on helping Kodak remain a leader in corporate diversity as the marketplace it serves changes in the digital age."

At the end of its first year, the panel made recommendations to Carp and Kodak's board of directors. Their suggestions focused on increasing representation of employees from multicultural backgrounds, creating an internal business case for diversity, setting diversity expectations for senior managers, and establishing diversity as a criterion to be used when staffing senior positions.

"There's good news on most of these recommendations, as well as room for improvement," said panel member Rev. Norvel Goff Sr., pastor of Baber African Methodist Episcopal Church in Rochester, and president & CEO of the Greater Rochester Chapter of the NAACP. "Kodak has made great progress. The company has maintained its overall (diversity) representation across its workforce for the past five years, even as employment has declined.

"But there is still room for improvement," Goff said. "For example, overall representation of women and people of color at Kodak has remained consistent over that period. As part of its commitment, the company must continue its recruitment efforts and identify new ways to keep its talented, multicultural employees."

At the panel's suggestion, the company created an internal business case to help leaders understand the business opportunities created through its focus on diversity and inclusion. Kodak also set expectations for training that include a review of Equal Opportunity Employment policies for all employees, and goals to place 10 percent of its annual spending with minority- and women-owned businesses by 2006. Kodak created a web site that outlines its diversity and inclusion strategies, achievements, and activities. In 2002, Kodak's board adopted a panel recommendation that diversity be a criterion in the selection of the company's top 20 leaders.

New recommendations
In its final summary to Kodak, the panel recommended that the company:

  • Set a goal of maintaining a workforce whose multicultural makeup matches the available labor force in the U.S. by December 2006.
  • Institutionalize its Winning and Inclusive Culture strategy (WIC) as the social underpinning of the Kodak Operating System (KOS). The WIC strategy outlines the basis of teamwork and employee interactions at Kodak. KOS is the system Kodak uses to drive productivity and reduce waste in its operations.
  • Put in place mechanisms that ensure adherence to the Kodak Values at all operations globally. Although different cultures have different customs and societal norms, the company would take steps so that Kodak's Values are shared with, and affirmed by, current and new employees worldwide.
  • Form an internal diversity advisory panel of senior leaders with global representation. As Kodak's operations become more global and multicultural, the panel said, its leaders worldwide must take a greater role in guiding the company's diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Expand current efforts to address global challenges in education especially with respect to women and people of color in the U.S.; and support global initiatives that address educational opportunities in key markets.

"I want to express my personal gratitude to the panelists for the time and energy that they devoted to this worthy endeavor," Carp said. "Kodak's approach to maintaining a workforce that can succeed in multicultural markets will be better and smarter because of their efforts."

In addition to Holder and Goff, the external advisory panel members included:

  • Dr. Johnnetta Cole -- President, Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C., and former President, Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga.;
  • Jean E. Dubofsky -- Attorney; former Justice on the Colorado Supreme Court;
  • Dr. Taeku Lee -- Political Science Professor at University of California at Berkeley, former Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government;
  • Richard McCormick -- Immediate Past Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce; Chairman Emeritus of U.S. WEST, Inc.;
  • Lionel Sosa -- Media Consultant; founder of Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates (now Bromley Communications), the largest Hispanic-advertising agency in the U.S.

The Kodak Values

  • Respect for the Dignity of the Individual: we value and champion our differences. This helps us maintain the diversity of our workforce.
  • Uncompromising Integrity: we demonstrate honest, ethical behavior in all transactions, placing the success of our business and its people ahead of any personal gain.
  • Trust: we work in an environment in which we can trust one another and share information freely, thereby doing our jobs to the very best of our abilities.
  • Credibility: by consistently delivering on our commitments (and even admitting to the occasional mistake), we earn the credibility of those around us.
  • Continuous Improvement and Personal Renewal: varied opportunities for individual learning and growth allow us to achieve the world-class expectations of our publics.
  • Recognition and Celebration: we welcome opportunities to openly celebrate individual and team achievements, and congratulate those contributing to Kodak's success.

For additional information about Kodak, visit our web site on the Internet at:



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