Strength in Diversity at Xerox

By Hervé Tessler

“True diversity encompasses every aspect of what makes a person unique: not only abilities, skills, and talents, but also attitudes, belief systems and viewpoints.” – Hervé Tessler, President, International Operations

The extent of human diversity is difficult to fathom. Of the 7.6 billion people inhabiting our planet, no two individuals are exactly alike. As a species, we speak nearly 7,000 distinct languages, come from 195 different countries, and each of us possess a specific genetic code of mind-boggling complexity. Diversity is one of humanity’s defining characteristics and its greatest strengths.

At Xerox, diversity is among the hallmarks of our company culture. We take pride in the multiplicity of our workforce and the inclusiveness of our workplace. Since our founding in 1906, Xerox has operated in more than 160 countries, bringing together manifold beliefs, cultures, languages, nationalities, opinions and skill sets to form a global family of boundless talent and unlimited potential. As a member of the Xerox family, I have witnessed first-hand the benefits that alternative approaches and different ideas can bring to our business, and how this variety of perspectives in turn enables us to continually improve the way we operate in the marketplace. Diversity translates into a well-connected workforce with language skills and knowledge of cultural practices that help us build relationships and market relevance. The more diverse our workforce the better able we are to respond to and reflect our clients and partners in their diversity. Diversity fuels innovation by providing an environment that is more collaborative, conducive to creativity and dynamic. Diversity lends competence and intelligence to our organization, and drives us to achieve solutions once thought impossible.

While progress continues to be made on the global stage in matters of diversity, and more companies than ever are broadening the inclusiveness of their ranks, all too often the diversity discussion remains limited to gender, race and sexual orientation; it should extend much further. True diversity encompasses every aspect of what makes a person unique: not only abilities, skills, and talents, but also attitudes, belief systems and viewpoints. All of these matter. Neglecting the full scope of diversity does a disservice to ourselves as employers and as citizens of the world.

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From the outset, Xerox recognized the strength that lies in diversity and took active measures to make it not just an element of our recruitment policy but an essential part of our company culture. The first CEO of modern-day Xerox, Joseph C. Wilson, was famously committed to promoting diversity, and we have never ceased to champion this value, not only through our words but through our actions. To cite a few of our diversity commitments and initiatives:

  • Our balanced workforce strategy seeks fair, balanced representation in all areas of our company in every country in which we operate.
  • We educate all of our employees on achievements, diversity programs and policies ensuring that everyone is aware of our diversity and inclusion principles.
  • We continually develop initiatives that leverage diversity in order to transform our business, gain a competitive global advantage, and drive market excellence.
  • We are committed to purchasing products and supplies from small and diverse enterprises, as demonstrated by our Supplier Diversity Program.
  • Our Executive Diversity Council meets multiple times every year to improve and review all aspects of our diversity practices.
  • Our Employee Caucus Groups work with management to achieve common business objectives and create an environment of inclusion.

Thanks to our policy of selecting the best and brightest candidates according to achievement, knowledge and skills, and because of our fierce commitment to non-discrimination on the basis of age, citizenship status, color, gender identity, marital status, national origin, race, religious belief, sex or sexual orientation, we have one of the most diverse and talented workforces on the planet.

Xerox has always been a forward-looking, optimistic company that dares to think outside the box and to keep an open mind. We know from experience that mutual respect is indispensable, that breakthroughs can happen at the most unexpected moments, and that the next game-changing idea could originate from anyone, anywhere. We owe it to ourselves to be as inclusive as possible, to recognize each individual’s unique talent, and to encourage the contribution only they can make. The company of tomorrow must reflect the people of tomorrow—all of them.

Diversity is one of the pillars of our Corporate Social Responsibility policy, but it is much more than that. Our diversity is the secret to our success and the key to our longevity.

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