In the spring of 2017, a group of CEO’s spearheaded by Tim Ryan, U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner from PwC, formed a steering committee to address diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Their shared beliefs were that this is one of society’s biggest issues, that their companies need to better represent the community, and that diverse teams perform better. Their commitment to improve the culture of their organizations resulted in the creation of the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion which now has over 350 member companies representing 85 different industries.


Cultural change needs to start at the top. The CEO’s who take The Pledge for diversity and inclusion commit to three initial goals. First, continue to make their workplaces trusting places to have complex and sometimes difficult conversations around diversity and inclusion. Second, implement and expand unconscious bias education. And then, share best practices and share practices that don’t work. Each organization creates their own action plan and training to meet these goals. On January 17th, Merck is sponsoring a Chief Diversity Officer and Chief Human Resource Officer Summit for member companies to share how they are working on the Pledge and their progress.

I recently had a conversation with Mike Dillon, Chief Diversity Officer at PwC, to better understand how PwC is implementing their action plan.

Bonnie Marcus:  Mike, as a result of this Pledge, has PwC shifted the way it addresses unconscious bias?

Mike Dillon:  We have been very committed to our unconscious bias training in the firm. And in fact, this year we felt it was so important and such an important part of our Leadership Development within the firm that every new joiner, and that is about 17,000 each year, are required to take a Blind Spots training. But more importantly, everyone that is promoted within the firm is now required to take Blind Spots training. Because we believe again that it’s such an important part of our culture and our Leadership Development.

Read the full interview on