NOD President Partners with PwC’s CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion to Tackle Unconscious Bias


[NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 16, 2018] – Yesterday, the National Organization on Disability’s President Carol Glazer, joined forces with PwC’s CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, to take part in the largest dialogue on D&I amongst C-suite executives. CEO Action is the biggest executive coalition advancing diversity and inclusion within the workplace. At this second annual CEO Closed-Door Session, the group announced key actions to broaden awareness of unconscious bias and encourage difficult conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The three actions include:

  • Launching the new “Check Your Blind Spots” unconscious bias mobile tour with experiential elements and online resources to give people the opportunity to learn about and explore ways to mitigate unconscious bias in their everyday lives. The tour will make 100 stops across the country and engage one million people.
  • Initiating the “I Act On” pledge, in conjunction with the unconscious bias mobile tour, individuals can commit to action through a personal pledge to mitigate any personal unconscious biases, and act on driving more inclusive behaviors in their everyday lives. Individuals can also take the pledge via
  • Hosting a “Day of Understanding”, the largest conversation about diversity and inclusion in the business community and beyond. More than 150 signatories came together to take bold action and host a day of candid conversations within each of their respective companies surrounding race, gender and age in order to further embrace differences in our organizations.

“These bold actions will help leaders draw on our collective power to drive change,” said Tim Ryan, US Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC and chair of the CEO Action steering committee. “Together, we have made unprecedented progress, but we must continue to challenge ourselves in new ways to foster more open, inclusive and diverse workplaces and communities.”

In addition to discussing the new actions, CEOs and presidents  collaborated during working sessions and heard from employees about their real-life experiences at signatory companies. Speakers Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and Van Jones also offered their perspectives on key diversity and inclusion topics.

The coalition will also release “Beyond the Bottom Line”, a five-part landmark series featuring conversations between CEOs and their employees, unpacking diversity and inclusion issues confronting the workplace today hosted on the Huffington Post’s Purpose + Profit platform, and sponsored by PwC.

“The collaborative sessions, direct CEO-to-CEO engagement and the new actions are tangible examples of how CEO Action realizes the significant role individual CEOs can play in continuing to advance diversity and inclusion,” said David Taylor, Chairman, President and CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company. “As leaders in our industries, organizations and communities, creating positive change and making an impact is our responsibility.”

With research showing that 78 percent of Americans want companies to address important social justice issues, the actions outlined at the second annual Closed-Door Session will help the coalition’s more than 500 signatories, representing 85 industries and 12 million employees, glean ideas and opportunities to drive additional progress within their companies and organizations around diversity and inclusion.

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ steering committee member and EY US Chairman and Managing Partner and Americas Managing Partner, Kelly Grier, stated: “Building an environment that celebrates and includes differences is essential to developing the transformative leaders we need in today’s complex business environment. It takes bold action to make an impact, and today’s announcements show how passionate CEO Action leaders are about driving cultural change.”

Companies represented at the closed-door discussion include: A.T. Kearney, Achieve3000, ACT, Adtalem Global Education, Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering, AllianceBernstein, American Heart Association, AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, Ascena Retail Group, Ashley Stewart, Asian American Business Development Center, Bashen Corporation, Bowie State University, Brighton Agency, Career Communications Group, Inc., Catalyst, CECP, Center for Audit Quality, Century Snacks, Chicago United, Children’s Minnesota, Con Edison Inc. / Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.,Council of Chief State School Officers, Denny’s, Inc., Discovery Education, DNA, Edelman, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Equilar, Erie Insurance, Express Scripts, EY, Facing History and Ourselves, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Feeding America, FirstEnergy, Fisher Phillips, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, Horace Mann Educators Corporation, Horizon Pharma, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Information Technology Senior Management Forum, Ingredion, INROADS, Inc., Institute for Corporate Productivity, J.M. Huber Corporation, K12 Inc., Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, King’s College, Legg Mason Global Asset Management, Lehigh University, Marcum LLP, Masco Corporation, McKinsey & Company, Moody’s Corporation, Movado Group, Inc., National Down Syndrome Society, National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable, National Organization on Disability, Nixon Peabody LLP, Novant Health, OhioHealth, One To World, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, Per Scholas, Inc., Porter Novelli, PSEG, PwC, Randstad North America, RRD, Savills Studley, Sodexo, Solar Energy Industries Association, Springboard Consulting LLC, Stetson University, SunTrust Banks Inc., Swiss Re Americas, Tanenbaum, Tapestry, TEKsystems, The Boston Consulting Group, The Bozzuto Group, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, The Executive Leadership Council, The Hartford, The New York Times Company, The Procter & Gamble Company, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Tillamook County Creamery Association, United States Steel Corporation, United Way Worldwide, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., WayUp, WP Engine, Worldpay.

For more information on CEO Action, visit

Tips for Managing Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the Workplace

Tips for Managing Veterans with TBI in the Workplace: 1. Learn, Don’t Assume; 2. Offer Flexibility; 3. Relax Time Constraints + Minimize Stress; 4. Allow Autonomy; 5. Unfavorable Behavior May Be Symptoms; 6. Job Supports + Accommodations Can Help

People can get traumatic brain injuries from many types of situations. Many returning veterans are returning to civilian life with TBIs, which may be the result of a jolt to the head, air pressure or sound waves from a blast, or a penetrating blow.

This disability can cause difficulties for returning veterans struggling to transition to the civilian life. So, in 2007, the US Army asked the National Organization on Disability to design a program to address needs of the most severely injured soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as they joined the workforce.

TBI is an umbrella term that spans a wide continuum of symptoms and severity. Some common symptoms may include difficulty handling emotions, impulsiveness, and difficulty filtering out distractions. Although sometimes their effects can influence mood and thought processes, TBIs are not mental health issues. TBIs can have wide ranges of effects—with challenges that are often mild and/or internal, so no one can even tell they are there.

On the upside, people with TBI can and do make progress, often recovering most or all of their abilities. Those with an impairment from TBI can still have many intellectual strengths that enable them to be highly successful in their work too.

For companies hungry for talent tapping into the veteran population is a smart strategy, since the men and women who have volunteered for today’s Armed Forces are a well qualified, well disciplined, and highly motivated group. They often have a strong sense of mission and purpose—assets that can be trained toward productivity in the workforce. The values of the military culture, the skills they practice in military service, and the lessons they learn in military teamwork are a great benefit to the companies that hire them.

If you are supervising a returning veteran or service member, ask questions about the skills and work experiences that he or she gained during military service, and to learn all you can about ways in which those skills and experiences might be useful in the current position.

Each workplace is like a culture, and any entry into a new culture has its challenges. Job accommodations and productivity support measures can be very effective in bringing their performance up to standards.

Use these tips to help welcome and support veterans with traumatic brain injuries in your workplace:

  1. Learn, Don’t Assume
    • First, you should not assume the service member does or does not have a TBI based on presentation, behavior, and thought processes. If a veteran does disclose a TBI, take time to educate yourself regarding symptoms and strategies to support them effectively. With the permission of the service member, you may want to train their immediate colleagues about what to do—and not—to build a supportive workplace.
  2. Offer Flexibility
    • Give opportunities for rest over an eight- or nine-hour shift, and allow time to attend medical appointments. Make overtime voluntary, so that employees have a choice and are in control of choosing when they can or cannot extend their working hours, based on their individual needs and goals.
  3. Relax Time Constraints + Minimize Stress
    • Avoid placing veterans with TBIs in a high stress environment, as they typically do not cope well with stressful or frustrating situations. Memory deficits are often an obstacle for service members and veterans with TBI, so they may be more suited to work that is not time dependent or requires multi-tasking.
  4. Allow Autonomy
    • Managers should provide clear and consistent direction and communication, but still allow the service member or veteran to feel in control of their workload. Typically, when given reasonable tasks and autonomy to do them in their own way, veterans with TBIs are more effective.
  5. Unfavorable Behavior May Be Symptoms
    • Consider that behaviors like irritability or trouble getting along with others may be effects of a TBI—rather than personality-based concerns. Consider whether the symptoms and behaviors may be triggered by managers or peers not understanding or accommodating the impairment. For instance, an employee with a TBI may become frustrated if their manager has not provided clear directions or consistent expectations.
  6. Job Supports + Accommodations Can Help
    • Supports like providing a mentor and offering ample job training can go a long way in supporting veterans with TBIs in the workplace. Some accommodations can be simple, like offering noise-canceling headsets to help with concentration. Managers should be approachable, but allow the employee to initiate the process if he or she needs additional help, support, or accommodations

It is important for veterans, as well as their family, friends, managers and colleagues, to understand TBI as a combat wound—not a personality disorder or mental illness. Managers and colleagues can ease the transition from military to civilian life by being supportive, encouraging self-care, and building workplaces that are flexible and welcoming.

Discover more strategies + resources to welcome and support veterans + service members with disabilities transitioning into the civilian workforce at