As one of his first acts of business after becoming CEO on June 1, Chris Bellamy reaffirmed Cohen & Company’s commitment to create an inclusive and empowered workplace by signing the CEO Pledge as part of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ initiative. The program is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
“This initiative is critically important to demonstrating our commitment from the top down,” says Bellamy. “Inclusion, and the diversity that results from it, is everyone’s responsibility and opportunity. One of our firm’s foundational principles is ‘great people first’ — finding ways to celebrate and value each of our employees. This pledge wholeheartedly embraces that.”
The CEO pledge outlines a specific set of actions to help CEOs cultivate an environment where all ideas are welcomed, and employees feel comfortable and empowered to have discussions about diversity and inclusion. The components of that pledge include open conversations, education, creating a diversity plan and sharing outcomes with other CEOs.
Cohen & Company’s IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in Action) team is one of the primary ways it continues these important conversations. Focused on turning words into actions, the group is passionate about:
- Expanding dialogue and understanding within the firm,
- Outlining actionable goals and objectives, and
- Identifying and executing on sustainable and impactful activities and trainings that can become a lasting part of the culture.
As a result of this group’s work, the firm built a long-term strategic framework that encompasses goals related to corporate culture, personal experiences, inclusion and hiring/career development. Included in these efforts is a Women’s Leadership Initiative, which provides and enhances opportunities to grow, empower, engage and connect diverse leadership; as well as ongoing training to help employees better understand DE&I issues, both professionally and personally.
“For our existing employees, it’s critical that we consistently strive to learn from each other’s ideas and perspectives,” says Bellamy. “And as we grow our firm, it’s equally important to look ahead to those who haven’t joined us yet and be proactive about searching for diverse candidates who will help enrich the firm as a whole well into the future.”
>> Learn more about the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ and the CEO Pledge