NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In recognition of Nissan’s thoughtful approach to diversity in the workplace and in the community, DiversityInc Magazine has named the company to its 2015 Top 25 Noteworthy Companies list for the second year in a row.
“With the most diverse consumer base of any automaker, we understand the importance of engaging employees and consumers in an authentic way,” said Jeffrey Webster, Nissan’s director of Diversity and Inclusion. “That’s why we take a well-rounded approach to diversity, working cross-functionally and involving both employees and community partners.”
One of the most successful elements of Nissan’s strategy — and a top reason why the brand was recognized by DiversityInc — is the company’s extensive support of employee resource groups. Nissan has more than 20 affinity groups whose members raise cultural awareness within the workplace, but their impact doesn’t stop there. They also serve as ambassadors in the community and collaborate with other functions throughout the company to develop programs that support Nissan’s diversity initiatives.
For example, Nissan’s multicultural affinity group and the company’s Diversity Office recently partnered with the 100 Black Men of America to offer the Resume Challenge, a mentoring program that provides career guidance to hundreds of high school and college students in six markets, including Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Chicago; Atlanta; Jackson, Mississippi; and Nashville. About 50 students from this program were hand-selected to participate in a leadership development workshop and job shadow at Nissan’s North American headquarters in Nashville, Tenn.
As an active member of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Nissan’s Diversity Office — with the help of the Gay-Straight Alliance at Nissan (GSAN) — has sponsored several workshops for area business leaders where they can share diversity best practices for creating an inclusive environment for employees and supporting the LGBT community in middle Tennessee.
“Our employees are undoubtedly our greatest resource for creating a culture of inclusion both in the workplace and in the community,” said Webster. “In addition to their activities, the Diversity Office works closely with the Corporate Social Responsibility team to identify community partners that we can work with to educate the community on the value of diversity.”
Knowing that U.S. Hispanics are underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, Nissan partners with organizations such as the League of United Latin-America Citizens (LULAC) to encourage Latino students to pursue a STEM education. Nissan has also donated more than $180,000 to LULAC’s National Educational Services Centers to fund their STEM programs. As a major supporter, Nissan has hosted students at its manufacturing facilities, where they were able to interact with Nissan engineers and learn more about career opportunities in the automotive industry.
Nissan also recently donated $250,000 to six Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Southeast to help support the schools’ STEM initiatives, including programs that are designed to develop future engineers, programmers and scientists.
Additionally, the Nissan Foundation — created in response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles in the 1990s — dedicates 100 percent of its funds to organizations with educational programs that foster a greater appreciation and understanding of cultural diversity.
Nissan was recognized by DiversityInc as a Top 25 Noteworthy Company during a special event in New York on April 23.