Diversity and inclusion awards presented to Tennessee-based companies

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Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Schneider Electric

As a global leader in promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace through executive search strategies, Stanton Chase (www.stantonchase.com) honored two trend-setting organizations with roots in Tennessee as recipients of its Annual Chairman’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards. The presentations were made at Stanton Chase’s recent 54th Global Partners Meeting in Nashville.

“As executive search consultants, we see the value of diversity and inclusion in our work with global and local clients,” said Daniel Casteel, Managing Director of the Nashville office and Regional Vice President of North America. “Diversity and inclusion in the workplace have become key factors in the evolution of Tennessee as a hub for domestic and multi-national corporations. This year’s honorees are extremely progressive and place a premium on promoting diversity and inclusion in their day-to-day operations. We’re honored to host this year’s event and present these outstanding organizations with this very important award.”

The award winners were Lebanon, TN-based Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and France-based Schneider Electric. Schneider Electric has had a strong presence in Tennessee for years. It recently announced that it will be establishing a new regional office in Franklin, TN, a move that will bring more than 1,000 jobs to the area. The event, held at the Music City Center, was attended by more than 200 prominent business leaders and global Stanton Chase search consultants.

“It is a great honor to recognize these two outstanding companies,” said Mickey Matthews, Global Chairman of Stanton Chase, a retained executive search firm with more than 70 offices in 45 countries. “Their philosophies mirror our focus on educating our clients through executive search on the benefits of creating corporate cultures that embrace diversity and have inclusion as a priority within their businesses. Gender and ethnic diversity must be reflected on boards and in the C-suite as companies reach out to diverse customers so that they can compete in cultures throughout the world.

“Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Schneider Electric certainly reflect these strategies in their day-to-day operations and in their long-range planning. Their consistent growth through many economic cycles is a testament to a commitment to diversity and inclusion on all levels.”

Stanton Chase, as an advocate for this initiative, has one of the most innovative programs in the search industry with its Diversity and Inclusion Practice Group.

“These two organizations exemplify the spirit of the award on virtually all levels,” said Lyn Cason, co-chair of the Stanton Chase Diversity and Inclusion Practice Group. “They are certainly examples to other corporations that hope to move in this direction. Both have demonstrated a social commitment to these initiatives while showing that it simply makes sense from a business standpoint.”

With a mission “to please people,” Cracker Barrel Old Country Store was founded in 1969 in Lebanon, TN. The publicly traded company, with a $1 billion market value, has more than 600 restaurants in 43 states.

The Stanton Chase awards committee wrote: “This award is being presented to your team at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for your impressive commitment to ensuring a diverse board, executive and employee make up, as well as having established diverse Employee Resource Groups (including women, LGBT, United Cultural Awareness, and Millennials) and a Diversity Council to support Diversity and Inclusion initiatives.  Your top leadership group is more than 50% made up of diverse executives. In addition, your retention rate of minorities and females is also better than the average for all employees. These and other factors demonstrate a friendly diverse employee environment and commitment to Diversity and Inclusion as an integral component of your employee value proposition. Your recognition that diverse groups operating within an inclusive corporate culture creates a foundation of innovation to build your organization’s capabilities to exceed your customers’ expectations is also recognized. “

Schneider Electric, a global energy management and automation firm with more than 160,000 employees in 100 countries, has also demonstrated a commitment to gender and ethnic diversity on all levels of management. The “Schneider Electric House of Diversity and Inclusion”   features three pillars:  Culture, Career and Community which are reflected by the following:

1)       Fostering a culture of inclusion

2)       Making sure that we have a diverse workforce

3)       Attracting diverse talent

The awards committee was particularly impressed by Schneider Electric’s position that “diversity and inclusion are the foundation of its organizational strength and is directly tied to exceeding customers’ expectations.  It is clear that by reflecting the diversity of its customers the firm can exceed expectations.”

“Schneider’s vision around diversity and inclusion reflects its diverse market and it is clear the company values this on all levels of the organization,” said the committee. “Throughout the entire company, everything is viewed through the diversity and inclusion lens.”

“Recognizing corporate excellence in diversity and inclusion initiatives with this award was one of the most memorable events of our meeting,” said Beata Sokolowska-Pek, co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Practice Group and Managing Director of the Warsaw, Poland office.  “Our role as search consultants involves encouraging diversity among our clients, so it is a pleasure to recognize excellence among these recipients.”

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