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  • Diversity in the Work Place

    , Senior Vice President, Marketing

    Kay Fernandez

    Senior Vice President
    Marketing


    Kay Du Fernandez leads the creation of innovative marketing strategies throughout the entire customer journey, building the awareness of the Konica Minolta brand to ultimately enhance the customer relationship. Through digital disruption, a focus on customer experience, marketing communications and channel management, she works to improve the value we deliver to customers, partners and employees. She's also responsible for strategic business development and pricing to support sales efforts for U.S. operations. Kay established the Step Forward Program at Konica Minolta to inspire women in professional excellence, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Books for Kids Foundation and the Orange County Ballet Theater.

     

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    I recently attended a Women in Strategy Summit in New York City, which highlighted many amazing women that were leading strategy and innovations within their organizations. It really brought to light that while there continues to be discussions on the gender gap (read Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In”), another emerging conversation is centered on diversity – in gender, in race, in age and in creative thought.

    Diversity in the work place is one of the key drivers to fostering creativity and innovation in business. Studies have proven that project teams with members who have diverse backgrounds and experiences not only help shape the final outcome but enable the team to be more effective at the process of managing innovation. Forbes conducted a 2011 survey of 321 global organizations with over $500M in annual revenue and 85 percent agree or strongly agree that diversity is crucial to fostering innovation in the workplace.

    Take age, for instance. It is estimated that approximately 80 million baby boomers will be leaving the workforce to be replaced by 85 million Gen Xers and 52 million Millennials. These new generations who have grown up in very different economic and cultural times, have a very different view of the world and will play a large role in organizational innovation that is necessary to keep business moving forward.

    Diverse teams that are expressing differing thoughts help us to find more innovative routes to a solution, and more than one solution to a problem – a critical skill set for leaders in growing companies, particularly in the technology space.  As Konica Minolta continues its growth into a leading solutions and services-driven technology organization, our top leaders understand that it is more important than ever to keep diversity top of mind when hiring and developing new talent.

    Konica Minolta is committed to uphold a culture that truly values differences and places a premium on inclusion. This is how we approach our business — and we entrust this high standard to all of our employees. As an organization dedicated to leveraging the unique creative talents of every individual, we advocate the principles of equal opportunity for all and are committed to the ideals of fairness, opportunity and mutual respect. For regular updates on this topic, follow me on Twitter @kaydufernandez.

    #corporate culture, #social value, #diversity

    April 08, 2014

    Corporate Citizenship, Leadership, Strategy, Thought Leaders

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