SHEILA WELLINGTON President, Catalyst
When we look back on 2003, people will say that this was the year when business started to bring new people to the table. When business made the case for diversity and inclusion in the workplace - and then matched it with action. Finally, business leaders realized that organizational credibility begins with how an organization looks.
This call for change is hardly a new one. For years, we've known that by 2010, 70 percent of new entrants into the workforce will be women and/or people of color. We've seen a steady increase in the presence of female corporate officers, but the pace has been incremental at best. We're still talking less than 20 percent. How can that be, when women are getting more than 50 percent of BAs and MAs, 43 percent of PhDs, nearly 50 percent of law degrees and medical degrees, and slightly more than 33 percent of business degrees?
There has never been a greater need for fresh air in business - and if that's what we're really after, then we have to get fresh people.
PATRICK T. HARKER Dean, Wharton School
In the post-Enron, post-WorldCom era, much has been written on corporate governance and financial malfeasance. But once the furor over the corporate cleanup has subsided and the felons have been punished, we'll go back to our lives and the pain of the past two years will begin to fade.
However, in the wake of those scandals, we've changed: We've rediscovered the power of truth. We'll no longer be willing to be patient with people who claim that they weren't really lying but were simply shading the truth. Spinning, shading, and obfuscating have all become part of our vernacular, and not just with regard to financial statements. We experience these little lies regularly.