GS3 CEO Lisa Lunsford is a founding member of the CEO Coalition for Change, “a group of automotive CEOs committed to taking action to make meaningful strides in diversity, equity, and inclusion to become a more inclusive industry, leverage diverse talent, better engage our workforce, and to create economic opportunity in the communities we operate in and serve.”

On January 27, Lisa and Glenn Stevens, Jr., MICHAuto Executive Director, appeared on Automotive News’ Daily Drive Podcast to talk about the launch of this new initiative.

From MICHAuto, where Lisa also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors:

“Lunsford, along with Stevens and the team at MICHauto, the Center for Automotive Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (CADIA), and CEOs from ten automotive suppliers developed the CEO Coalition for Change to address the need to further move the needle on diversity, equity, and inclusion with the automotive industry.

CADIA’s mission has been to double the number of diverse leaders in the automotive industry by 2030, while MICHauto’s primary mission has been to promote, grow, and retain talent within the industry. By combining their core objectives, CADIA and MICHauto were able to develop the Coalition to further move the needle on diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

While the term D&I (diversity and inclusion) has been around for some time, the addition of equity remains relatively new.

“Equity means intentional equality, and you can not have equality without being intentional,” said Lunsford. “Equity looks at the ecosystem, where we are as a whole, analyzes that situation, and says we have to be intentional at distributing our resources.”

The CEO Coalition for Change has been working on four key areas: talent, innovation performance, reputation and responsibility, and financial performance. One of the largest focuses of the Coalition’s DE&I initiative involves building and sustaining an economically sustainable community. Fair treatment and equity within the workplace translates to improvements in employee attitudes and work efforts. A study by Deloitte found that companies with diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultures are eight times more likely to have better business outcomes, and three times more likely to retain employees, particularly millennials.

“What we do for diversity is really a win for all,” said Lunsford. “When people are acknowledged and they know that by giving their best they will be rewarded properly…then everybody gives their best and that goes to employee retention and developing the talent pipeline.”