Gaps in Moving the Needle on Diversity

By Joe M. Ricks, Jr, PhD. 
Chair, Division of Business 
Xavier University of Louisiana 
New Orleans, LA 70125

Over the past few years in my role as Chair of the Division of Business at Xavier University of Louisiana and serving on the executive committee of the National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable I’ve been highly engaged in the conversation regarding Diversity and Inclusion.  During this time I have observed two significant gaps that need to be addressed if we are going to move the needle.  While I’m bringing awareness to these gaps from a diversity perspective these gaps are also relevant to the overall talent issues in Corporate America. The first issue is the need for meaningful dialog between business leaders and suppliers of talent, and the second is the focus on the best and the brightest.

During my career, with a few exceptions, the meetings I attend are with business leaders with few, if any academic faculty or frontline student touching administrators or academic meetings with no business leaders in attendance.  This gap leads to two of the major influencers of the diversity talent pipeline talking at each other through articles and other media rather than to each other in engaging two way conversations where we can get on the same page regarding the terms and metrics that are important to developing and onboarding talent from diverse populations.  There is a clear consensus that moving the needle in diversity and inclusion requires uncomfortable conversations; communications though media provides a lot of comfort.  These uncomfortable conversations need to be face to face, where business leaders and the academics that are directly involved in developing a diverse talent pipeline are able to have in depth discussions were each can understand the needs, possibilities, and limitations of each other to identify solutions to pipeline issues.

This gap is not difficult to close; it only requires the will to do so.  Academic and industry associations need to simply add these meeting to the agendas at their national and regional meetings. At the 2018 summit, the National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable partnered with the CEO Action Network and corporate sponsors to engage in panel discussions and breakout sessions with CEOs and diversity and inclusion leaders. Academic and industry associations, accreditation bodies, and corporate leadership groups could and should replicate this initiative.  Where I think the low hanging fruit for effective conversations is between academic leaders (deans, chairs, and faculty) and business leaders (diversity leaders and hiring managers) at national and regional meetings. 

The second gap is much more complex and will need some of the nation’s most talent minds to address. During my career I have had the privilege of being one of the few academics at meetings with business leaders and during these conversations it will inevitably lead to ways to bring the best and brightest students to their organizations.  The complete focus on the best and the brightest (usually determined by GPA) in itself will not have much of an effect on the need for talent in general or the need for diverse talent specifically; by definition the best and the brightest is a small number.  

Even in today’s “everyone gets a trophy” environment not everyone can be a top performer.  If we really want to make a significant effect on increasing the talent pool some of the great minds in Corporate America and the academy must give some thought leadership on how to develop the middle where the greater numbers are.  We in the academy need to identify ways to demonstrate our less than 3.0 students have the competencies necessary to be productive, and our corporate partners need to identify roles where students with potential that fall under the 3.0 threshold can have the opportunity to develop.  Grades measure a lot more than a student’s competency to perform in the work place, and by not providing more opportunities to the majority of students (unless there is significant grade inflation) we are leaving a lot of talent on the table.  I know there are a lot of factors in addressing the second gap that will require a lot of hard work, however if we pick the low hanging fruit in the first gap we will have a framework to address the second.



Career and Internship Opportunities - Los Angeles/Studio City, Calif.; Houston, Tex.; Seattle, Wash.; Richmond, Va./Minneapolis, Minn.

Bill Imada Chairman and Chief Connectivity Officer
Hello Everyone,
I hope you are all having a great weekend.  Here are a few job opportunities that were shared with me.  Please review and circulate.
I do want to remind everyone that IW Group is not a personnel agency or executive recruiting/headhunting firm.  We are a marketing, communications and advertising agency.  And, we are not circulating these jobs to make money.  We are doing it to be helpful.  Therefore, we are unable to assist with résumé consulting, placement services, or employment counseling.  Additionally, we are unable to sign up for college/university job placement services.  These services are the responsibility of employment agencies, career planning and placement offices, and employers.
I do not always have time to send these notices out.  However, when I can find a spare moment, I’ll send these notifications out as a service to friends and business colleagues.
Thanks so much for your understanding.
All the best,

Fiona Hutton & Associates
Accounting Clerk
Studio City, Calif. (Los Angeles)
From Ms. Kristin Cavanaugh, VP – Studio & Production Affairs, Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Fiona Hutton & Associates is looking for a part-time accounting clerk to join our Los Angeles-based public relations agency, Studio City office. Position supports Accounting Manager.
If you’re looking for a part-time opportunity with only a few hours a week to start, this may be the perfect fit for you.
Primary Responsibilities
  • Code and enter vendor invoices into Quickbooks
  • Filing & Maintaining vendor and client files
  • Enter cash receipts to proper client, coding to correct invoice
  • Prepare Excel spreadsheets
  • Prepare check runs, assemble for signature and mailing
  • Organize and maintain vendor receipts for client billing back up
  • Download Amex charges, match/enter receipts into Quickbooks
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Client Invoice prep
  • Prior bookkeeping & administrative work experience–service industry/agency experience is a plus.
  • Quickbooks experience
  • Excel knowledge and experience, including creating worksheets and formulas
  • Strong interpersonal skills; articulate and able to communicate effectively
We offer a competitive hourly rate and potential for flexible schedule, approximately 8-12 hours a week. Hard working but fun office environment.
Please email resume to

BP International, Ltd.
Commercial Development Analytics, Origination, and Trading Intern
Houston, Tex.
From Mr. Fields Jackson of Racing Toward Diversity magazine.
In order to be considered for a role, you MUST upload your resume plus transcript and complete your online application at
NOTE: Remember, you can only apply for ONE opportunity. If you are not sure that this is the opportunity for you, please return to our Degree Matcher to review your other matches
Our internship provides an excellent introduction to a dynamic global business. The internship program features challenging project work combined with numerous learning and development opportunities. You will have the chance to learn from some of the most talented professionals in Analytics, Marketing, Trading and the Operations/Logistics business.
As a summer analyst, you will be part of an ever-changing business and will work in an environment which is fast-paced, yet casual and conducive to learning and building new skills. In your 12-week internship, you will be working on projects with real impacts to our bottom line. Each intern will be placed on a team and is expected to be integral part of the team’s success.
Successful intern candidates will have the opportunity to be assessed for a full time spot in our rotational Graduate Development Programs that are located in both Chicago and Houston.
Upon successful completion of an IST internship and/or graduation from university, BP offers a three year rotational graduate development program in the path in Analytics, Marketing and Origination (M&O), or trading.
  • Analytics identifies changes in supply and demand and communicates the potential impact to the trading benches.
  • Marketing and Origination (M&O) maintains and enhances customer relationships, as well as grows our ability to create value across the entire natural gas value chain. M&O also plays a role in originating solutions in the form of long-term arrangements with our customers and helps to develop our financial offers.
  • Trading provides BP’s external face to the financial markets. We trade on all of the major energy commodity exchanges as well as in the OTC market. In this role, traders will develop and execute trading strategies, manage risk, and optimize BP’s assets.
Minimum Requirements
  • Must have cumulative and major GPA of 3.2 or higher
  • BP will not support US Immigration sponsorship for internships or full-time/long-term employment
  • Pursuing Bachelor's degree
Preferred Requirements
  • Must be available for a continuous 12 week period for duration of internship
  • All majors as long as you are able to show a demonstrated interest in the financial markets
  • Students should be in the 3rd year of a four-year degree program or in the 4th year of a five-year program. Interns join us during the summer prior to their intended graduation year.
  • Internships are not available for students who have completed their degree or who will graduate prior to the conclusion of the internship
As a first step, nothing prepares you better for a career with us than an internship. Our internship program provides hands-on, career-specific experience working full-time, usually during summer breaks. You will work on real projects that deliver tangible benefits and measurable results.
At the same time, you will have the opportunity to learn about and help to solve some of the most important issues we face. You will experience genuine teamwork, and work alongside highly qualified and experienced colleagues, while you work on live projects and operations, using the latest equipment and technology. Every year, we take interns studying a range of disciplines into our summer internship program, many of whom go on to join us full-time when they graduate. Opportunities exist in all major areas of BP to explore your career aspirations and develop the technical and professional skills you will need for a successful career, while earning a competitive salary and learning ab out the world of business. Summer internships last 12 weeks. The internship program also provides many opportunities for networking, social events and professional development.
Depending on your performance, you could be offered a full-time job following the end of your internship.
At BP, energy trading comes together in our global Supply and Trading group. It is where we link our experience, as a leading energy producer and marketer, with our knowledge of specific markets to provide customers with the energy products and service they need, whether oil, gas, electrical power, chemicals, finance, or a combination of these. It takes innovative thinking...knowledge...teamwork...creativity - characteristics that make for a challenging and highly stimulating environment for people working in Supply and Trading.
Our expertise and reputation are built around our people, systems and information flows. We operate across all BP’s businesses, touching 60-65% of the Group’s turnover, providing the commercial face of BP to the traded commodity and financial markets. BP’s Supply and Trading professionals working in 35 countries make us one of the largest energy supply and trading firms in the world.
Energy markets provide some of the most challenging trading environments for individuals looking to succeed in the trading arena. The ever shifting geo-political, regulatory and environmental landscape provides a unique opportunity for high potential candidates.
BP is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer.
For more information and to apply, visit:

Front End Web Developer
Minneapolis, Minn. or Richmond, Va.
From Ms. Victoria Gibbs, HR Consultant.
The Front End Developer is a tried and true problem solver at heart. You will be tasked with challenges that include helping Americans eat more fruits and vegetables, encouraging people to get lifesaving vaccinations, transforming health systems for the future, helping food producers connect with farmers and everything in-between. Our projects span national and global audiences, tackling some of the most challenging problems there are to solve, using both open-source and custom technology. We’re looking for a front-end web developer who lives and breathes the DOM who can help us develop rich interactive applications. This position can reside in Minneapolis or Virginia.
We have a dynamic creative team within Padilla. We are a fully-integrated, cross-office collection of writers, designers, developers, strategists, producers, production artists and external partners creating world-class, award-winning work. 
  • Work with a team of developers to create rich user experiences through modern front-end code and responsive design principles
  • Interface with designers to understand project requirements and to collaborate on enhanced experiences such as SVG illustrations and animations.
  • Write clear, maintainable code
  • Contribute to estimates and timelines
  • Help establish standards and best-practices
  • Contribute new technologies and processes to the development team
Job requirements
  • Relevant degree or web development certification preferred or additional equivalent experience
  • 3+ years of creating websites and applications
  • Expert understanding of:
    • HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript
    • Front-end frameworks, preferably React
    • Front-end build tools such as Webpack and Gulp
  • Experience with:
    • React Native mobile development
    • Custom WordPress theming
    • Git and GitHub development flows
    • Animation design and custom illustrations
  • Understanding of UX design and responsive design principles
  • Basic knowledge of MVC frameworks, specifically Ruby on Rails
  • Minimal travel may be required
Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.
For more information and to apply, visit:

Director, Channel Brand Management
Global Coffee Alliance
Seattle, Wash.
Job Number:
From the beginning, Starbucks set out to be a different kind of company. One that not only celebrated coffee and the rich tradition, but that also brought a feeling of connection. We are known for developing extraordinary leaders who share this passion and are guided by their service to others.
“We built the Starbucks brand first with our people, not with consumers.  Because we believed the best way to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers was to hire and train great people, we invested in employees.”
– Howard Schultz, Starbucks Coffee Company
This is a pivotal role in the launch and development of the Global Coffee Alliance with Nestle. The individual will be responsible for defining and building the brand management model in support of the alliance and the primary business lead for the North American CPG business unit, serving as a partner in growth of the business and expansion of the brand.
As a brand management director for the Global Coffee Alliance, you will…
Partner in delivering innovation, representing Starbucks on the brand and innovation strategy and execution to ensure commercialization of new products, collaborate with Starbucks Retail, R&D and global coffee & tea to identify innovation opportunities and synergies with the enterprise and alignment with the brand.
Build and lead a team, setting goals for the work group, developing organizational capability and defining and modeling how we work with our new Nestle partners and provide critical leadership role in building of Channel Development’s management team
Drive planning and execution by building cross-functional processes and relationships that will enable the business
  • Experience in marketing leadership, brand management and innovation
  • Ability to achieve goals through direct and indirect influence
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing
  • Ability to achieve goals through direct and indirect influence
  • Ability to apply sound business principles and practices to project management and change management processes
  • Ability to communicate effectively at all levels of the organization
  • Ability to manage cross-functional teams and projects
  • Ability to act entrepreneurially in a large, established company
  • Ability to work effectively in an unstructured, matrixed and changing environment
We’d love to hear from people with a passion for:
  • building and developing partnerships
  • creating and leading a team and developing strong cross-functional relationships
  • delivering results through a lens of collaboration, partnership and accountability
Starbucks and its brands are an equal opportunity employer of all qualified individuals, including minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities. Starbucks will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with all federal, state, and local ordinances.
For more information on this position, please visit:

Bill Imada
Chairman and Chief Connectivity Officer
6300 Wilshire Boulevard
Suite 2150
Los Angeles, CA  90048 USA
Tel. 213.262.4090
Tel. 213.262.0911 direct
Mobile 310.691.3462
Follow me on Twitter @bimada

Here are 3 resume tips to help land you an interview

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Racing Toward Diversity Magazine
Job Seeker Strategies
abstract image of making connections
Here are 3 resume tips to help land you an interview:
1. Focus. Your resume must target a specific job function and include only your most relevant work experience.
2. Show results. Just listing tasks you’ve performed doesn’t answer “So what?”. Make sure employers understand the results you’ve achieved.
3. Be concise. Highlight your accomplishments but also leave the reader wanting to learn more about you. A recruiter will be intrigued to reach out for an interview.
Remember to proofread your resume and upload it to Racing Toward Diversity Magazine so that employers can find and contact you about your next job.



Career Opportunities - Celebration, Fla., Los Angeles and Van Nuys, Calif.





Hello Everyone, 
Hope you are all doing well.  We're in the midst of a coffee discussion in the office about who roasts the best java in the country.  So far we are finding great roasters in every part of the U.S.  It has been fun learning more about coffee! 
I wanted to share some of the latest job openings.  If you know anyone who might be interested in these positions, please share them! 
Thank you all.
Warm regards,
The Walt Disney Company
Senior Financial Systems Tax Analyst
Celebration, Fla.                                                                                                                                              
From Ms. Juanita Martinez, Senior Recruiter, The Walt Disney Company.
At Disney, we‘re storytellers. We make the impossible, possible. We do this through utilizing and developing cutting-edge technology and pushing the envelope to bring stories to life through our movies, products, interactive games, parks and resorts, and media networks. Now is your chance to join our talented team that delivers unparalleled creative content to audiences around the world. 

We are looking for a Senior Financial Systems Tax Analyst.  The Tax Systems Group is responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining solutions that optimize the performance of the tax function and drive significant benefits through process improvement and leading edge technology
Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA)
Legislative Affairs Associate
Van Nuys, Calif.
From Ms. Carol Kim, VP - Community Investments and Public Affairs, Health Net, Inc.
Position Opening Job Description: 
The Legislative Affairs Associate will support the legislative affairs team advocating on issues impacting business at the local, state and federal levels. This is an excellent opportunity for a recent graduate to work in a fast-paced environment on a wide range of policy issues, with opportunities to learn, grow the role, and gain valuable networks and experience. 
Responsibilities and Expectations: 
  • Track and research state bills, local agendas, local motions and ordinances, and other policy developments; maintain advocacy database; keep legislative team informed on issue development 
  • Research and prepare policy position papers, letters, op-eds, action alerts, press releases, talking points, and blog entries 
  • Work with other staff writing and developing content for member communications and weekly newsletter 
  • Proactively identify communication and advocacy opportunities that fit with VICA’s goals and strategy 
  • Prepare and post content for social media channels; track social media mentions and engagement 
  • Develop a strong network with key members of city, county, regional, state and federal governmental staff 
  • Engage with members to understand their policy/issue priorities and how VICA can advocate for them 
  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in political science or communications 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
  • Ability to produce a large quantity of high quality work in a team environment 
  • Ability to work well with VICA volunteers and staff at all levels 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office and internet research. 
Highly Desirable: 
  • Legislative or other government/policy experience 
  • Proficiency in InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator 
  • Experience in project management, policy analysis and issue development 
  • Communications/corporate social media experience 
Salary and Hours: 
  • 40 hours/week, Competitive Hourly Pay DOE, Excellent Benefits Package including 
  • Medical/Dental/Vision, Generous Paid Vacation and Personal Days, Retirement Investment Plan, Life Insurance 
About VICA: 
VICA is widely considered one of the most influential business advocacy organizations in Southern California. With its knowledge of the legislative process and economic issues, VICA's access to public officials ensures that the San Fernando Valley's business perspective will be heard in the interest of improving our business climate and quality of life. With input and guidance from its members, VICA maintains a regular presence at all levels of government to effectively represent Valley businesses. For more information, visit
Please submit resumes and cover letter to VICA Vice President Jessica Yasukochi at
Wells Fargo
Communications Senior Manager, Southern California
Chief Administrative Office - Corporate Communications
Los Angeles
From Mr. Paul Gomez, VP - Corporate Communications, Wells Fargo.
Communications Senior Manager, Southern California 
Leading a team, this newly created position reports to the VP of Corporate Communications, West Coast Region and will focus on promoting and protecting Wells Fargo’s reputation through creative storytelling and collaborating with multiple lines of business, proactive external placement of executives and stories, strategic media relations, and internal and external communications planning. This position will be located 333 South Grand Avenue in Los Angeles, CA and does not offer relocation. 
Specific responsibilities include: 
  • Develop and implement strategic communications plans that incorporate internal and external media, social, executive and branded channel communications 
  • Create a master regional narrative, update on regular basis, and leverage with communicators and other stakeholders 
  • Identify proactive external engagements to advance storytelling and best position executives and company 
  • Seek opportunities to fully leverage internal and external channels to tell and amplify our story 
  • Serve as a trusted and strategic advisor on messaging, reputation and issues management, media relations, and crisis communications 
  • Track and measure results of plan to ensure that results are in line with intended outcomes and business objectives 
  • Develop and maintain solid working relationships with key local print and broadcast journalists 
  • Develop strategic responses to media inquiries and provide heads-up notifications to leaders as appropriate 
  • Partner with other Corporate Communications teams and across other business lines of Wells Fargo to ensure coordination, consistency, and efficiency of resources.
The Regional Communications team is responsible for internal and external storytelling, encompassing our corporate narrative, developing and executing a strategic communications plan, creating an executive thought leadership platform, cultivating and managing relationships with key media outlets, providing media coaching and training, collaborating across the broader communications team, and measuring results for continuous improvement opportunities. 
  • 10+ years of communications experience in one or more of the following disciplines: public relations, media relations or corporate communications 
  • 4+ years of management experience 
  • Experience leading, high-performing geographically dispersed, cross-functional teams within a matrix organization 
  • Experience developing integrated communications strategies and plans that align with business objectives 
  • Experience with issues management and crisis communications 
  • Experience prepping and counseling senior executives for high profile/high stakes media interviews 
  • Experience presenting information in a manner that persuades, educates, and enhances understanding at all levels 
  • Experience developing compelling content and leveraging multiple channels for creative storytelling 
  • Experience building strong relationships and working across large organizations 
Interested Parties: 
Visit our careers site and search.
Job Opening 
ID 5401445 to apply.