"I didn't work with any black people for most of my career," Infor CEO Charles Phillips tells Fortune magazine in its Jan 22 article "Leading While Black: Why race and culture matter in the c-suite."
Now "from the high perch of CEO, Phillips has been able to transform Infor" with his focus on increasing diversity.
Reporter Ellen McGirt writes: "To find entry-level employees, he set up a central talent pool, filled with interns drawn from a diverse selection of colleges, designed to eliminate the cronyism that typically accompanies hiring. The company has started to collaborate with certain colleges with curriculum support and certification programs, specifically to create more work-ready candidates. 'We recruit, train, and place interns in divisions. Managers don't know who they're going to get. And it comes out of my budget, not theirs.' He says leaders are happy because they get unique talent that they don't have to pay for. Phillips also incentivizes company recruiters to focus on retention. 'We want people to stay past a year, and that takes mentorship and coaching.' "
Learn more about the Infor Education Alliance Program.
Phillips also notes that he "routinely meets with young black tech executives coming out of Facebook, Google, and other Valley companies, and offers counsel where he can. … he relishes the chance to provide feedback on matters of due diligence and arrange meetings with prospective partners for the young entrepreneurs, or even facilitate direct investment in their startup ideas if it makes sense."