Linda Forte talks diversity.

Author:Trevino, Joseph
 
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Comerica's Chief Diversity Officer and senior vice president of Business Affairs for Comerica Incorporated, Linda D. Forte, strongly believes that diversity is is all about belongingness and engagement. For the past years, Forte has been actively involved in diversity and inclusion and as a result, she has received numerous honors including the 2014 Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion Annual Humanitarian Award. In 2011, She was recognized by Black Enterprise as one of the "Top Executives in Diversity."

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On a side note, Forte was one of the many participants during the Chief Diversity Officers Roundtable hosted by Latino Leaders magazine and organized by Comerica Bank held in downtown Dallas last May.

In this Q&A Forte shares her thoughts on diversity and the workplace, challenges as well as sponsoring and mentoring.

LL--Is diversity good for a company? If so, why?

LF--Absolutely! A diversity and inclusion focus for any company signals a commitment to engage all existing and prospective constituencies. Also, the focus invites and facilitates a company's ability to leverage the power of new ideas, perspectives and experiences to support, increase and sustain the company's success.

LL--What are the diversity goals for Comerica Bank?

LF--At Comerica, for diversity and inclusion, we focus on four impact areas which we believe will support and increase sustainable business success. Every senior officer incorporates "diversity scorecard" goals for these impact areas in their annual performance plans. These areas include:

  1. Human capital representation;

  2. Revenue growth;

  3. Environment and culture (defined by outcomes for improved productivity, decision making and problem solving); and

  4. Supplier diversity.

LL--Diversity-wise, what have been the achievements of Comerica Bank?

LF--We are very proud of our achievements. Our leadership is engaged from the very top. In fact, diversity is one of our company's core values. Comerica's CEO chairs the Executive Diversity Council (EDC), a council comprised of the executive leadership team. The EDC meets quarterly to approve and monitor strategic goals for diversity and inclusion. As previously mentioned, all senior officers are all required to have diversity and inclusion goals incorporated in their annual performance plans. All colleagues are required to complete diversity education sessions and further, must complete an annual diversity education...

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