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July 9, 2021
CEO coalition OneTen is working to help Black talent reach its full potential. The group is combining the power of its membership to upskill, hire and promote one million Black Americans over the next 10 years into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement.
The membership of OneTen is comprised of leading executives and employers across a number of industries. They are taking action to make a meaningful, measurable and lasting systemic impact on racial and economic justice. This will help create a more equitable society. The organization connects employers with talent partners, leading nonprofits and other skill-credentialing organizations that support the development of diverse talent.
OneTen was founded in December 2020 by Ken Chenault, chairman and managing director of General Catalyst and former chairman and CEO of American Express; Ken Frazier, chairman and CEO of Merck; Charles Phillips, managing partner of Recognize, chairman of the Black Economic Alliance and former CEO of Infor; Ginni Rometty, executive chairman and former CEO of IBM; and Kevin Sharer, former chairman and CEO of Amgen and former faculty member at Harvard Business School. All five founders will serve on the board of OneTen along with other participating CEOs. Frazier and Rometty will serve as co-chairs.
Merck’s Ken Frazier
“Our country’s workforce of the future will be an increasingly diverse one,” said Frazier. “Through the creation of one million jobs for Black Americans over the next 10 years, OneTen has the potential to address persistent intergenerational gaps in opportunity and wealth.”
IBM’s Ginni Rometty
“OneTen links our companies with the critical work we know we need to do to improve racial equity in America,” said IBM’s Rometty. “This will not only help our individual companies, but by removing structural barriers that have disproportionately hindered Black Americans from joining the middle-class, it will also help lift all Americans”
A number of OneTen’s 37 founding CEOs and companies are leaders in the ICT industry. In addition to IBM, the membership includes Accenture, AT&T, Cisco, Comcast, HP and Verizon. The group welcomes additional members, including small and medium-size businesses, which power the majority of the U.S. economy.
The CEO coalition recognizes that the current system is not inclusive enough. Systemic barriers have prevented many Black Americans from the opportunity to earn success. Therefore, the group has set out to help companies provide more equitable environments to drive better business outcomes and benefit all employees.
OneTen is cultivating an ecosystem that brings together major employers, in partnership with the nation’s leading nonprofits and other skill-credentialing organizations. They will create a more flexible talent pipeline and practices that will allow employees and employers to thrive by shifting to a skills-first paradigm.
Working with employers, education partners and upskilling partners, OneTen helps design educational and employment solutions. Their goal is to better develop, retain and advance diverse and underrepresented talent. And there is an explicit commitment to hire or promote Black Americans without four-year degrees.
Managing Editor, Channel Futures
Buffy Naylor is managing editor of Channel Futures. Prior to joining Informa (then VIRGO) in 2008, she was an award-winning copywriter and editor, then senior manager of corporate communications for an international leisure travel corporation and, before that, in charge of creative development and copywriting for a boutique marketing and public relations agency.
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