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One Houston Together

While the issues of racial inequity and systemic racism are not unique to Houston, we have an opportunity as Houstonians to lead the way in reforming broken systems, partnering with communities, offering support and removing barriers. We often speak with pride of Houston being "America’s most diverse city." Now we must work to make Houston "America’s most inclusive and open city", one that does truly offer "opportunity for all." The Partnership and the 900 member companies and institutions we represent are committed to this endeavor.

One Houston Together is a data-driven effort of 100+ businesses, institutions, and nonprofit organizations to advance people of color into senior management roles, increase racial diversity on corporate boards, and grow spending with Minority Business Enterprises.

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Houston Area Equity and Inclusion Organization Assessment

The Greater Houston Partnership has released the results of its inaugural Equity & Inclusion Assessment. A total of 120 companies and organizations participated in the 2021 assessment, which is a robust tool designed to help organizations enhance their equity and inclusion strategy and increase community impact. The assessment establishes a quantitative regional baseline for our collective progress in this, the nation’s most diverse city. View the results via the link.

Houston Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Impact Analysis

This report is a joint effort of the Greater Houston Partnership’s One Houston Together and the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council (HMSDC). The following tables summarize the economic impact of HMSDC-certified Minority Businesses Enterprises in the nine-county Houston MSA. While there are many other MBEs throughout the region, HMSDC data is used as a proxy to estimate the growing economic impact of MBEs across our region.

Racial Equity Principles

The Partnership’s Racial Equity Principles are a framework to communicate the Houston business community’s pledge to reforming systems of bias, strengthening underserved communities, advocating inclusion, and removing barriers to achievement. Although many businesses have made their own individual statements and pledges, this unified approach sends an important signal about the Houston business community’s collective commitment. The Principles articulate how the Partnership and individual businesses can commit to advancing racial equity within their organizations and throughout our community.

Racial Equity Committee

The Partnership has created a new board committee that will guide the organization's actions to address racial equity and racial justice issues in Houston. The mission of the Racial Equity Committee is to harness the collective commitment and resources of Houston’s businesses and institutions to advance bold solutions to strengthen Houston as the most diverse, inclusive and equitable city in the United States.

This committee will operate at the level of our two other “board-member only” direction-setting committees, the Public Policy Steering and Economic Development Steering committees. The new committee will be co-chaired by Ruth Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M University, and Gretchen Watkins, President of Shell Oil Co. Click the link below for the full roster of committee members.

One Houston Together Overview

Download this PDF for an overview of the activity and goals of the Partnership's One Houston Together effort. 

Racial Equity Conversations

Understanding Racism

Defining and understanding systemic and individual racism.

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Education and Racial Inequities

How does race affect the educational opportunities afforded to individuals and communities in the Houston area? What can we do to ensure quality education is accessible to all?

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Health and Racial Inequities

A look at why race-based disparities remain in outcomes, access, cost and quality of care.

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Developing Equitable Communities

Today, a person’s zip code remains one of the best indicators of their health and wealth. But there are renewed efforts to close the gaps in equity in our region’s communities.

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The Business Community's Role in Addressing Racial Inequitie...

What can individual companies and the broader corporate community do to help eliminate racial disparities?

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conversations

The Greater Houston Partnership presented Houston House during the 2021 SXSW virtual conference. The event featured candid conversations around a series of topics including innovation, the future of energy and DEI. 

Member Case Studies and Conversations

How 3 Companies are Advancing DEI in Houston

How are local business leaders working to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within their companies and what is the Partnership doing through One Houston Together to help guide that work?

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Member Spotlight on Sodexo's Roadmap to Global Inclusion; Up...

Mia Mends is the Global Chief DEI Officer and CEO of Impact Ventures at Sodexo, an international facilities management and food services company with 420,000 employees worldwide.

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How 2 Organizations are Building a Sustainable Process for Hiring...

The Partnership’s One Houston Together Talent Roundtable gathers the region’s leading employers to share best practices and tools for advancing talent diversity in deliberate and measurable ways.

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Driving Action to Advance Inclusion and Strategic Talent Developm...

How does a global company launch an effective diversity and inclusion strategy from the ground up? And what does outside-the-box thinking look like when it comes to education benefits that significantly mo...

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Member Spotlight on JPMorgan Chase's $30B Commitment to Raci...

As part of its ongoing effort to showcase success in supplier diversity, the Partnership’s One Houston Together initiative hosted its latest roundtable discussion in late April featuring a case study with ...

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Key Articles

10 Proven Actions to Advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Bain & Company
Bain’s research finds evidence that 10 specific tactics—some common, others underused—are particularly effective at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Amplified Calls for Racial Equity Need Amplified Responses, Boston Consulting Group
Despite efforts to promote equity, many employees say companies haven’t done enough. Creating an equitable environment goes beyond hiring a diverse team—and benefits the entire company. 

Getting Serious About Diversity: Enough Already with the Business Case, Robin J. Ely and David A. Thomas, Harvard Business Review
This argues that to fully benefit from increased racial and gender diversity, organizations must adopt a learning orientation and be willing to change the corporate culture and power structure.

Leading on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, PwC
Learn how a DEI data focus can help corporate directors oversee DEI progress.

The Curb-Cut Effect, Angela Glover Blackwell, Stanford Innovation Review 
Laws and programs designed to benefit vulnerable groups, such as the disabled or people of color, often end up benefiting all of society.
 

Houston Demographics

Greater Houston Basic Demographics

A look at the Houston population by race, ethnicity, age, education and other factors.

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Urban Disparity

The Kinder Institute examines gaps in income, educational attainment, neighborhood services and other metrics and their impact on opportunity.

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Understanding Houston

Understanding Houston aggregates data across multiple sources to provide an accessible, one-stop platform for understanding key quality of life issues in Houston’s three most populous counties.

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Best Place for Working Parents Assessment

Houston has joined the national Best Place for Working Parents® partnership, offering real-time designations to businesses of all sizes whose family-friendly policies qualify through a first-of-its-kind, 3-minute online self assessment. 

Related News

Racial Equity

One Houston Together: Member Spotlight on Bank of America’s Efforts to Advance Underrepresented Talent

7/29/22
As part of its ongoing effort to showcase success in the retention and advancement of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color talent, the Partnership’s One Houston Together hosted its latest roundtable discussion in July featuring a conversation with Tiffany Douglas, Global Women’s Initiative and Under-represented Talent Strategy Executive with Bank of America.   Increasing racial equity in the corporate talent pipeline and board leadership is one of the two priorities of One Houston Together alongside increasing spending with Minority Business Enterprises. The roundtable discussions are designed to share best practices and showcase Partnership members that are leading change.  Here are several key takeaways from the conversation with Tiffany Douglas at Bank of America.  Douglas’ team works with internal and external partners to help drive advocacy for women and underrepresented talent. Bank of America has an intentional strategy to ensure diverse voices and talent are at the table for more responsible growth. The goal: reflect the communities and clients the bank serves.  Douglas emphasized that it takes intentional practice to create change and improve outcomes. She shared that it’s not a question about if we do this but how the bank does it. This charge is supported by the board of directors, CEO, management team, Global Diversity & Inclusion Council, Executive Councils, Market Presidents in 92 markets, and all employee networks. The bank seeks to drive inclusion “everywhere” not just in go to market products. While approximately 40 professionals across an organization with roughly 200,000 employees are working in D&I through various lines of business and the bank’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council, Bank of America’s philosophy is that everyone is part of driving inclusion.  Bank of America uses a number of tools to assist with connecting and empowering employees across the organization including on demand online learning, virtual sessions, and mindfulness apps. The bank consistently asks for feedback to learn how and if the tools are working and to incorporate colleagues’ perspective. Another tool is the bank’s Connections page, which serves as a sort of internal social media network. Employees can fill out a profile describing their work as well as out-of-office interests, volunteer activities etc. Douglas said this helps people connect with one another on a personal level. Bank of America also provides D&I Bootcamps and Inclusive Learning opportunities for employees.  The organization hosts what it calls Let’s Get Real Conversations, virtual chat sessions that allow employees to discuss topics ranging from LGBTQ pride to women’s leadership. In 2021, the bank held 350 such conversations with thousands of views that were recorded, allowing team members that could not participate live to go back and watch later. Douglas said it’s important that such initiatives meet employees where they are, allowing them to engage when it’s convenient.  Bank of America supports mentorship both across the organization and through various lines of business and encourages colleagues to earn and ask for sponsorship relationships. Knowing the skills and aspirations of current employees gives leadership greater ability to recommend individuals for the right opportunities, whether in their current line of business or elsewhere in the company. “The more we know our talent and can understand not just what they do but who they are an what their aspirations are, the better we can move people and recommend them for opportunities. It’s not just about recruiting new talent, we have to retain the talent we already have,” she said.  Douglas said one challenge is that job titles don’t often adequately describe what a person actually does. Through mentorship and other programs, employees are encouraged to talk about what they actually do and how they do it, which in turn leads to better targeted opportunities.  When it comes to the leading factors helping advance underrepresented talent, Douglas said it’s about starting at the top and measuring and inspecting progress.  Learn more about One Houston Together and read about other case studies. 
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Racial Equity

One Houston Together: Realizing Opportunity in Supplier Diversity

7/21/22
The first installment of the Partnership’s new One Houston Together webinar series focused on Opportunities in Supplier Diversity, offering insight from a new report on the impact of minority businesses in the region and perspective from a local energy company that’s launched a successful supplier diversity program.  LaTanya Flix, Senior Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Partnership, moderated the discussion and gave an overview of the structure and key objectives of One Houston Together as well as the definition of supplier diversity and its significance to our region. Ziba Mehra, Director of Purchasing, Calpine shared a corporate perspective on establishing a robust supplier diversity program.  Ingrid Robinson, President, Houston Minority Supplier Development Council (HMSDC) discussed trends and  MBE growth in the Houston region.   Roel Martinez, Vice President Research at the Partnership shared findings from the recently released Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Economic Impact Analysis, produced in collaboration with HMSDC.   Here are a few key takeaways from the conversation:  Growing spending with minority business enterprises is one of two priority areas of One Houston Together. Flix shared that the supplier diversity workstream includes a Supplier Diversity Roundtable that meets 4-5 times a year, as well as a newly established Houston Buyer Cohort and a Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) Convening. “We have one big goal: to help make Houston one of the most equitable and inclusive business communities in the country,” Flix said.  Martinez highlighted key findings of the recently published Houston MBE Economic Impact Analysis. MBEs are defined as businesses that are at least 51% owned, managed or controlled by Black, Hispanic, Asian Indian, Asian Pacific or Native American individuals. The report found that:  771 certified MBEs are operating in metro Houston across 18 different sectors, with the largest number in professional services.  The vast majority of these companies are operating in the business-to-business arena and nearly half have revenues of $1 million or more annually.  Collectively these companies reported revenues totaling $8.2 billion in 2020.  Correlations between revenue and employee counts and industry sector, race and revenue. While the report focused on data from 2020, Robinson said HMSDC is seeing significant growth in the number of certified MBEs, which totaled 850 companies at the end of last year. And while most of the newly launched businesses are in the professional services sector, there’s also growing diversity in the sectors represented, Robinson said. “I definitely see more growth happening this year as well, including more interest in places like energy transition where there’s a lot of excitement.”  Robinson said the largest opportunity for growth is in what’s called the middle market or secondary supplier space where prime suppliers working with large corporations can develop partnerships with growing MBEs. “We have aggressive near and long-term goals,” she said, adding that Houston is well positioned thanks to its diversity and robust business community to set the standard for the nation.  Robinson reminded the audience that while many MBEs are small businesses, that doesn’t mean they lack capacity or are unable to meet the demands of major purchasers. Capacity is often among the leading concerns of companies beginning a supplier diversity effort. “It’s one of the mind shifts we have to make,” said Robinson.  HMSDC recently launched a new tool designed to help area companies find qualified MBEs for their purchasing needs. The Diverse Business Finder website allows companies to search for suppliers by category, location, keyword and more.  Mehra with Calpine discussed the energy company’s effort that launched in 2020 to significantly increase spending with minority businesses. With buy-in from senior leadership and a structured approach to developing metrics and goals tied to the program, Calpine’s supplier diversity efforts resulted in several award nominations. “Running a successful supplier diversity program requires a strong commitment and dedicated resources,” she said. “Engagement and communication are definite keys to success.”    Learn more about the work of One Houston Together.   
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Related Events

Demography

One Houston Together Webinar Series

The One Houston Together webinar series highlights the Partnership’s commitment to leveraging the power of the business community to reduce inequities in our region through two focused priority…

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