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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

A total of 120 companies and organizations participated in the inaugural regional Equity & Inclusion Assessment in 2021. This robust tool provides a roadmap to helps organizations enhance their equity and inclusion strategy and increase community impact. For 2023, the regional assessment will reopen from April 1 – June 30, 2023. View the 2021 aggregate 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 Inequities

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; Updated MBE Analysis for Houston

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 Diversity

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 Development and Retention

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 move the needle on talent retention?

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Member Spotlight on JPMorgan Chase's $30B Commitment to Racial Equity

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 financial services firm JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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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

Implementation Toolkit Assists Companies with DEI Progress

11/10/22
A total of 120 companies participated in Houston’s first Regional Equity & Inclusion Assessment in 2021, establishing a baseline for where companies stood on a set of 15 key DEI benchmarks. The assessment is based on the Global DEI Benchmarks and provides an internal roadmap for DEI planning and progress. Through the Partnership’s One Houston Together efforts, we will conduct the assessment again in 2023 to offer companies an opportunity to gauge their individual progress and to learn how the business community is collectively progressing on DEI.  As companies prepare to complete the assessment this spring, Partnership member and global consulting firm Accenture worked with One Houston Together to create an Implementation Toolkit to support organizational progress. The toolkit focuses on 7 of the 15 DEI benchmarks and includes a set of 20 recommendations to drive strategy and attract and retain people.  Foundation: Drive the Strategy  1. Vision  2. Leadership 3. Structure Internal: Attract & Retain People  4. Recruitment 5. Benefits 6. Compensation  7. Flexibility  View the presentation. During the November One Houston Together Talent Roundtable, Tiffany Wallace with Accenture Strategy & Consulting presented the toolkit and discussed how it can be used to help companies determine areas of focus.  The collaboration with One Houston Together and creation of the toolkit is part of Accenture’s social impact work, which also includes the development of apprenticeship programs and working to prepare students for the jobs of the future to address the anticipated talent gap and skills shortage.  “Accenture is committed to building more opportunities for more people and fostering a culture of equality internally and within local communities,” Wallace said.  Accenture is also partnering with local historically black colleges and universities to create pathways for students into the field of technology to address the lack of Black talent in the sector.  Wallace said DEI progress is often slow, even among more progressive organizations. “For Accenture it wasn’t a quick and easy journey,” she said. “I joined Accenture in 2014 and I can honestly say that I feel l can bring my true self to work each and every day. I see diversity around me every day which wasn’t the case when I first joined.”  View highlights of the toolkit here. The 2023 Houston Region Equity & Inclusion Assessment will be open from April 1-June 1, 2023. Data from January 1-December 31, 2022 should be used to complete the assessment. View the assessment questions in this fillable PDF and review findings from the 2021 assessment here.   
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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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