By Wayne Cascio, Ph.D.

Raymond Marcos, chief diversity officer at Aetna, is preparing to make a presentation to the company’s board of directors at its mid-December meeting. In a deteriorating economic environment that seems to be global in its reach, the board is looking to cut expenses in any way possible. To do that, it is reviewing every major company business initiative. Diversity is one such initiative, and the board wants to understand the business case for it. It also wants to see a clear plan to measure outcomes, including systems and data. Raymond knows that some of the board members are relatively new, that almost all of them are independent directors from outside the company and that they may not have a deep understanding of the historical roots of Aetna’s diversity efforts or the objectives of those efforts. At the same time, he is eager to showcase the company’s diversity initiatives and their results, both direct and indirect. Click here to download this case study.

Note: Development of this case was made possible by a grant from the Society for Human Resource Management and the National Academy of Human Resources. All of the characters in the case are fictitious. Information presented was current as of the time the case was written. Any errors are solely the author’s.