Accelerating the Advancement of Women Leaders 


March 27, 2019

Yum! Brands employees and leadership celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 with a special toast at Yum!’s Restaurant Support Center in Louisville.

Driving inclusion by offering a seat at the table
In her first five months as Head of Communication for Pizza Hut International, Monica Clark already knows Yum! Brands, Inc.’s commitment to inclusion is real. And she loves it! “Every team member is valued for their unique contributions and that creates a positive and productive work environment,” she said. Clark’s experience mirrors the research showing inclusive culture drives greater engagement and performance.

Research by decision practices consulting firm Cloverpop shows a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. They analyzed 600 business decisions by 200 different business teams in a range of companies over two years. They found inclusive teams made better decisions 87% of the time and that decisions executed by diverse teams delivered 60% better results.
McKinsey & Company continues to affirm the link between diversity and financial performance, theorizing that more diverse companies are better able to attract top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction and decision making. In their 2017 Why Diversity Matters report drawing on data from 1,000 companies in 12 countries, they found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity in their executive teams were 21% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.
Pull Up a Chair
One way Yum! Brands encourages an inclusive culture is with its Seat At The Table program, where CEO Greg Creed, who is a member of the WFF CEO Advisory Council, invites high potential talent to shadow him on global trips and attend meetings across the brands. “It is an easy and effective way to expose more people to more aspects of the business and increase their engagement and contribution,” he explained during a session at the WFF Annual Leadership Development Conference. “Culture fuels results. You have to start with creating an inclusive culture.”
Creed expects people who participate in the program to pay it forward and offer similar opportunities to their team members.
Movable Meetings
Yum! Brands also takes C-Suite meetings directly to departments to build additional connections. “If we want to learn more about a new marketing initiative, for example, Greg will invite an emerging leader to make the presentation and then the executive team goes to that person’s work environment to hear directly from them,” explains Tracy Skeans, Yum! Brands Chief Transformation and People Officer who also serves on the Executive Committee of the WFF Board of Directors. “It gives them an opportunity to shine and creates more interaction across levels.”
Building Skills
Skeans also points to increased interaction between the senior team and all employees as a critical way to build skills. “Talking about diversity and inclusion as senior leaders is a good first step, but we have to empower people with the actual skills to nurture inclusivity in their own teams and departments,” Skeans said. Yum! Brands senior leaders do that through personal engagement with employees that allows for specific knowledge transfer, skill building and promoting the message that everyone’s ideas matters and everyone can make change happen. 

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