Neilsen – Corporate Partner Spotlight

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What is Nielsen’s approach to diversity?

At Nielsen, a global information and measurement company, Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) is a global business imperative.  When we measure what consumers watch and what consumers buy, we strive to understand and to reflect all consumers.  We created a five prong approach, leveraging DiversityInc best practices as our benchmark, to further our D&I efforts:

  • Accountability – Our goal is to increase awareness of our performance while benchmarking it against DiversityInc Top 50.  We chose this as a benchmark given its holistic view of D&I and given that many of the top 50 companies are our clients.
  • Supplier Diversity – Our relationship with suppliers not only affords us the opportunity of cost advantage but to learn from these partnerships.  With a focus on diverse suppliers, we gain valuable insights into our diverse consumers as well as exposure to them.
  • Retention – As we recruit diverse talent, we need to retain our most valuable assets - our employees.  We leverage the Employee Resource Groups to increase engagement which leads to retention.  We have seven ERGs in the US, two in Canada and one each in Mexico, Africa and India.   Like most large companies, some attrition occurs and we are collaborating with HR to create a company-wide exit interview process to gain insight into reasons why employees leave Nielsen.
  • Career Development – We are working with The Kaleidoscope Group, a pioneer bringing more than two decades of experience and knowledge in the diversity and inclusion industry, to provide D&I training for all employees beginning with People Managers.  Our goal is to speak the same language regarding the importance of inclusion as a global business imperative for Nielsen.  Additionally, with a focus on increasing retention, we created a structured training and a robust, differentiated mentoring program which provides development opportunities in a leadership development platform that is more inclusive, diverse, sustainable and reflective of the clients, markets and communities we serve.
  • Education – Finally to increase recruitment of both the employee base and future households for panels, Nielsen’s Employee Resource Groups along with Nielsen Cares, our corporate social responsibility arm, help to educate consumers on Nielsen’s offerings.  Particularly given the focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), Nielsen is uniquely qualified to share with educators on how our company utilizes all of these specialties to help our clients.

What sets your recruiting, career development, and work-life programs apart?

In alignment with Nielsen’s Diversity & Inclusion strategic five prong approach, we focus on the value of recruiting diverse talent reflective of the markets and communities we serve.  We, therefore, leverage our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and our Supplier Diversity program to provide our hiring manages with a diverse slate of candidates from which to hire.  From career fairs, leveraging executive search firms who specialize in diverse talent to employee referrals and sponsorships such as with CUP, Nielsen utilizes a variety of avenues to source qualified talent.  Our Talent Acquisition team posts jobs to the CUP job board monthly.  Additionally, this year, a recruiter was assigned to work with each ERG to identify methods to hire diverse talent (i.e. university campuses and functions, ERG events, local career events, websites and other media that appeal to a diverse audience, etc.).

Recognizing the importance of retaining top talent, Nielsen has invested in several leadership development programs.  From the senior most leaders to recent college graduates, Nielsen has structured talent management programs designed to provide career development opportunities for its employees.  The most recent program is the Diversity & Inclusion Talent Management Network, an 18-month program designed to grow, challenge and enhance the potential of high-performing, early to mid-career employees committed to building their careers at Nielsen, was developed to build a more inclusive, diverse, sustainable group of participants who are more reflective of the clients, markets and communities we serve.

To assist all employees to understand the value of diversity and inclusion, last year, we launched a growing and successful Diversity and Inclusion training for people managers in North America called “Managing an Inclusive Work Environment.”  As mentioned, we’re working with The Kaleidoscope Group on this program, which has the following four objectives:

  •  Understand the business value of Diversity & Inclusion.
  •  Gain insight on how to manage personal biases.
  •  Increase the ability to work effectively with others, respect everyone’s opinion,
    and value diverse perspectives.
  •  Personally commit to implementing specific actions to drive inclusion at Nielsen.

To date, over 77 percent of our NA-based people managers have completed the training, and we are expanding this training to Nielsen people managers in all our regions (Americas; Africa and Middle East; Asia Pacific; Europe; India; and China), as well as to all global associates.

Currently, outside North America, we are working with regional leadership (including local human resources representatives) to best tailor the people manager version by country.  Aligned with our rollout in the U.S., our focus in the regions will be on training the people managers, business leaders and project leads first before rolling out an online version of the training to all associates. The Kaleidoscope Group will continue to collaborate with us on the people manager training due to their global reach and expertise.

In the first quarter 2013, we also launched an online diversity and inclusion training for all NA associates called “Working in an Inclusive Environment.” This required training discusses the global business imperative for diversity and inclusion at Nielsen while engaging associates in interactive modules using Nielsen scenarios that allow employees to review their knowledge of the key learnings. The online module runs approximately 20 minutes in length. People managers who have already taken the classroom training are also encouraged to take the online module to familiarize them with this all employee online version.

How long has Nielsen been a corporate partner of CUP’s and why does your organization value this relationship?

Nielsen leverages its relationship with CUP as often as possible.  Through CUP, we are able to engage in networking events which provide us exposure to new industries, businesses and individuals.  We leverage our sponsorship to share job openings and to liaise about best practices around career development practices.  We are also able to share insights by participating at CUP events such as the Women’s Leadership Forum where Monica Gil, our SVP, Public Affairs and Government Relations, served on the panel.  CUP consistently provides a forum of senior executives that present opportunities for us to directly hear issues and also share information about Nielsen and our full portfolio of measurement solutions and insights regarding what consumers watch and what consumers buy. We continue to delight in our collaboration with CUP and look forward to future endeavors.

How do you think CUP will have the greatest impact?

I believe CUP makes and receives the greatest impact from the career development of its membership.  As the individuals take advantage of CUP events and offerings, the members gain insights and exposure which ultimately assist them with achieving and exceeding their career aspirations.  This in turn helps CUP as these new leaders understand and have personally experienced the value of membership rewards.  Nielsen sees this value in the development of its employees who actively participate with CUP.