Diversity and Inclusion Demonstrate Direct Business Benefit at McKesson

Diversity and Inclusion Demonstrate Direct Business Benefit at McKesson

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 8:00am

McKesson's commitment to diversity and inclusion reflects a deep-seated understanding that diversity is a business imperative. Building a strong culture of diversity and inclusion is key to helping McKesson attract the best and brightest employees. Fostering and embracing cultural competence also helps the company execute its business strategies, innovate and maintain its competitive edge.

Having a workforce that mirrors the diversity of society is more than just the right thing to do — it can be a critical factor in winning business. One example of how McKesson's culture of diversity and inclusion contributed directly to business success appears in McKesson’s recently-released 2008-09 Corporate Citizenship Report.

After McKesson's U.S. Pharmaceutical sales team began negotiations with the California Korean Pharmacist Association, the customer group requested that a Korean-speaking McKesson employee be included in future negotiations.

Speaking the Customers’ Language
According to Stacey Williams, director, Diversity and Inclusion, “While many of our employees are Korean Americans, we couldn’t find anyone inside U.S. Pharmaceutical sales team who spoke the language fluently enough to participate in negotiations.”

Thankfully Pamela Yoon, managing editor with the McKesson Connect e-commerce site in U.S. Pharmaceuticals, spoke Korean fluently and she was invited to participate in upcoming negotiations.

Stacey says that Pamela’s presence made all the difference and became a critical factor in winning the business.

After forging the deal, the team realized that McKesson would need someone who speaks Korean on the customer support team. As a result, Stacey says, “We hired a full-time Korean-speaking customer service representative.”

With changing demographics affecting both McKesson’s customers and employee population, Stacey says, “It’s critical for us to think about diversity and inclusion in every interaction to see how cross-cultural implications might need to be considered.”

She adds, “We work in a diverse, rapidly changing global marketplace. While we offer an excellent array of products and services, ultimately, our competitive edge comes from within. The greater our diversity, the stronger we are as a company.”