Business executive Antonio Lucio believes diversity has to start from top management

Antonio Lucio appears on a new installment of "Uncomfortable."

March 13, 2018, 6:59 AM

— -- The importance of diversity in the workplace is not simply a value listed on a company website but a business imperative for Antonio Lucio, the chief marketing and communications officer at HP Inc.

He strongly believes that companies who prioritize diversity are more innovative and more sustainable.

"Purpose happens when you're able to align your personal values with the values of the organization that you work," Lucio said.

In 2016, Lucio translated the value of diversity into a plan of action.

He called on five brand agencies to diversify their teams by increasing the number of women and people of color working on HP's account.

These teams were given a challenge and a scorecard to measure their progress quarterly over 12 months.

"What gets measured, gets done," Lucio said.

The goal of authentic diversity is more challenging when considering senior and management positions, but that didn't change the requirements for key positions.

"I want people that are digital masters, and I want people that have global experience -- find them," Lucio said. "The standards will not come down just because you're a woman or you're a person of color. But the talent is there. We're not going to the right places to look for them."

Last year, Lucio wrote an essay on togetherness and why it should be a corporate mission, not just a cultural one. He referenced the differences between politics and business.

It is his belief that politicians can win elections by preaching fear and division to their bases because they are elected every four or six years. But brands are earning the trust of the communities they serve every day and cannot afford to ignore values that unite us all.

As an industry leader who’s passionate about diversity, Lucio hopes the progress he has made will prove positive and encouraging to other brand leaders.

"When you're part of the executive leadership team of a company," he said, "you basically own culture because it starts at the top."

Although Lucio feels empowered by HP's significant change in team composition over five quarters so far, he said he believes that in order to make a direct correlation between a team's diversity and the results of that team, the entire industry must systematically change.

"Revolutions start by small groups of people that want to make a change and they're able to prove that the model works," he said.

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