“The game of basketball is kind of grounded in long-standing principles of inclusion and mutual respect,” said Liliahn Majeed, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for the NBA, during an interview with DK Bartley, Senior Vice President, Head of Diversity and Inclusion of Dentsu Aegis Network. “It feels to everyone that it's accessible to all individuals regardless of demographic backgrounds, socioeconomic status, physical ability and geographic location. In that same spirit, diversity and inclusion are really at the core of The NBA's values.”
Bartley interviewed Majeed prior to her induction into the 2019 Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors on January 9 during CES. Majeed spoke of the NBA’s commitment to making sure the company is diverse as well. “We are very committed to making sure that our league office -- and our teams -- really reflect and represent the beautiful diversity of our fans and the communities in which we live and serve,” she said. (Click here to hear her thoughts on how diversity and inclusion are essential to the success of basketball.)
“While 35% of our professional roles are filled by people of color, and nearly 40% of those same roles are filled by women, that's not good enough for us," Majeed admitted. "So, we are really spending a lot of time expanding our efforts to grow and accelerate our diversity. (Learn more about how the NBA is expanding its talent sources and is instituting differentiated development programs for underrepresented groupshere.)
“I actually just flew in this morning from Miami where we spent time with all of the women at our 30 NBA teams, helping them to accelerate and grow their development," she continued. "We've also developed and delivered what we call ‘inclusion experiences’ to all of our employees globally.”
Majeed and Bartley also discussed the importance of creating partnerships around shared values. “We've aligned with partners who really connect with our internal values," Majeed said. "Lastly, we're making sure our accountability grows and expands throughout our organization.”
The Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors recognizes individuals, companies and organizations that have made consistent and successful commitments to advancing diversity and inclusion. 2019 Inductees included Kat Gordon, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The 3% Movement; Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, P&G; Ricardo Marques, Group Vice President of Marketing, Budweiser; Diego Scotti, Chief Marketing Officer, Verizon; Liliahn Majeed, Vice President - Diversity and Inclusion, NBA; Bob Liodice, Chief Executive Officer, Association of National Advertisers; Madonna Badger, Chief Creative Officer/Founder, Badger & Winters, and Alma Har'el, Filmmaker/Founder, #FreeTheBid.
Click below for additional videos from the 2019 Advancing Diversity Honors Hall of Induction Experience hosted by DK Bartley, SVP, Head of D&I, Dentsu Aegis Network:
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