The First American Corporation Announces Expanded Diversity Initiative and Three Related Appointments
November 27, 2007
SANTA ANA, Calif., – The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) has expanded its efforts to ensure greater diversity and inclusion throughout its organization. The company also announced the appointments of Karen J. Collins as vice president, chief diversity and inclusion officer; Michelle Cheney Donaldson as corporate director of diversity and inclusion; and Stephanie M. Swenseid as corporate director of supplier diversity, who will each oversee different aspects of the company’s centralized diversity and inclusion programs.
“This business-driven initiative is tailored to engage our employees and to help them recognize how the diversity within our company can be focused to identify market opportunities and better serve our clients in this rapidly changing marketplace,” said Parker S. Kennedy, chairman and chief executive officer of The First American Corporation. “Although we are currently reducing our workforce in accordance with changes in business volume, these strategic initiatives are critical at every level of our organization to promote employee development, meet our clients’ diversity expectations and establish First American as the employer and provider of choice among all communities.”
Sizeable demographic shifts are already directly impacting the face of the United States as evidenced by studies showing that one out of every three new entrants into the U.S. labor pool over the next three years will either be African American, Latino, Asian, Native American, an immigrant or female. To address these changes, First American’s objective is to increase diverse leadership at all levels of the organization and to create greater supplier diversity. By establishing a workforce that better resembles the communities the company serves, and by reinvesting in the those communities, First American expects to create a better customer experience that will ultimately make the company more recognizable to diverse audiences, as well as clients who require specific levels of supplier diversity for the procurement of goods and services.
“Our diversity goals within First American include maximizing the contribution of each person’s visible and invisible differences to transform the way customers, investors and the communities we serve value First American,” stated Collins. “Our company has already made great strides in formalizing diversity and inclusion within our mortgage services segment, and we will continue that momentum as we work to create an environment where all people are valued, challenged to think as leaders and engaged for their diverse viewpoints, experiences, talents and ideas.”
In October, the Mortgage Banker’s Association (MBA) honored First American’s Mortgage Information Services Group as the 2007 Best Overall Regional Corporate Diversity Program. In addition, the MBA selected First American’s division president Barry Sando as the MBA’s 2007 Diversity Champion of the Year.
Collins, who joined the company in 1988 and most recently served as a senior leader for the client relations organization, will be responsible for the overall implementation and development of First American’s diversity and inclusion program. The enterprise-wide initiative will encourage employee engagement without regard to race, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, familial status and military status, while increasing diversity throughout the company’s workforce and suppliers.
Donaldson, a former human rights commissioner for the state of New York, will work closely with Collins, as well as the executive leadership team in corporate human resources, to create policies and practices that promote a diverse workforce. Specifically, she will be responsible for establishing and leveraging tools that help the organization better recruit, interview and retain its employees.
Swenseid, who works within the company’s corporate procurement department, is responsible for developing, directing and implementing strategic and tactical initiatives that support First American’s commitment to supplier diversity. In this role, she is responsible for defining and overseeing diversity supplier participation requirements, tracking and reporting functions and benchmarking best practices.
Source: The First American Corporation