Johnson Controls gets diversity nod
MILWAUKEE--In the July issue of Black Enterprise magazine, Johnson Controls was named one of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity and ranked in the top 15 for supplier diversity. Black Enterprise is a monthly business and investment publication, which created its list by surveying and evaluating 1,000 of the largest publicly traded companies in the Unites States, plus another 40 global companies with significant presences in the United States.
This follows similar awards such as being named the 2007 Corporation of the Year by the Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council, receiving the 2007 Diversity Leadership Award from Diversity Best Practices and Business Women's Network, and receiving the 2006 Corporate Diversity award from the World Diversity Leadership Council.
While Johnson Controls operates in a number of different industries, from automobile interiors to batteries, Carlos Lozano, southeast regional manager for its Fire and Security division, said the company's commitment to diversity clearly extends to its place in the security industry. "We're looking for the best quality person," Lozano emphasized, "but it's an opportunity to go out to diverse schools and let them know that we're looking for diverse candidates ... They know our criteria and what we're looking for and recruiters know we're looking for diverse recruits."
He said, for example, that Johnson Controls values Spanish speakers because "we have a strong and large market in Tampa, Florida, where there's a large Hispanic population." And though he's only responsible for the southeast, "I don't think it would be any different if we're looking at Canada or Texas," where there are large French- and Spanish-speaking populations.
However, Lozano said, Johnson Controls doesn't necessarily make any kind of special accommodations for diverse employees. "It's just our culture," he said. "It's ingrained and accepted. We do look for diverse candidates, but we're looking for people with the professionalism to do the job, and when you find that person, whether they're diverse or not, as long as you're working with someone next to you who's going to get the job done professionally and treat our customer with the utmost respect, there's no reason to treat anyone differently. It's just the way that it is. We are diverse, but everyone is equal."