DEARBORN - An evening filled with the sights and sounds of India, colorful garments, delicious food, enchanting dances, networking opportunities for Ford Motor Company employees and executives all while emphasizing the business case for diversity was the essence of the Ford Asian Indian Association (FAIA) annual banquet held early in November at the Ford Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, Mich.
The event was a substantial showcase of FAIA and the achievements of Indian employees at Ford, highlighting the company’s Employee Resource Groups and embracing diversity.
The Ford Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields was the event’s executive keynote speaker. The event coincided with the public announcement Fields new leadership position at Ford, making the address his first official presentation since the announcement. He also was joined by several other executives who showed their support by attending the annual affair.
At the event, Fields shared his views on the current state of business and noted that the FAIA event was an experience which he looked forward to attending because of its uniquely ‘family feel.’ Furthermore, he said that such events help deepen cross-cultural understanding, which develops relationships that drive business success.
The event helped to bring the Ford community together, encouraging the celebration of intercultural understanding that supports economic growth, thus helping FAIA accelerate its goal to Go Further.
Nand Kochhar, FAIA president and chief engineer, Global Product Development, gave an update on the various FAIA initiatives and activities held throughout the year to promote the Ford brand, develop employees and increase community outreach globally.
Vijay Sankaran, FAIA executive champion and director, IT, recognized several FAIA members for excellence as well as contributions in their areas of expertise.
Ford Motor Company has expanded its definition of diversity to include not only race, ethnicity, age and gender, but also many things that make people unique, including backgrounds, opinions, experiences, perspectives and life situations.
The company places emphasis on fostering an inclusive culture that is free of barriers, and in which all employees feel comfortable, valued and able to contribute to their fullest, in order to build high-performing, collaborative teams across its global business.
The FAIA annual event was a prime example of this inclusion of diverse perspectives within Ford, which effectively helps to deliver innovative products that satisfy customers' wants, needs and desires.
FAIA is one of the largest company-sponsored Employee Resource Groups and was formed in 1996. Approximately 550 people from all across Southeast Michigan attended this gala ‘sold-out’ event.
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