February 2021
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TD Magazine

Employers Pledge to Look Beyond College Degrees

Monday, February 1, 2021

When it comes to employment, individuals lacking college degrees have historically been overlooked for quality positions regardless of skill set or competency. That practice has barred millions of capable candidates from procuring stable work. Business Roundtable, an association comprising CEOs from US companies representing every sector of the labor force, seeks to change that with the launch of an initiative designed to widen the talent pool and increase diversity in the workplace.

When Business Roundtable launched the initiative in December 2020, more than 80 organizations had joined, including American Express, Best Buy, FedEx, General Motors, PepsiCo, and Target. Action items for participating companies include introducing new hiring practices that give greater credence to applicants' skill sets and providing pathways to promotion that simultaneously support skill development. The initiative likewise challenges organizations to strategically beef up training opportunities so that workers can get the specific skills they need to advance.


In garnering support of this initiative by some of America's leading companies, Business Roundtable expects that not only will organizations "improve equity, diversity and workplace culture" but also "work toward eliminating unintentional bias that may prove to be a barrier to hiring and advancement."

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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