But not all of corporate America fits that mold, and even before the revelation of these problems, many businesses were already focusing on improving corporate identity.
Some have learned what Charter One Bank did, that "such an ambitious goal would require strategic planning and execution, multifaceted interventions and developing new competencies at both the individual and organizational levels," according to its mission statement.
Charter One and senior vice president and manager of administrative services Mike Bourgon made a deliberate decision to "be proactive about social contributions ... (and) transform the organization into one of diverse representation and inclusiveness."
It's a huge undertaking, but anything worth doing is.
"We fully understand that these words must be acted upon at the individual and organizational level, if our commitment to valuing diversity and inclusion are to be appreciated as genuine," says Bourgon.
Since the decision of Charter One's management, the bank has focused on increasing the number of minority vendor and supplier relationships, and on community home lending and active recruiting for more diverse employment.
All this is coupled with employee community service and corporate giving, especially in what Charter One refers to as the inclusion zone. The goal, says Bourgon, is to develop "closer, more direct community contacts in the markets in which we serve and in those we intend to serve."
Nothing less than a corporatewide awareness would achieve the goals Charter One wanted to realize.
Charter One "(increased) our minority vendor, supplier relationships as a means of reflecting our commitment to representing and meeting the needs of the entire community," says Bourgon.
To achieve its goals, Charter One management is "evaluating and addressing the diversity management skills-building needs of its managers ... (and) developing new competencies at both the individual and organizational levels."
To date, the bank has spent more than $10 million to assist minority vendor development. Other beneficiaries of its giving include the United Negro College Fund, Centers for Family and Children, Cleveland Tomorrow and the United Way.
Its commitment is nothing short of "(taking) a leadership role to helping to transform the Greater Cleveland area into a model for building and maintaining inclusive relationships with all segments of the population within the community at large." How to reach: Charter One Bank, (216) 566-5300.