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A Diverse Company Essay

1284 words - 6 pages

A Diverse Company:
American Express

HRM 799
August 11, 2008
In 1850 a company named American Express was launched not as a financial institution, instead it was known for making deliveries throughout the east coast as well as the west. Although large freight deliveries were made majority of the company’s profit came from delivering small parcels such as, stock certificates, notes, currency and other financial instruments. By the late 1800’s American Express branched out leaving the delivery service business behind. Their new expansion included money orders and travelers checks, which helped increase their banking relationships with European Banks. All of this led to the opening of ...view middle of the document...

This made me wonder does Amex have biases where their customers are concern or are they diverse. There are some credit card companies who base their decisions regarding your card on geographic as well as demographics. This means if you live in an undesirable zip code they will restrict your usage verses another person who is in the same income bracket, but a more desirable zip code. How am I aware of this practice, my aunt and I are both Bank of America Visa holders along with both being Amex holders. Neither one of us has any problems out of American Express but Bank of America is another story. My aunt lives in a neighborhood that was prestigious when my grandmother owned it but is now slowly deteriorating, therefore every time she makes a purchase over $500 it alerts them and blocks her charges whereas I have made purchases up to $1000 and have not had any problems. When she called to inquire about it they responded by telling her she lives in what is known as a high crime area and it is for her protection. After our discussion I started to think about how fair and just American Express is which made me decide to research them.
The first discovery I made during my research was that the company made this year’s (2008) and last year’s (2007) top 50 diverse companies list. This made me wonder what does it really mean. According to the programs Amex offers to their employees assisted in their name being added to the list, “Thirty-four percent of its work force are members of its 11 employee-resource groups, which have existed for more than 10 years.” ( Melinda B. Wolfe is the Senior Vice President, Executive Talent, and Chief Diversity Officer responsible for ensuring American Express’ environment remains diverse. Melinda understands the importance of diversity in today’s society as she states, “We remain focused on the needs of our clients, customers and employees to inform our diversity strategy and our commitment to build an inclusive, compelling workplace." (
Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO of American Express also believe that diversity is an important practice and supports the company’s mission, which “is to be the world’s most respected service brand” (American Express.Com). Where most companies are concerned their mission statement is one of the most important aspects to keep the organization on track. As Chenault stated, “Building a diverse and inclusive organization strengthens our competitive advantage and is crucial to achieving our vision of becoming the world's most respected service brand” (
American Express has eleven programs that employees are involved in which are as followed: AHORA- Association of Hispanics Organized to Raise Awareness, BEN- Black Employees Network, BAAN- Black and Asian Network, WIN- Women Interest Network, PASSAGES- Generational Awareness Network (employees over 40), PRIDE- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Network,...

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