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P&G taps the skills of veterans

News, 14 November 2016

CINCINNATI: Recent reports on the current state of diversity and skills among brand owners have overlooked the benefits that military veterans can bring, a Procter & Gamble executive has suggested.

The FMCG giant is reported to have recruited at least 30 veterans of the US military over the last 15 months to fill management positions, ranging from brand oversight to IT and human relations.

"They come into P&G and do great work for us by leveraging their military experience," explained John Myers, a P&G global director for consumer and brand services, and also a former officer in the US Army.

"Some characteristics get us excited – such as a winning, can-do attitude and the ability to overcome any obstacle," he said in an interview with the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Speaking to the Courier ahead of a P&G event to recognise Veterans Day last Friday, he added: "They have faced more life-or-death experiences than people in the corporate world, so they work well in a fast-paced environment."

Myers is the Chairman of P&G's US Veterans and Reservists Affinity Group – P&G has similar programmes for African-American and Hispanic employees – and he said one of the aims of the group is to help speed up the transition of veterans into the company by pairing them with another veteran and mentor.

"We establish and put on training by veterans for veterans to help accelerate the transition into P&G to help unleash the leadership skills they had before coming to P&G," he said.

But P&G is not alone among major US brands in recognising the benefits that veterans can bring to their organisations.

Amazon, for example, has said it has hired more than 10,000 veterans in the past five years and plans to recruit more than 25,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years, the Seattle Times reported.

And Ardine Williams, Amazon's VP of Global Talent Acquisition and a former captain in the US Army Signals Corps, has said she wants to open the door to as many veterans as she can who are a "great fit" for the company.

Data sourced from Cincinnati Business Courier, Seattle Times; additional content by Warc staff