Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Update
One of the major events of 2020 was the long-overdue societal recognition of deep racial injustice in our country. Eyes were opened to the urgent, immediate need to do better as individuals and as communities to actively work for the well-being of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals. If we are to be successful in this work our businesses must be vocal advocates for equity as well.
Here at NW Staffing Resources we are deeply committed to improving our own internal and external processes relating to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Last year we formed a dedicated DEI Committee, made up of staff from a variety of roles and branches, that determines and leads company-wide DEI-related initiatives.
In this blog post we want to share the steps we’re taking right now to address diversity, equity and inclusion in our organization. In doing so we hope to build community with and perhaps encourage other companies who are on a similar path.
Creation of a company Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
Last October we formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement Committee to craft a company DEI Statement. Participation in this committee was open to all, and ended up comprising individuals already on our DEI Committee as well as some who weren’t. We met via virtual meeting every Monday for 6 weeks to discuss what we wanted our statement to express, and how we wanted to say it.
Writing our statement was an exercise in teamwork, patience, and focus. To begin the process we discussed and took into consideration: Why DEI is important to our company and our industry, the tone and feeling that we wanted to convey, and the structure that we desired. With so many great viewpoints it was not easy to narrow the statement down to a succinct headline and paragraph.
By the end of the process each committee member agreed that we had met our goals. In December, after resounding approval from senior leadership, the committee shared the statement internally among our staff, before adding it to our website. Read our DEI Statement.
Staff DEI trainings
Staff DEI trainings, facilitated by external professionals, will allow us to learn and grow as a team. To start with, we’ve identified the following topics as important to address:
- How to create a welcoming environment for individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds
- How to respond to client requests for candidates that meet their diversity initiatives
- Addressing implicit bias in interviewing
- Increasing cultural sensitivity
- Finding new resources for diversity recruitment efforts
Our staff was excited to participate last month in our first DEI workshop series – facilitated by Amy Jeffers from Flourish Training. Amy has a background in leading organizational diversity and inclusion, including in the staffing industry, and she focuses on the neurology of equity and inclusion at work. We learned about why bias happens, and how to identify and address those processes in action.
Intentional increase in diversity recruitment
Individual branches and recruiters have leveraged a variety of diversity recruitment partnerships, strategies, and resources over the years. This year, our DEI committee is centralizing these efforts. Our goal is to ensure that each branch team feels fully supported and has the resources that they need to best support our unique local communities.
We are eager to connect with new organizations that represent our communities. We welcome any groups interested in a partnership to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Gender pronouns indicator in email signatures
Starting in 2021 we’re offering a staff email signature option that includes a gender pronouns indicator. Representation matters, and we’re taking this step in support of our transgender and non-binary peers and colleagues. This initiative is optional, but we’ve already seen strong support for it among staff.
As we move forward, our work promoting diversity, equity and inclusion will continue to evolve. We are looking forward to continuing to learn, grow, and do more to support our local communities. Our DEI Committee is open to discussing our work in this important space. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you an employer interested in implementing a DEI program for your organization, but don’t know where to start? Check out our article from October 2020: Diversity Resources for Employers.