Next up in our series on the connection between our Clearlink’s values and our Inclusion and Diversity vision is the second of our CLEAR values: Learn and Grow.
We are all limited to our own lived experience, so we must actively seek out and listen to the perspectives of others, especially underrepresented and marginalized communities; this is what makes learning and growing intrinsic to any authentic inclusion effort. Becoming more inclusive, as individuals and as a company, means learning through diverse perspectives and the experiences of others, and in turn, growing both personally and professionally. Let’s talk about some of the specific ways we drive I&D through the perspective of this value.
We believe inclusion is everyone’s job, but our employee-driven I&D committee and Shannon Collaer, Director of Talent, Inclusion and Diversity, are primarily responsible for creating opportunities for Clearlinkers to learn and grow. This means recognizing the realities that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color face inside and outside of the workplace, sharing resources to support our Black friends and colleagues, hosting trainings focused on using inclusive language specific to the LGTBQ+ community, and more. A few highlights from our 2020 events are:
- A Black History Month discussion with James Jackson Ⅲ, founder of the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce, about his experience as a Black Utahn and the work he has done to build bridges of inclusion in the community
- A Lunch & Learn with Samantha Foster, founder of the nonprofit Rethink, about the intersection of mental health and diverse identity
- A digital watch party for Stonewall Uprising with a follow-up discussion about the history of Pride
- Training sessions created by Equality Utah designed to empower understanding and inclusive language
One of the most powerful parts of having strong company values is how employees adopt them and begin driving them from the ground up. This has been especially true for Learn and Grow in the context of I&D and the civil rights conversations in 2020. With the rise of Black Lives Matter momentum in June, employees began finding, sharing, and compiling resources to help their fellow Clearlinkers grow personally and professionally in their understanding of Black experience. Hundreds of resources were shared — articles, books, videos, webinars, online curriculums, trainings, petitions, ways to support Black-owned businesses. In all, it was a grassroots effort to help support anyone and everyone that wanted to learn about equality, equity, and justice to grow as a person.
In addition to growing as individuals, we are constantly learning and growing at the organizational level when it comes to I&D. Our I&D efforts look different than they did just a few years ago, we’ve evolved our approach as schools of thought, best practices, and perceptions in this subject have evolved. We are more judicious with our resources, always evaluating how we can make the biggest impact for the most people and truly support inclusion. For instance, we reduced events that had a lower engagement to instead fund a subscription for Textio, an augmented writing platform that promotes inclusive writing through AI. The result is language that is more recruiting materials proven to reach a more diverse group of candidates. We also created an employee-driven I&D Council with representation from the entry-level to director+ and a variety of diverse identities and empowered this group to plan and fund events.
The job is never done, but our commitment never wavers.
We can always do more to learn and grow, and we can always do more to act inclusively and to include diverse perspectives. We’re committed to showing up for all of those things.