Continuing our series about the intersection of our values and our Inclusion and Diversity commitments, today we are focusing on the third of our CLEAR values: Embrace Opportunity. Embracing opportunity is vital to creating any meaningful action within an organization, and it has been incredible to watch how many of our people have done this with our I&D efforts. True belonging and inclusion can’t just come from the top-down, it needs to be driven and supported by employees from all across the company.
Embracing opportunity in our I&D initiatives means that our people engage in the ways that work best for them. They get to choose the events and activities in which they participate — maybe they choose to attend a webinar to learn about using inclusive language or participate in an opportunity to help young women prep for job interviews. They decide which discussions they choose to engage with — perhaps they feel comfortable participating in a discussion about white privilege but choose to just listen when others are discussing the microaggressions BIPOC employees encounter in the workplace. They are able to determine which resources they utilize — from a calendar with regular articles and thought exercises to ensure sustained personal growth to a simple article about how to be a better ally to joining an ongoing book club that pushes their boundaries and helps them grow. This results in more powerful actions because people aren’t being told when and how to participate. It’s not that mandated inclusion activities have no place, but when people are engaging with something of their own volition, the group is more likely to dig deeper and gain more valuable insights.
Another way that giving our people the freedom to embrace opportunity benefits our I&D efforts is that it empowers us to stretch in subject matter and scope. People can pick the things that interest them and then build off of those learnings with more advanced topics and resources. This helps our people to almost build their own curriculum, to focus on their blind spots, to deepen their understanding of things they may have only read about. This layered approach results in inclusion advocates that feel empowered to lead the way and help teach their colleagues in ways that help make Clearlink a more welcoming place for everyone.
Our people have embraced the opportunity to get involved in setting the direction for our inclusion efforts by joining the I&D Council. The council is composed of three different subgroups: Inclusion and Experience, Messaging and Metrics, and People Policy. Each group has between six and nine members, which results in great representation from all across the organization. These members meet regularly to shape the direction of our I&D efforts and ensure that our people get to participate in activities and events that engage, inform, and inspire.