Why we should talk about inclusion and belonging
How can we be there for our employees and coworkers? I’m sure this question has run through a lot of your minds lately—we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, and now, on top of this, we are in the midst of confronting critical social injustice issues. Supporting each other has never felt more important.
Mead & Hunt started our Employee Resource Group (ERG) to lead our diversity & inclusion initiatives almost two years ago. We’ve long understood the value diversity brings to our firm and our industries, and the ERG was born out of a desire to increase diversity and equity within our firm. Recently, however, our company has had to address tougher topics. We want to be a firm where our employees feel supported and have the ability to be heard. Part of this is having conversations around potentially controversial topics—getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, and addressing these issues head on.
To this end, we started setting up open discussions to give staff a chance to talk about any topics they’d like. No agenda. Nothing was off limits. We’ve had some wonderful discussions surrounding what we can be doing better as a firm, how we can be more inclusive, and what belonging looks like at Mead & Hunt. Some of our sessions have had almost 200 employees attend! We’ve listened to employees from all walks of life—people who’ve lived in different countries around the world, people from different offices across the country, different disciplines, different backgrounds and experience levels. What we’ve learned from these discussions is how each of our unique backgrounds shapes our world view.
We have found these town hall like meetings to be very eye opening and a great way to listen to one another and respect another view point. Ultimately, every perspective brings value to our firm and deserves to be heard.
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