Creating a Culture of Belonging for Day of Understanding
Leslie Drish, Manager of Diversity & Inclusion
When people ask me what I do for a living, I let them know that I’m a diversity and inclusion practitioner. Most of the time, people don’t have a clue what that means, so when they ask me what my job entails, I tell them I teach people how to be nice. Sometimes, even when we don’t mean it, we aren’t as nice or supportive as we can be. As humans, we make rash judgments and don’t always take the time to get to know someone and understand what inspires them before categorizing them or labeling them. At Tyson Foods, I work with our team members to build bridges between perspectives, gain more insight into people’s motivations, and create a culture of belonging.
Two years ago, when I joined Tyson Foods, I was amazed at how open and friendly our team members are. Collaboration is at the core of our business, whether it’s making sure we’re meeting our customers’ needs, working across business units to get things done, or stepping in to stay late if it means helping our team members meet our collective goals. It’s just part of who we are.
To demonstrate our commitment to inclusion, we have signed the CEO for Diversity and Inclusion Action pledge. This means we are committed to having some challenging conversations that will ultimately lead to greater understanding.
Since signing the pledge:
- We have realigned our Business Resource groups to make them reflective of our inclusive culture, including starting a group that focuses on people with disabilities.
- Our Women’s Business Resource group has created mentoring circles as part of a targeted development program.
- We have benchmarked where we are as a company with our inclusion and diversity practices by participating in several external surveys.
- We have developed policies and practices that are more inclusive of people who identify as LGBTQ.
In the next few months, we are going to take even bolder steps in creating a more inclusive environment. We’ll be hosting an all-company event that will focus on what our customers are doing in the inclusion and diversity space. We’ll be recognizing and hosting events for International Women’s Day and Memorial Day, and teaching our team members how to be allies. We’ll be facilitating trainings on unconscious bias and dimensions of diversity. We’ll be expanding our development programs to provide more diverse opportunities for our team members.
Published December 7, 2018.
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