“Conversations to Understand” Series
As societal issues continue to seep into the work environment, Moody’s recognized the need to facilitate conversations to shine light on these issues, particularly around race and ethnicity. In the media, employees saw many different and polarized stories relating to diversity. Therefore, we sought a way to bring the conversation in-house—not only to educate our employees, but also to ensure our employees feel supported and included in these important, life-changing conversations that help bridge gaps along lines of difference.
Beginning with Moody’s CEO and executive management team, followed by meetings with the Moody’s Diversity Council, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion held conversations to educate and build awareness about the experience of Black Americans. These discussions focused on how identity and race impact an employees’ ability to bring their "authentic self" to work, and the challenges of doing so. Employees bravely shared challenging personal and professional experiences, both inside and outside of work at Moody’s. They highlighted biases and stereotypes they have encountered, and how these difficult situations impacted them. Speakers also shared practical tips on how all employees can act in a more inclusive manner. Attendees asked questions to improve their understanding of what it was like to lead a life of those different from themselves. Based on employee interest and engagement, this series was expanded to include “Conversations to Understand” about Transgender, Muslim and Hispanic-American employee experiences.
More than 2500 employees globally – representing 25% of our employees – have attended a session of “Conversations to Understand” and many more have read intranet articles recapping the sessions. As a result of this program, Employee Resource Group membership has increased and participation in our allies programs also rose. Through employee feedback on these sessions, we see increased engagement in wanting to learn and support colleagues. Over the next 18 months, we plan to host additional sessions globally with local speakers and content to ensure these diversity and inclusion conversations continue, and the learning is shared throughout the company.
I had an engaging and thoughtful meeting with the New York Multicultural ERG Steering Committee. We touched on topics I was familiar with and also on some that were new to me. I didn't want to leave it as a one-time conversation. I saw it as the beginning of a longer dialogue and I wanted to bring it to my team and to the wider organization.