To provide a safe space for people to engage in meaningful dialogue, and develop the skills to talk more comfortably talk about biases.
Our African-American ERG developed the Courageous Conversations program to provide people with an opportunity to engage in small group sessions to purposefully talk about biases and stereotypes, and to practice engaging in dialogue around differences. The program grew from a desire to provide a safe space for intentional dialogue around race and ethnicity. However, the ERG has also now expanded the scope of conversations to also include LGBTQ, disabilities, age-related topics, and more, in collaboration with additional Employee Resource Groups. This broader experience creates space for growth, sharing and learning as it relates to cultural differences through a variety of lenses.
Courageous Conversations leverages short case studies about the real-to-life experiences of people from various backgrounds to spark bold conversation. They are facilitated by a trained moderator, and include a set of “ground rules” to help set the stage for active listening, appreciative inquiry, and thoughtful perspective-sharing.
Courageous Conversations has been well-received by participants at all levels. It has been facilitated with senior leadership groups, and in addition to ERG-trained facilitators, we trained HR consultants and managers as additional facilitators. The program is also part of a leadership development series session for all leaders in the Claims group in 2019, reaching an additional 2900 managers.
Diversity and Inclusion are essential to all that we do every day for each other, and our customers. A big part of our success has, and will continue to come from having a diverse and inclusive workplace that accepts and respects everyone’s unique background and experiences. Having an environment where you can bring your whole self to work allows people to fully leverage their strengths and is reflected in how we treat our customers. They reward us with their business.
At Progressive, we want to ensure everybody is valued for who they are, the ideas they bring, and the energy they invest. We are deeply committed to diversity and inclusion as a strong part of what makes our culture so special.