Creating Local Diversity & Inclusion Councils
To continue to attract and retain a qualified and talented workforce, Norfolk Southern established a corporate Diversity Council over a decade ago, engaging employees across the network to implement diversity initiatives and serve as ambassadors. However, in a company with operations in 22 states, NS decided to localize its diversity and inclusion efforts for greater impact.
To empower employees to initiate diversity and inclusion efforts at the local level, NS created local Diversity & Inclusion councils in all nine operating divisions and the Atlanta and Norfolk offices.
- Create local Diversity & Inclusion councils – Each council includes a diverse mix of employees who represent a variety of departments and locations in the corresponding division. This localized approach enables more employees to take an active role in identifying, developing, and implementing processes and initiatives that will foster diversity and inclusion. Council members are dedicated to spreading diversity and inclusion awareness throughout the company at the local level.
- Educate at the local level – The Diversity & Inclusion councils educate employees to increase engagement beyond core diversity and inclusion training offerings. They use safety meetings to promote diversity and inclusion in the field, host events to celebrate heritage months (Diwali and Lunar New Year), and have regular meetings to discuss unique challenges in their local areas. The councils also participate in additional training and in community events to support diversity and inclusion in their local areas.
By creating local Diversity & Inclusion councils in every division and office, we can support specific diversity and inclusion efforts in every part of our company and promote an inclusive work environment.
I am confident that with the input and participation of NS employees, this targeted approach will have a lasting impact on all personally and professionally.