As social issues came to the forefront across America, we recognized it was important to provide employees with a safe and inclusive space to discuss race, as well as other aspects of diversity, and to collectively listen, reflect, and share as a first step in our journey toward becoming a more inclusive and diverse organization.
A series of five opt-in dialogue and listening sessions were held in the first quarter of the year using external facilitators to discuss how events in our country impacted them, identify organization opportunities pertaining to race and overall inclusion, and share ideas and insights to influence the direction of our strategic framework for I&D. Each session was kicked off by our CEO, Bill Donnell, and had up to 50 participants who were broken out into small groups to address these topics.
Employee feedback was captured and shared anonymously with the Executive Team to understand employee perspectives and sentiment, organizational strengths and barriers, and recommendations for creating a more inclusive and diverse environment in the company.
In total, about a quarter of the employee population attended the optional sessions. The feedback indicated that employees were grateful for the opportunity to speak, listen, and learn from their colleagues and it increased their awareness of others’ experiences and realities. It also highlighted many positive aspects of the current culture as well as several areas of opportunity which were shared with the organization and are being addressed in our strategic I&D framework moving forward, such as implementing unconscious bias education.
The dialogue sessions were the first step in our Inclusion and Diversity journey. The path to inclusion is not easy or quick, but NCCI must embrace our differences to further foster our culture of respect. I am committed to this journey for the betterment of our company and for the benefit of our employees.