With big ideas and finite resources, we wanted a faster way to integrate diversity and inclusion efforts into all aspects of our organization, from people practices to business practices. We sought an organic and employee-driven system to capture ideas and accelerate momentum within our business units to support our people strategy to Design experiences that connect diverse people across AAA to drive innovative, superior products and services.
We created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, but not with the typical top-down structure. We developed a charter, sought applications from our employees, and selected diverse and passionate individual contributors and mid-level managers across all business units. This 10-member council is self-governing, with a lead and an executive sponsor from our People & Culture team.
The DEI Council identifies, implements, and promotes diverse, inclusive, and equitable practices within the AAA National Office. The council is a catalyst for thoughtful dialogue, education, and fostering an environment that supports AAA’s basic beliefs and values. The council fills three purposes:
In less than two years, the DEI Council developed a AAA response plan and criteria for when and how to respond to social justice issues. The council also rolled out a program called Consistent Conversations, which positions diversity as a critical business issue, and helps leaders lead interactive DEI discussions in team meetings. Annually, the council identifies key occasions that spotlight multiple dimensions of diversity spanning ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ability. The council is becoming a strong voice for belonging and a catalyst for systemic change, equity, and access.
We are highly committed to “walking the talk” in our journey to create an inclusive organization where all voices are equally important. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council members are the eyes and ears of the organization; they help keep a pulse and give voice to diverse needs, issues, and opportunities across our business units.