As a 120-year old organization with a rich history and a long-standing commitment to our employees, we are on a journey to create a workplace that expands our legacy values of honesty and respect, and encourages differing points of view and open dialogue. The commitment to our employees in our Basic Beliefs encourages each of us to bring our best selves to work and in a spirit of inclusion and belonging: We will collaborate across all levels and departments and will be inclusive of diverse backgrounds, thoughts, beliefs, and experiences.
Employees participated in a daylong workshop called What is Your Story? The program introduced diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging concepts through an interactive and facilitated conversation focused on understanding each other’s personal stories. The workshops helped to connect people across AAA to see that regardless of background, race, gender, or other dimensions, we are more alike than different. Understanding each other’s story helps to increase our ideas, energy and commitment to the unique perspective that we all bring to AAA each day.
We evolved what was primarily a focus on ethics, harassment and discrimination compliance and broadened it to include diversity, inclusion and belonging as core values of AAA. We continue our What is your Story? via employee spotlights featured on our intranet and newsletter. These individual stories highlight each employees’ diverse background, experience and beliefs through photographs and storytelling. We recently hosted a What is your Story? panel of LGBTQ employees and allies who shared what it means to be LGBTQ in the workplace, and a parent of an LGBTQ teen shared about their personal journey.
When we put ourselves in another person’s story, we actually find more similarities than differences in each other. Belonging is about connecting on a basic human level through a safe and open environment. I am proud to be part of a respectful and inclusive organization that seeks and values diverse experiences, ideas, beliefs, and attributes.