In today’s dynamic world, acknowledging the depth that diversity contributes is essential. Each individual’s perspectives, molded by their life experiences, intricately weave into the vibrant fabric of our society, prompting a recognition of humanity’s multifaceted nature.
However, diversity alone doesn’t suffice; equity and inclusion stand equally crucial. Equity addresses historical inequalities and systemic biases, ensuring impartial access to opportunities, while inclusion actively values and integrates diverse voices, nurturing a sense of belonging and inspiring innovation.
Recognizing that diversity, equity, and inclusion extend beyond racial boundaries is also key. These principles collectively strive to dismantle barriers across intersecting identities, encompassing gender equality, diverse sexual orientations, accessible opportunities for individuals with disabilities, respect for varying cultural and religious practices, and alleviating socioeconomic disparities. Through promoting equity and cultivating genuine inclusion, we lay the foundation for a culture characterized by harmony and progress.
Achieving the intertwined objectives of diversity, equity, and inclusion involves cultivating an environment that encourages open dialogue and embraces differing viewpoints. This ongoing journey entails inviting diverse perspectives and acknowledging dissenting ideas, fostering true inclusion that actively engages with mixed thoughts.
BizStream’s transformative journey towards DEI is rooted in a commitment to educate ourselves about the profound impact of diversity, equity, and inclusion on our team members and the organizational landscape. This educational pursuit transcends surface intentions and delves into understanding the fundamental principles that underpin these concepts, acknowledging their potential to shape a more inclusive and equitable future.
A pivotal stride was taken in 2022 when BizStream established its DEI committee. The committee’s mission and purpose are defined in our DEI Committee Charter as:
The BizStream Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) will serve as a force for good within the company, within our local communities, and within the technology industry.
The DEI Committee exists to:
One responsibility of our DEI committee is to identify and coordinate educational opportunities, workshops, and training programs to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness among employees.
One pivotal contributor to our journey has been Sandy Harvey, MBA, CDP, of Exodus Consulting. Sandy played a central role in guiding us through the intricacies of DEI through her Diversity Awareness and Unconscious Bias workshops.
This interactive and reflective course led us to explore the multifaceted characteristics we all share beyond race and gender. It highlighted how diversity awareness has evolved from eliminating discrimination to promoting active inclusion. Through these sessions, we’ve understood that the more aware we are of these nuances, the better we can foster meaningful relationships.
Delving into the depths of unconscious or implicit biases, this workshop exposed the fact that everyone possesses such biases. The workshop showcased how these biases also manifest in our professional environments, potentially leading to unhealthy behaviors and exposing organizations to discrimination and harassment risks if unchecked.
Another contributor was Jessica Bacon, CRCR, who presented on weight biases in the workplace.
This workshop casts a spotlight on the influence of body size on workplace inclusivity. The discussion centered around the impact of body size discrimination, its potential implications for BizStream, and the significance of addressing this issue.
These workshops are pivotal milestones in BizStream’s ongoing journey towards creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, embodying our commitment to continual growth and positive transformation.
Incorporating pronouns in communications, email signatures, Slack profiles, and team member profiles on our website goes beyond mere adjustments; it’s a meaningful step towards representation and respect for each individual’s gender identity. This practice fosters a welcoming environment and acknowledges the importance of recognizing and validating diverse identities within our team.
Beyond BizStream’s internal initiatives, we actively engage with and support local endeavors. This includes our partnerships like Change the Code, a student-led non-profit organization aimed at improving gender balance within the STEM industry, and our participation in Holland Pride, a pivotal event organized by Out on the Lakeshore. By participating in these events, celebrating women in STEM and the LGBTQ+ community, we manifest our unwavering commitment to catalyzing broader societal changes.
Additional DEI efforts include commemorating Juneteenth as a company holiday, accompanied by educational initiatives, recognizing and celebrating the significance of Pride Month, and participating in International Day of Pink, a worldwide anti-bullying and anti-homophobia event. We hope these actions convey our unwavering determination to cultivate an inclusive workplace that genuinely embraces the diverse backgrounds and identities of all team members and their diverse family members.
Embracing DEI isn’t just a checkbox for us; it’s a mindset that influences every facet of our company culture. We cherish each individual’s unique perspective and are committed to treating everyone with the same compassion and respect we expect for ourselves. By creating an equitable and inclusive workspace, we strive to foster an environment where every individual can flourish.
The journey isn’t a one-time achievement; it’s an ongoing commitment to fostering diversity, inclusivity, equity, and respect. We’re dedicated to learning, growing, and continuously improving as we work towards creating a more just and harmonious world for everyone.
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