|Doing it our way||Beyond a code||More than a cause||Lifelong learners|
|Vision and action||Doing the right things||Being flexible has its advantages|
More than a cause
“I’m excited to affect change at the grassroots level and help attract and retain employees,” says Customer Contact Center Manager Sandra Adams.
Sandra started the Progressive African American Network in 2008, one of two employee resource groups that employees piloted in Cleveland that year. The other was the Progressive Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Network.
Our employee resource groups empower employees to organize around common interests, share ideas, promote education and awareness, and encourage inclusive ways of doing business that respect and value our differences. “Employee” is the key word. Each group is initiated by employees, run by employees and designed to help make Progressive a better place to work.
With the success of the 2008 pilots, in 2010 employees established three new employee resource groups focused on the interests of our Asian American, Latin American and female populations. By year end, at least seven percent of employees were connected with one of these groups. Any employee can join or participate in any group.
“I want to help influence our culture and integrate our overall diversity and inclusion goals into the workplace,” says Sandra. “It’s great being part of something that has the potential to change how we look at ourselves and each other.”
Supporting community events close to members’ hearts–such as diabetes and pride walks or professional networking functions–are just some of the activities the groups get involved in. They also help increase the numbers of employees hired and customers acquired within their areas of interest.
Diversity and inclusion make business and social sense. When we include others in decision making and respect our differences, we provide better customer service, build a more diverse workforce and perform as stronger leaders, kinder co-workers and effective citizens.
Our Asian American employee resource group held a fundraising event—complete with a fashion show—to raise awareness of the tsunami/earthquake disasters in Japan and educate employees on Asian cultures.