Reward Gateway has always made inclusion a part of our purpose, but our strategic focus truly began in 2016 when our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work became an essential part of RG. We released our first DEI report in 2016 after our people spoke up to our Leadership Team about a lack of transparency around our people’s diversity. That one action has resulted in numerous published reports from annual DEI surveys. You can access our DEI data here.
In the years since our first report, we’ve made steady progress to become a more diverse, inclusive and equitable place to work. While I won’t include every single milestone since 2016, I’ve shared three small steps that have helped us. I hope we inspire you to take ideas from this list to contribute to your organization’s DEI journey.
Create diversity networks made up of passionate employees eager to drive change
To continue our learning and help open up the conversation on all areas of diversity, we decided to create our DEI Networks, or as we call them our “EPIC networks.” They focus on five key areas of inclusion.
|1. Multicultural Network continues our open, honest and educational dialogue around race, religion and ethnicity.
|2. Intergen Network helps to make the RG experience inclusive and intergenerational.
|3. Women’s Network educates on the disadvantages and challenges faced as a result of gender.
|4. LGBTQIA+ Network sets the standard for creating a safe and fair working environment for our LGBTQIA+ colleagues while using their voices to champion equality in wider society.
|5. Accessibility Network promotes awareness and understanding of how accessible our company is for all and helps to enable others to achieve their full potential through a more accessible RG.
Every employee is welcome to join our networks of leaders, members and Leadership Team champions. Networks include subject matter experts and members committed to taking action and providing support to each key area. In addition, our Leadership Team champions advocate for our networks and firmly embed our key DEI focuses within our culture.
The networks host open forums for discussion, such as a recent Speak Up session on Allyship from the Multicultural Network, plan out new ways to celebrate significant days or months for the networks, like the various ways we celebrated Pride Month at Reward Gateway in June, or drive change through internal work policies such as spearheading accessibility assessments in each of our offices.
A year after their creation, we have seen the network’s continuous positive improvements at Reward Gateway. Thanks to their open and honest communication, skill-sharing sessions, internal events, fundraising initiatives and insights sharing, our employees are engaged and invested in making RG a more inclusive place to work.
Take advantage of technology
We know that technology provides many great support tools, and there are tech companies in the DEI space that are great to help with your DEI initiatives.
Some of our favorite pieces of tech are very handy for recruiting. Our newest applicant tracking system has diversity recruiting built right in. The tool reduces the risk of bias at every stage of recruitment by anonymizing applications and resumes.
We understand our gender tone by using a tool that reviews content like our job descriptions and flags language that is unintentionally biased. As a result, we reveal the hidden gender bias in our writing and receive alternative suggestions to attract the best candidates to our jobs.
Each year we ask our people to voluntarily participate in a DEI survey to help us make Reward Gateway a better, more equal, diverse and inclusive place to work. Our survey keeps data anonymous, so people feel comfortable sharing. The reports provided from the study allow us to measure how far we’ve come on our journey.
A glimpse into the Accessibility and Allies Network hub.
Each of the networks has also built out their own dedicated hub using our own employee engagement technology to share informative articles and resources, as well as a dedicated EPIC blog where network leaders can share upcoming events or initiatives that RGers can be a part of.
Tap into your connections
DEI partnerships have sometimes been our North Star when it comes to this work. While everyone is doing their best to learn and grow, we are lucky to have created strong relationships with many partners spanning all our DEI focuses.
Here are some suggestions if you are starting your search.
- Seek out partners that you can turn to for best practices and advice.
- Partner with organizations that encourage you to take a look at your current practices. Many wonderful groups provide assessments and data that allow your company to weigh your performance in different areas of DEI.
- Find partnerships that represent organizations that you can give back to. Partners that you can raise funds for and provide volunteering opportunities allow for hands-on experiences for your employees that connect to your overall strategy.
- Prioritize diversifying the conversation by partnering with people that bring a new perspective and experience to the table.
Since 2016 we’ve set out to create an environment that celebrates and welcomes differences, makes everyone feel like they belong and are treated fairly. We want our continuous work in DEI to encourage our people to bring their true selves to work. I hope some of these highlights from our journey encourage you to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive place to work at your organization.