No two of our clients are the same.
Regardless of their background, belief or circumstance, those who come to us for help are served because we value every person.
This strongly held core value led us to include goals for diversity, equity and inclusion in our 2021-2024 Strategic Plan and to commit resources to review our workplace practices and culture in the context of diversity.
A diverse group of more than a dozen frontline employees has been involved in this strategic initiative in collaboration with members of our Leadership Team.
To guide the group, an outside diversity consultant assessed the agency. From this foundational work, the group identified goals for training and mentoring, and succession planning and retention, among others.
Since then, significant actions have been taken.
We looked at whether staff members were being paid equitably. A compensation consulting firm did a salary review, which found there was pay parity across ethnicity, gender and age.
Armed with that important news, the agency enhanced employee benefits in 2022. First, an employee referral bonus was created to help deepen the candidate pool for job openings. The agency also offered employees flexible work schedules for the summer to support the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce.
Since our work began, we have had honest conversations within the agency, where 82 percent of staff members are people of color, to reflect openly about the value of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Three employee affinity groups help staff members create connections, which lead to greater collaboration and improved communication. The agency’s internal social networking service Yammer allows employees to discuss, learn and collaborate, and monthly Black Lives Matter lunch and learn sessions feature educational presentations.
Because no real change happens without accountability, the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion is included in the agenda of the Leadership Team’s monthly meetings, and the chief operating officer updates the Board of Directors at each meeting.
We are on a journey. While we continue to work to address our goals, President and CEO Msgr. John J. Enzler notes that the actions taken so far speak to and give witness to overcoming racism, discrimination and inequality — all while we firmly root ourselves in the social justice mission of Catholic Charities.