When Lyquaia Purcell, VP of Enrollment Success, sent me a screenshot showing that more than 40% of CampusLogic’s employees logged into a completely optional Zoom meeting to showcase our employee resource groups (ERGs), I clapped loudly, hoping she and Emma Muriel, CampusLogic’s first official ERG leaders, could somehow hear me through the Slack thread we were all on.
“HECK YES. That’s awesome” I replied. I hoped to convey my enthusiasm in text as loudly as that clap bounced around the walls of my home office.
It’s no secret that when working remotely, inclusion is difficult. And Building trust is harder. Reading the subtle cues of human communication is diluted by Zoom screens, home office staging and the insincerity of staring into a camera to mock eye contact. Trying to figure out who your people are is a challenge, especially in an industry that has historically struggled with diversity, equity and inclusion (but is quickly evolving, more on that in a minute).
So, when Lyquaia offered this data point, which showed us that more than 40% of CampusLogic employees wanted to learn more about ERGs, it validated the need to continue cultivating these communities within the organization.
Change can be hard to measure. However, it is heartening to see quantifiable interest from teammates who want to learn about building a more inclusive company.
One year ago, our DEI efforts were ambitious and becoming much more focused, At the time, CampusLogic didn’t have any employee resource groups, which has since changed in a big way.
While much thought and intention went into creating an inclusive environment, we shied away from calling it “DEI” for fear of separating the work from the overall business strategy. However, the downside of not highlighting your efforts is that folks may get the impression this work isn’t important to leadership, which is not the case. I’m happy to say that we learned, we grew, and we are better for it.
And we kept on learning by way of listening. When several employees began escalating the need to be more strategically inclusive, we became more intentional about how we promote diversity and show that this is a value for our culture. Through their radical candor about our need for more deliberate inclusion efforts, our first employee resource groups were formed.
I would be lying if I said it was a smooth ride. In hindsight, I can share with whole-heartedness that this is a road worth taking. Initially self-organizing and disconnected from business planning, our ERGs have evolved to become strategic thought partners who inform our People Operations practices, policy and process. “Nothing about us without us” has become our north star for decision making, which ensures that we design an intentionally inclusive workplace that serves all CampusLogic employees.
It is through partnership within our executive team, People Operations team and ERG leaders that we are identifying and eliminating opportunities for inequality, inequity, bias and exclusion.
Throughout June, our Pride and BIPOC ERGs, in partnership with People Operations and with the support of our executive team, came together to celebrate Pride and Juneteenth. Through a series of virtual events and experiences, we provided the CampusLogic Team with a series of socials, lunch and learn events and shared meals to celebrate. And this is by no means the end. We are just getting started.