On Wednesday, September 18, NCACPA staff members and CEO, Sharon Bryson signed the CEO Action Pledge and I Act On Pledge, respectively. Signing these pledges demonstrates each team member’s commitment to improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Those who signed the pledge did so at their own will, each bringing unique visions and goals for shaping a more inclusive future.
What is the CEO Action Pledge?
The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ aims to rally the business community to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace by working collectively across organizations and sectors. It outlines a specific set of actions the undersigned companies will take to cultivate a trusting environment where all ideas are welcomed, and employees feel comfortable and empowered to discuss diversity and inclusion.
These actions include committing to four main goals:
- We will continue to make our workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion
- We will implement and expand unconscious bias education
- We will share best—and unsuccessful—practices
- We will create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with our board of directors
The I Act On Pledge, which is available for anyone to sign and commit to, strives to make our workplaces and community more inclusive. Individuals who sign this pledge commit to the following actions:
- I will check my own biases and take meaningful action to understand and mitigate them.
- I will initiate meaningful, complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations with my friends and colleagues.
- I will ask myself, “Do my actions and words reflect the value of inclusion?”
- I will move outside my comfort zone to learn about the experiences and perspectives of others.
- I will share my insights related to what I have learned.
To learn more about the CEO Action Pledge or I Act On Pledge, visit www.ceoaction.com.
How does NCACPA’s commitment to D&I impact you?
“I read recently that diversity and inclusion is a lever to innovation, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s a privilege to stand with my colleagues in making a commitment to check my own biases, having difficult conversations, and speaking up for others because I know we will hold each other accountable and turn that commitment into action. I’m eager to see what we’re able to achieve when we create a community that embraces diversity and the strength it brings.”- Jackie Asekhauno
“A diverse and inclusive environment is one where I feel confident to bring my whole self to work and be treated equally with my peers. An environment where I feel included and respected regardless of any seen or unforeseen differences to those around me. NCACPA’s commitment to D&I will create a sense of belonging, as well as bring a fresh perspective to include those who might otherwise not be part of the conversation.” – Amelia Hodges
How do you plan to act?
“Talk about it! Have those courageous conversations as a starting point to move forward with a real plan. Nothing will change without these conversations.” – Hannah McCain
“Before any of us try to improve something, we have to know our current state. Understanding our unconscious biases is something that each of us can and must do. I plan to identify ways for us to recognize our unconscious biases as a precursor to setting up something akin to “judgment free” conversations, where individuals can choose to meet and begin a dialogue to understand each other and their prejudices better. From personal experience, creating the right type of space for everyone to have an open and honest conversation is a significant first step.” – Mark Soticheck
Why is creating a more inclusive workplace important to you?
“I spend the majority of my time in the workplace, so it’s extremely important to me that myself and everyone I work with feels welcome and is given the space to offer their individual perspective. After an experience I had working with people from all over the world and with completely different backgrounds to mine, I came to realize the value in uniqueness of experience. We have a tendency to perceive differences as inherently negative, but this is most certainly not the case. When employees know their co-workers and workplace fully support what they have to offer, regardless of its “normality”, they and the company will thrive.” – Mia Phillips