Our Journey to Create a Culture of Belonging
Over the past year, several shocking and previously inconceivable events across the U.S. have spurred many companies to re-think their approach to civil engagement and to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). At KAR Global, we re-affirmed our commitment to cultivating a work environment not just of inclusion, but of belonging for every employee:
KAR Global sees value in each and every person. We are committed to providing a work environment that appreciates diversity and does not tolerate discrimination, marginalization, hate or violence under any circumstances. We aim to foster a culture of open dialogue while providing resources and support for team members of all races, genders, sexual orientation, abilities and religions.
But we also realized that words without action can ring hollow, so we quickly got to work. We hired a DEI program manager to focus exclusively on moving us forward along this path. We surveyed our employees to gain insights, inform our plans and better understand what belonging means to employees. We launched a series of events called Voices of KAR, where we listen and learn from team members in an atmosphere of open dialogue. We created a dedicated site on our intranet devoted to DEI activities and issues, sharing content on topics like unconscious bias, Black History Month, and being a better ally in the workplace to support inclusion of marginalized groups.
And most recently, based on employee input, we launched several additional employee resource groups (ERGs) that build on the success of our first ERG, Women@KAR, which we initiated in 2019:
• Asian Pacific Community@KAR
These inclusive, employee-led groups are built around shared interests, identities and experiences. They are open to all employees—those who identify with the group’s specific interest, identity-focus or experience as well as allies. As an extension of our DEI program, they emphasize inclusivity, intersectionality, allyship and belonging
Our goals for our ERGs are both foundational and aspirational: to provide a space for employees to contribute; to explore professional development opportunities, networking and mentorship; to create an open forum for the exchange of ideas; to promote awareness of social issues; and to help foster an inclusive community.
As human beings, we each have a role to play to help effect positive change. So we’re really proud of the dialogue and engagement we’re already seeing come out of our new ERGs. Our group co-leaders have hit the ground running with many great ideas, and we can’t wait to see what’s next and where our ERGs take us. We’re confident that working together, we’ll evolve to a more informed and proactive organization when it comes to advancing DEI and building a culture of belonging.