It’s no secret that diversity and inclusion (D&I) are important. Studies have shown that companies that focus on D&I enjoy the benefits of becoming an employer-of-choice, demonstrating enhanced creativity, increased idea generation, improved decision-making, and more. Best-in-class organizations understand that D&I is an essential business practice, one that will help them become more sustainable and ultimately outperform their competitors.
Thousands of articles and blogs have been and continue to be written about this critical work. And for no other reason than to help employees feel respected, heard and valued, these conversations need to continue. It’s important for everyone to understand that every perspective is unique, beneficial and instrumental to a company’s success.
At some point, the talk track on this topic becomes background noise, and the message gets lost. Here at AvidXchange, we have another perspective on that. We believe that D&I are essential to our efforts to become a great place to work and help the company win. We desire that teammates feel invited to come to AvidXchange and are welcomed to stay. We want conversations across differences to become a part of our culture and how we do business.
AvidXchange’s Commitment to Culture
Last October, a group of 25 AvidXers came together to discuss the work experiences of women at AvidXchange. This group discussed the behaviors they were seeing and the challenges they were facing as women in the workplace. This grass-roots Women @ Avid group was on a mission to create a consistent culture of mutual support for women and served as advocates of the sessions by inviting and recruiting others (both men and women) who would find the conversations personally insightful and valuable.
AvidXers came to each session with an open mind and a genuine intent to personally learn and grow. Their stories touched many, and most importantly laid the groundwork for authentic listening and observation to take root here at AvidXchange.
This past April, the conversations began to focus beyond women and today include stories from members across different identity groups (i.e., race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity). The sessions were re-branded RealXchanges to emphasize the importance of authentic storytelling, sharing and learning.
To further build awareness and skill for creating a more inclusive workplace, in 2018 we committed to helping senior leaders with learning and practicing skills that support building awareness across differences. To date, over 100 leaders have completed the Awareness Development session, and we’re on track to host sessions for the remaining leaders in 2019.
Additionally, we developed an online D&I toolkit that includes tools and resources for People Leaders and Teammates to continuously practice their skills. Topics include engaging in meaningful dialogues across differences, leading inclusive meetings, and understanding unconscious bias.
We understand that there’s still a long journey ahead of us to build inclusive competence at AvidXchange. While our journey in this work has just begun, we’re committed to realizing our mission of creating a consistent culture of mutual support for all employees.