At BCW, we are committed to a just and safe workplace for all people, and last June we published our 2020 Inclusivity Pledge outlining the steps we planned to take to make BCW a more inclusive, equitable place to work.
We have made great strides since then, even winning a North America SABRE Award for our Destination Inclusion program, but improving the wellbeing of our people is, as we all know, an ongoing commitment. We are excited about where we have been, but also about our continued focus on the future. New programming and initiatives that we will launch this year will help us become better informed about what’s happening around us, understand more about our colleagues lived experiences and, together, create a more inclusive and open culture.
Accountability is vital to ensure lasting change, so here is a summary of the progress BCW has made against our 2020 commitments and the continued investment in this work.
Embedding inclusive leadership and bias management into the revamped people leadership development program plans.
This January, BCW launched BCW Growing Leaders, a comprehensive program designed to help train managers across the business to be better, more inclusive people leaders. During the five-week program, leaders develop and strengthen their empathy, feedback, goal setting and communication skills. To date, we have had 75 participants, with plans to make this training available to current and future BCW leaders.
Leveraging our Employee Resource Groups to lead initiatives that will have client, career, culture and community impact across the organization.
As their priority this year, the ERGs have played a critical employee community support role. In addition to meaningful activations around heritage months, BCW’s Employee Resource Groups organized important initiatives, such as, among others:
- Social Justice Resource Guide: Our African American Employee Resource Group (AAER) and our Asian American Employee Resource Group, Asian-C, along with our corporate practice, created a comprehensive Social Justice Resource Guide to aid in continued conversations, education and understanding around systemic racism and social injustice.
- Gender Inclusivity Campaign: This campaign focused on deepening employee understanding of key issues and considerations around gender inclusivity and pronouns, providing employees with resources and materials to add their pronouns to various internal and social platforms, and highlighting BCW's commitment to gender inclusivity through robust external thought leadership and social media.
- “Your Voice Matters” Webinar: This cross ERG-sponsored non-partisan conversation brought awareness to public policy and voting issues representing key demographic groups. We gathered political experts across the agency and discussed some of the headline-grabbing issues that dominated the election news cycle, including identity politics and voter behavior, the media’s role in shaping election outcomes, social justice and human rights issues at the forefront of the election, and anticipated dispute of election results.
BCW Polycultural Consulting Unit: Formally launched last September, this offering helps clients to understand, connect with and move diverse stakeholder audiences through nuanced, hyper-resonant and precisely deployed communications and campaigns that are culturally relevant and promote inclusion and diversity in the workplace and beyond.
In addition to our Polycultural offering, employees across the region have developed POVs to offer insights into different diverse communities. Some of these include:
- BCW African American Employee Resource (AAER) Group – 2021 Black History Month Guide
- Business Unusual: Navigating LGBTQ Engagement in the Post-COVID Era
- Navigating Hispanic Heritage Month in the COVID Era and an Election Year
Over the last year, we've also worked closely with a broad range of clients across our practices on their own DE&I commitments.
We worked with the BCW People Team to audit and recalibrate policies, practices and processes of our business – from recruitment and hiring to development and advancement – to mitigate bias and ensure equity for all.
RECRUITMENT AND HIRING
- In 2020, the BCW HAROLD Intern Class was 31.3% underrepresented talent. This year, 40% of our interns come from underrepresented populations.
- We audited and revised our hiring statement and job descriptions to include more inclusive language and to identify and mitigate biases.
- The BCW Talent Acquisition Team has developed a comprehensive Candidate Tracker Database to ensure the business is following our commitment to source and interview 30% underrepresented talent for each open role.
- We launched the Culture Mentor program, giving new hires from underrepresented communities the option to receive a Culture Mentor. Mentors provide an added layer of support for our new colleagues as they acclimate to their new role, responsibilities and all things BCW.
- In September 2020, BCW’s IDEA team launched Destination Inclusion, a global immersion program dedicated to learning, understanding and respecting ourselves and each other. Throughout the program, employees explore different inclusion themes and are offered different engagement opportunities. Destination Inclusion II: Breaking Bias is taking place in May 2021.
- Increasing mid-senior level Black employee population by 2022
A key component of reimagining our recruitment is ensuring we are adding more mid- and senior-level Black employees. We are making progress thanks to the great work of our talent acquisition team, and we will continue working toward this goal as we grow.
- Developing a global Grow I.D.E.A. Network Think Tanks to develop and implement programs/initiatives that are pertinent to the growth and evolution of BCW’s culture of inclusion.
In August 2020, we formally launched our IDEA Think Tanks. Since then, over 100 colleagues from across North America have worked – and continue to work – to improve our internal and external processes.
- Improving accountability and transparency at the leadership level.
To encourage a culture of accountability, market leaders participated in a deep dive on their diverse talent needs and plans. Progress against hiring, retention and growth goals is reported to North America senior leadership on a quarterly basis.