Our First Year as Ribbon’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council
Late last year, Ribbon introduced the DEI Council as part of our commitment to further our awareness of the different backgrounds, cultures and experiences of our employees and to operationalize our efforts to build on these assets. I have had the honor to chair the council for the past 6 months and wanted to share some of our accomplishments over the past year, as well as some of our set goals for 2023.
The Council is composed of leaders from around the company who are dedicated to creating greater awareness and education about DEI, setting priorities, and developing programs to fulfill these objectives, in coordination with HR and other internal stakeholders. We had a number of key objectives this year, and one of our main areas of focus was beginning the process of redressing the imbalance between the numbers of men and women in the company, a pervasive issue throughout the tech industry. In addition, we wanted to enhance awareness on the impact of DEI company-wide, address bias in our recruiting process, and strengthen the women’s leadership community. This holistic approach would help us make sure that everyone was on board and understood the reasoning behind our actions.
I’m happy to report that while there is plenty more work to do, we implemented a number of programs and events to help us move along this trajectory. Because DEI is a holistic enterprise, our actions have covered a number of different areas. Some highlights include enhancing our recruiting processes to eliminate bias, hosting a company-wide roundtable of female leaders to discuss some of the challenges that come with being a woman in the workplace, and a women’s leadership program that brought internal women leaders and a professional facilitator to deepen the conversation and begin creating a cross-functional community within the company. The group also had the opportunity to meet with the CEO and some of our board members who are committed to helping elevate the place of women and leadership opportunities at Ribbon.
But that’s not all! We organized a number of educational seminars open to all employees, dealing with topics including gender equality in the workplace and eradicating violence against women. In partnership with HR and corporate communications, we worked with individual employees to draft blogs on a number of representative issues and celebrations, helping to highlight many different voices. These topics included Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Ramadan, Pride Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month. These blogs, as well as internal posts on Diwali, Juneteenth, and quarterly spotlights on women leaders have been extremely well received, helping to drive conversation and gain a better understanding of our colleagues.
Of course, there is much more to do, and we already have a number of plans in place for 2023.
These include increased training opportunities, as well as some mandatory sessions on gender biases, and a continued emphasis of bringing forth different voices and cultures. We will also lean on confidential surveys to understand whether our employees feel a sense of belonging within the company and how they rate our efforts in making DEI part and parcel of the Ribbon experience. Having a strong culture of diversity and inclusion is important to us at Ribbon. Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s proven that having different voices at the table makes companies more successful. Our goal is to continue to promote an environment that encourages all team members, regardless of race, sex, background, or affiliation, to take pride in their individual contributions. I’m really looking forward to helping continue to drive these initiatives forward in collaboration with the other members of the Diversity Council as we head into 2023 and hope that you will follow our progress.