Diversity & Inclusion
How does Empowery work to meet its own diversity & inclusion vision?
The vision comes with a strategy. Starting in 2017, the Executive Team took on the role as an “Inclusion Advocate.” The Inclusion Advocate together with our human resources department has developed a specific analysis followed by targets and actions in line with group strategy and integrated a “people strategy.”
What are the main areas of action in our Diversity & Inclusion strategy?
The foundation for our strategy is our Code of Conduct, Sustainability and in conjunction with our long-term non-profit, co-op organizational model. A fundamental component is our company’s commitment, awareness and skills in diversity and inclusion. In order for Empowery to reach our vision, this can never be compromised.
The strategy focuses on four main areas that are critical for our non-profit, co-op organizational success, as follows:
1. Attracting and recruit from a large and diverse pool of talent.
2. Developing a diverse pool of talent.
3. Securing an inclusive work culture.
4. Using diversity and inclusion as a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
With the Empowery strategy comes a suggested measurement focusing on important stakeholder groups' experiences of today as well as desired experiences in 2018 and beyond, within each strategic area. Departing from the strategy defines actions and targets that will help the company move forward with membership community growth as well as sustainability.
What is Empowery’s definition of diversity?
Diversity says something very fundamental about us as individuals as well as the societies we live in. Additionally, the home markets or countries that we live and work in as well.
Diversity as a concept refers to variation. In other words, diversity by default means you have more than one (of something) otherwise you are not able to detect any potential variations. In the case of diversity and inclusion work, diversity means human variations and differences between people culturally or otherwise.
From a broad perspective, diversity is about everything that makes us unique as individuals – anything that makes me different from you. From a slightly narrower perspective diversity refers to common social categories in societies such as gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation etc.
These social categories typically come with historical, societal status hierarchies that result in inequalities. Thus, in a given society at a given time we not only find specifically shared perceptions on for example what women and men are like, there is also an evaluation of women and men as social categories.
According to this evaluation (status hierarchy in society), what is considered to be masculine or characteristics of men are more or less highly valued than what is being labeled as feminine, for example. Note that is not the same as saying that all men are higher valued than all women. Obviously, there are exceptions on individual levels.
Equally, within the United States and around the globe, many countries have similar status hierarchies at play in relation to other social categories such as ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation. As countries become more and more equal, less of these unfair evaluations are taking place. In many countries, there is legislation in place that supports companies in preventing and abolishing these kinds of inequalities, for instance, discrimination due to gender and race.
What is Empowery’s definition of inclusion?
Inclusion is how to deal with diversity.
Inclusion is the concept used to describe a desired culture/mindset/approach to diversity. In other words, a prescription for how we as individuals and members of a non-profit, co-op organization should deal with diversity. Some people might find it difficult to understand what inclusion is, as it typically not is something we think of when we experience it. One way of understanding what inclusion is to think of its' opposite: exclusion.
An excluding culture is a culture in which some people are marginalized, not listen to, made fun of, bullied and harassed. This could be an openly sexist, racist, homophobic culture. Such a culture could still be inclusive to the majority, but not to others. An excluding culture/ mindset/approach is not in line with Empowery’s values and Codes of Conduct.
An inclusive culture is a culture where also minority groups and business owners feel welcomed, acknowledged and comfortable in showing who they are and enables everyone to contribute. It is a culture where everyone treats each other with respect and care. An inclusive culture does not mean that "anything goes" rather the opposite: often it is characterized by strong values but those values focus on everyone's equal worth as human beings and how we treat each other (with respect and care).
Full inclusion goes beyond securing that people do not harass each other or treat each other badly no matter what the country may be. Full inclusion means scrutinizing the way we are organized, how we cooperate, how we incentivize, how we acknowledge and promote in order to find more inclusive ways of working.
Research has pinpointed a number of aspects in work culture that could unintentionally exclude certain groups:
- Background to Organization
- Management Style
- Informal Socializing
- Diversity Awareness
- Work Ideology and Time Management
- Language and Communication
- Country Origen
At Empowery, and as a global non-profit, co-op partner, we aim high and are always defined by our diversity and inclusivity regardless of which country is a home market for our members and vendors. Our people, members, and vendors are at the core value and principles of our non-profit, co-op organization.