On October 6, the Inclusion & Diversity team hosted RNDC/Young’s first conversation in the Spirit to Speak series to discuss racism and how it impacts our company culture and colleagues. Nearly 80 Black, Brown and White associates from around the company participated in the safe space conversation. This conversation was professionally facilitated and allowed for anonymity with the participants who shared their insights and learnings. Some associates expressed their exhaustion with being stereotyped while others called out the lack of People of Color in our leadership ranks. 

At the end, our President and CEO, Tom Cole closed the meeting by thanking everyone who had shared and listened. He reaffirmed his personal commitment to racial equality, anti-racism, and an inclusive company culture where all associates can succeed. In our post-event survey, one associate wrote it was “so impactful that Tom made the call and gave his thoughts and support; it makes a huge difference knowing key stakeholders are listening.”

Based on our survey results, the event was rated 4.5/5 stars. Most importantly, 100% of the participants indicated their desire to attend future Spirit to Speak conversations and 100% would recommend the event to their colleagues. “The honesty and heart that was communicated on the call was simply amazing!” wrote another associate.  One executive leader remarked, “It is powerful to hear the frustration and exhaustion from black and brown members of our team…the challenge for ALL associates to ‘call out’ racism…with our customers and suppliers was a strong and important message.”

The overwhelmingly positive feedback about our Spirit to Speak conversation has provided us with great insights as we plan the next conversation in this series. Be on the lookout for details in the near future!