At ClearCompany, our commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) is both a core company value and a daily initiative supported by real action. We know that’s the case for many of our clients, too, and that’s why we partner with experts to get their advice and expertise to help us build valuable DEIB tools into our software.
Recently, ClearCompany CEO and Co-Founder Andre Lavoie sat down with Dr. Akilah Cadet, founder and CEO of Change Cadet, to discuss our ongoing journey and the integrated DEIB survey and analytics dashboard we’ve worked together to develop.
Check out some highlights from their conversation, then watch the full webinar, Building A Strong and Inclusive Culture from the Inside Out: An Honest Conversation.
Where We Started with DEIB
In 2019, ClearCompany began a concerted effort to increase gender diversity throughout our company. But then in 2020, the murder of George Floyd, said Lavoie, “hits us all like a Mack truck…and we knew that we still needed to make changes as an organization.”
That’s when ClearCompany employees took the reins. We asked them what needed to change and how they wanted us to do it. One requirement was that we bring in external help — outside reinforcements to evaluate our organization honestly, prescribe an action plan, and hold us accountable for our DEIB commitments.
Our employees looked for the perfect partner to help us learn and make meaningful change, and that’s when our partnership with Change Cadet began.@ClearCompany’s #DEIB journey continues with the addition of a new DEIB survey and dashboard developed with partner @ChangeCadet:
How Far We’ve Come with Change Cadet
Change Cadet is a change management and organizational development consulting firm led by Dr. Akilah Cadet. The firm’s mission is to provide services (executive coaching, strategic planning, workshops, and problem-solving) that help companies embed anti-racism, diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging into their identity and strategy.
We started our partnership with Change Cadet by understanding where we were at the time in 2020 with the goal of matching our company's diversity to the U.S. population, which is our customer base. Dr. Cadet emphasized that even more important than increasing representation, DEIB work requires changing behaviors, challenging egos, and leaders who believe in DEIB to model those values so that the entire organization supports them.
“Getting comfortable with uncomfortable things was such a huge part of the conversations that we had on a regular basis and the work that we did [with Change Cadet],” said Lavoie. “It was really challenging the executive team on what power looks like and how we can use it to become allies.”
That’s why, said Dr. Cadet, “Ego is really important to address…to know that asking for help is a powerful thing. Role modeling behavior is a powerful thing. Not knowing something, using your resources, partnering with either a chief diversity officer or a diversity team, your people team, or a DEI consultant is a wonderful way to still have a position of leadership and be able to…role model that behavior of change that’s needed to create cultures of belonging.”
Turns out, asking for help and comfort with discomfort has a real impact. Thanks to our engagement with Change Cadet and the changes we made to our product, “we increased the diversity of our organization by 18% in three years,” said Lavoie.@ClearCompany CEO & Co-Founder Andre Lavoie + @ChangeCadet CEO & Founder Dr. Akilah Cadet discuss #DEIB and how ClearCompany increased diversity by 18% in 3 years:
We didn’t just want to measure and increase DEIB at ClearCompany — we wanted to give our clients the ability to do the same thing. That’s why we enhanced our Employee Engagement Survey Suite with the help of Dr. Cadet and her team, adding the firm’s well-established DEIB survey to our platform as an easy-to-use template.
The survey helps our clients better understand employee sentiments around DEIB, implement change in the workplace, and track progress with a new analytics dashboard — all from within the ClearCompany platform.
In addition to our dramatic increase in diversity and our survey partnership with Change Cadet, we’ve seen lots of positive change at our organization.
We’ve increased our own DEIB survey scores:
- Equality of opportunity score rose from 3.49 to 4.39
- Diverse viewpoints score rose from 3.62 to 4.13
- Belonging and inclusion score rose from 3.99 to 4.89
- Average score rose from 3.71 to 4.33
- Earned a 98% Great Place to Work® rating
ClearCompany employees overwhelmingly agree that they feel welcome and included:
- 100% agree that people here are treated fairly regardless of their sexual orientation
- 99% agree that people here are treated fairly regardless of their race or gender
- 99% agree people are made to feel welcome when they join the company
Though the metrics are important, companies should think about how to hold themselves accountable for increasing representation in leadership instead of focusing on DEIB numbers “because that’s where the most power is,” said Dr. Cadet, and therefore the best way to assure that diversity is part of everything at the company.
Where We’re Going
We’ve made significant progress on our journey toward building a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and welcoming company culture. But our DEIB journey doesn’t end here — it’s a lasting commitment we’ve made to our clients and our employees.
And that leads us to our next goal in our work with Change Cadet: ensuring that we consider the B in DEIB.
“Once you’ve created diversity, equity, and inclusion, do those folks feel like they belong?” said Lavoie. “It’s one thing to say, ‘Let’s do diversity training;” it’s another to build a culture where people feel like they’re included and they belong.”
“The end goal is not the statistics,” said Dr. Cadet. “It’s [that] whoever walks through the (virtual or real) doors of this company, they feel they belong.”
To learn more about building a strong, inclusive work culture, click on the banner below and watch the entire conversation with Dr. Cadet and Andre Lavoie.