Six years ago, the Bay Area Council launched the Gender Equity Committee as a way to champion for women’s pay equity and representation in leadership positions. In that time, the Council has worked to advocate for paid family leave, promoted fair pay practices, and partnered with organizations to encourage representation at all levels of a company. Since the committee’s inception in 2015, the work has shown that the issue is not just about gender, but that there are many other factors affecting pay equity and representation including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and more. Without an intersectional lens on these issues, any progress will be hindered by the lack of specificity and transparency. To reflect this intersectionality and to be more mindful of the many barriers that face underrepresented communities, the committee has shifted its focus to include all types of diversity while promoting inclusive workplace environments that strive to make everyone feel like they belong.
Although many companies have made strides in their DEI work, the tragic killing of George Floyd by the police in 2020 re-sparked a national conversation about the pervasive and ongoing effects of racism in the United States. Companies across the country committed to challenging these systems and working toward a more equitable future. From new funds to help those most affected by racism to commitments to better hiring practices, Bay Area companies have stepped up to face this challenge head on.
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee is working toward developing recommendations and best-practices to further mobilize the business community in this ongoing challenge. The Committee works with civic and political leaders to promote and enhance workplace cultures of equity, inclusion, and belonging through policy advocacy and education.
In these uncertain times, the Bay Area Council is committed to ensuring that DEI programs remain a priority and that the response to COVID-19 continues to keep equity at the forefront of any solution. Members of the group are aware that at times like these, minority groups are often disproportionately affected. The group will continue to use best practices to support, engage, and provide opportunities to diverse communities.
The committee has set two goals to help tackle some of the biggest issues facing equity and representation today. These goals will drive the work, help maintain accountability, and encourage transparency.
Goal 1: Create a more equitable Bay Area by supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within companies.
Goal 2: Drive policy change at the local, regional, and state level to advance equity priorities, including getting women back into the workforce.
- Emphasize the importance of continued commitment to expanding diversity & inclusion practices in response to the impacts of COVID-19.
- Highlight the strides that member companies are making toward a more equitable and inclusive culture in the Bay Area, especially actions during times of crisis.
- Grow the influence of the Gender, Diversity & Inclusion Committee by including the cross cutting universal business imperative in the Council’s other committee efforts other diversity and inclusion.
- Convene the regional Chief Diversity Officer Peer-to-Peer working group and leverage lessons learned to inform the direction and priorities of the committee.
- Benchmark metrics to create a baseline for measuring improvements in pay equity, diversity in senior leadership, hiring and retention of diverse candidates that result in fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging amongst member companies.
- Collaborate with organizations to inspire cultural and behavioral change at the executive level through annual work-plans and pledges.
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Gender, Diversity & Inclusion Committee: The committee meetings are open to all members. Please engage with us as we work to solve the region’s equity challenges. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our upcoming events.
Chief Diversity Officer Convening: Chief Diversity Officer Convenings are open to all Chief Diversity Officers, Chief Human Resource Officers, and other diversity leaders throughout the Bay Area. For more information on these meetings email email@example.com.
Lady Idos, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Jonathan Mayes, Safeway/Albertsons
Jed York, 49ers