After undergoing an internal application process last fall, 42 BCD employees were chosen for the year-long commitment. Under the guidance of Yvette Bryant, BCD’s senior vice president of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the members will help set DE&I goals for the year. Members agree to champion education and awareness in the region and markets where they work and live. They’re expected to support overall efforts to nurture and amplify different voices, backgrounds, and perspectives in our workforce. Roles and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
- Recommending and supporting DE&I priorities
- Connecting DE&I initiatives to business units and functions within a region
- Participating in workgroups focused on planning and implementing initiatives that support our DE&I framework
- Helping create a workplace that celebrates differences and actively promotes a culture of respect, belonging, and equal opportunities for all
The DE&I imperative at work
Diverse teams bring a wealth of varied experiences, ideas, and perspectives. Council members collaborate across diverse groups, fostering innovation and creativity. By embracing different viewpoints, they’re positioned to tackle challenges more effectively and develop groundbreaking solutions. We want to make it clear that we’re committed to providing an inclusive and equitable workplace. This not only attracts diverse talent but also plays a pivotal role in retaining employees who feel a sense of belonging. A workplace where every individual feels seen, heard, and valued is a space where people flourish and clients ultimately benefit.
A DE&I council is born
Having a diverse workforce is not simply a ”nice to have.” It’s necessary for the success of our people, our organization, our clients and the industry. “In 2020, the world was reeling from a global lockdown due to the pandemic, struggling economics, contentious political elections, the death of George Floyd, and more,” said Bryant. “BCD has always been a great company but we quickly understood that we needed to be more intentional about our approach to DE&I if we wanted to honor all our people and their lived experiences.”
We locked in that first year, forming inaugural regional councils and bringing on executive sponsors and champions for support. DE&I has always been embedded in BCD’s DNA. So, an early step was developing DE&I principles that were aligned with BCD Travel’s values. We wanted to make it clear that embracing diversity is not just good and right, it’s also a business imperative. In 2021, we launched an internal awareness campaign and continued with 2020’s initial goals. By 2022, with the council’s help, BCD had provided internal and external parties with guidance on how to integrate DE&I into company culture and managed travel programs.
“We challenged ourselves to listen to the voices of our people on how we could make our workplace more reflective of the world we live in, and foster an environment where everyone feels valued and heard. Every step moves us forward, day after day,” Bryant said.
The 2024 council is just getting started on its plans for the year, but one word to describe what will come is: journey. “It may be an overused word, but it is the one that fits best,” Bryant said. “When you talk about DE&I, you’re talking about a lifelong commitment of continuous learning and intentional actions towards being more diverse, equitable and inclusive.”
This cohort is BCD’s fourth since 2020. Council members change each year so that as many diverse voices as possible are heard from every region across the world.
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