At the beginning of this year, we established our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Our Committee serves as an authentic and proactive filter to assess policies, procedures, and programs within Multnomah Group. We are proud of what we accomplished this year and want to make sure we "show our work," not only to our internal team but to our industry as well. DEI initiatives are futile without accountability, so each year, we will continue to share the work our Committee is doing to strengthen our organization and our industry.
Our Committee set several goals for 2022. Below is the progress we made this year.
What we did: engaged a third-party DEI-focused hiring organization to help us reach a more diverse pool of intern candidates. A former intern with Multnomah Group, now a full-time employee, also provided important insight into their experience as an intern with us and helped shape the program for this next year.
What we learned: we didn't get our intern search process started soon enough. We should also engage more than one organization for the search postings in the future to further enhance our candidate pool reach.
What we did: we conducted a nearly year-long review of how we onboard new employees into our team. How someone starts their journey with an organization can have an immense impact on whether they feel welcomed, part of the culture, and their understanding of how their work plays a part in the greater goals of an organization. The Committee created and implemented an orientation program that introduces new team members to our history, our firm goals, and most importantly our people. We are proud of the culture we have created and continue to nurture, and we want our new team members to know the people they work with and feel welcome from day one.
What we learned: understanding how someone feels welcomed and included within an organization differs from person to person. We took time to draw on experiences from our current team, both at Multnomah Group and their previous organizations, to bring the best elements we could define into our program. We also know as we grow and add new members, this process with grow and change with us.
What we did: identified organizations in our community that would better help us connect and engage with persons of color within our industry. We decided to sponsor Portland-based Partners in Diversity and are actively-engaged in their events both virtually and in-person.
What we learned: we can only build a better culture of DEI in our organization and further into our industry with the guidance and work of organizations like Partners in Diversity. We will continue to seek DEI-focused organizations to help us learn and strengthen our own practices.
In addition, we developed a calendar of workforce focused professional development opportunities for our team. Organizations we include on this calendar are WiPN (Women in Pensions Network), Western Pension & Benefits Council, Partners in Diversity + much more. This calendar is accessible to employees from their personal work calendars so they can choose to attend events that fit their personal development goals and schedules.
Pronoun Writing Style
What we did: updated our company's writing style guide on the usage of pronouns in our internal and external communications. Our Committee conducted a full company training on the new guidelines.
What we learned: creating a pronoun writing style guideline for an organization is challenging as we worked to identify all the areas within our writing this change would affect.
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