The benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce for organizations are obvious and the effects of a diverse and inclusive company on employees extend beyond business results. Since March 2022, civil rights attorney Ashley Oliver has built an impressive DE&I program at Staffmark Group (USA).
Raise awareness of people’s differences
Oliver is striving to raise awareness of people’s differences. “Diversity is not just about color and gender; religion, ability and other cultural identifiers are also important,” she explains. To that end, she published an annual calendar recognizing 400 significant days and events, such as Islamic New Year, Black History Month and International Lesbian Day. She also produced a glossary of 300 DE&I terms and concepts, including diversity, equity, privilege, power and the ADA. Oliver also developed educational events such as inclusive leadership training, the Anti-Racism Allyship live webinar, the Black History Month live session, and a Pride month speaker panel of employees who identify as LGBTQ+.
High scores in DE&I satisfaction
At Staffmark Group, Oliver kicked off the company’s first three business resource groups: Black Alliance, Prism (LGBTQ+) and Operation Hired: Military and Veterans. In the first four months, 14% of Staffmark employees joined at least one group. “Last year we didn’t have any programs, so to have three programs now is incredible,” Oliver says. “And people are hungry for more.” Staffmark Group’s 2022 employee engagement survey received high scores on topics such as inclusion, acceptance and DE&I satisfaction.
Being curious transcends everything
Apart from her daily work, another source of pride for Oliver is the social media platform she created. It is called Yoga and Mahogany. “I looked at the yoga training program and I didn’t see a lot of black people, people my size, people with big hair,” she explains. “Not that I’m particularly flexible or anything; I just wanted to show people of color, queer creators, people with body diversity. I wanted to bring people together, impact microaggression in the wellness space, and show that you can modify poses for bigger people and people with limitations.” In addition to this, Oliver also authored a book, The Manifestation Journal for Black Women.
RGF Staffing congratulates Ashley and all other DE&I Influencer honorees, for their efforts to create more equitable and inclusive working places for all.