Making Inclusion & Diversity Part of our DNA [Webinar]


Webinar Transcript:

Angela: Hi everybody and welcome to our webinar Making Inclusion and Diversity part of our DNA with USA Today Network I'm so excited to bring the USA Today Network back for part two of their series around diversity hiring the first one was so well received that we wanted to have them back for a second part so I'm really excited to have them here again today before we get started I just wanted to give a little bit of background on Jobvite so Jobvite enables leading companies to recruit source and on board all within a single platform with over 10 years of experience focused solely on recruitment and a recruiting strategy that emphasizes putting candidates at the center of recruiting Jobvite has helps companies fill over 1 million jobs to date so before we get started I just wanted to also cover a bit of housekeeping items as well first you'll notice that all lines have been muted to avoid background noise what we would love to have your questions so if you want to use the chat box at the bottom of the ready top panel we'll be monitoring it throughout the presentation and saving your questions until the end additionally all attendees will receive HRCI and SHRM credits by attending this webinar and will be sending up the code for these at the end of the session along with the webinar slides and the recording itself so with that said I want to turn it over to our speakers from the USA Today Network team.

Linda: Hi Thank You Angela I will start I'm Linda Ertz I'm the Director of Talent Acquisition for Gannett also known as USA Today Network I've been here for five years and I lead a team of about 30 recruiters and we're thrilled to be invited back, thank you Angela!

Brettany: Hello I am Brettany Payne and I am the project manager for Diversity and Employer Branding I've only been here a little over five months compared to Linda's five years but I'm happy to be on the call today.

LaToya: Hello everyone my name is LaToya Johnson I am the Senior Manager of Inclusion Diversity and Equity at USA Today Network and I also serve as the HR business partner for HR.

Linda: I am thrilled that you're our HR for HR represent thank you all for joining us so we're really happy that we've been invited back for those of you that this is your first time in our discussion we're just really excited to share a little about who we are our parent company as I said is Gannett which is headquartered in Mclean Virginia so who are we we're a global company which includes over a hundred local media sites in the US you may have a site locally to you Guam and the UK which is News Question we are very proud to say that we are in the top three in providing news and information we have a local to national and national reach to our iconic USA Today brand and all of these iconic institutions all form the USA Today Network and we're proud that we reach more than 125 million unique digital visitors every month empowering community to connect act and thrive we are a unified national wide media organization focused on the needs of our customers and businesses Brittney you want to tell us a little bit more about USA Today Network.

Brettany: Yes with the power of the USA Today Network we are proud to engage with our audience and a new and creative ways from landmark multimedia work including podcasts and award-winning investigative pieces to our sports lifestyle and entertainment reporting as you may know last year we won three pulitzer prizes the staff of the Arizona Republic in the USA Today Network for the Wall the staff of the Cincinnati Enquirer for seven days of heroine and writer Andy Dominic of the Des Moines Register won for her editorial writing we are the next-gen media solutions company that creates innovative products that reach our audience and unique in powerful ways.

Linda: And we are really proud of the work we're doing touring with inclusion and diversity I'm really proud to be sitting here with LaToya Johnson and can you give us a little bit more information about our inclusion and diversity maybe our statement.

LaToya: Absolutely thank you Linda so in researching best practices we found that top companies tell their story in a form of a short straightforward commitment to diversity and inclusion reference representing their commitment so we created our own story shared experiences diverse voices common connections united goals one network and to summarize this short sweet statement we live our purpose through our culture we're diverse voices backgrounds and experiences are fundamental to our success we value strengths in community progress in passion action with purpose and belief in people we solve problems together believe collaborating early and often is key to transparency and that our individuality drives innovation broadens connections and experts inspires growth with optimism and courage we still open and honest relationship encouraging putting ourselves in our customers shoes experimenting our way to find the answer taking on the big and the bold through informed risk-taking own our commitments help others to rise to their best selves respect and celebrate our diverse voices all while having fun along the way inclusion diversity and equity are essential to our culture and to our success of an organization our behaviors drive the way we do business including how we interact with each other our customers and our readers inclusion is what we do diversity is who we are and equity is how we operate when everyone can bring their whole self to work and feels included we are a much more productive and successful digital media network and that is our story.

Linda: Thank you I will say what I really love about and this is kind of a tip to our audience with our inclusion and diversity statement I really think it's powerful that we have our behaviors you know we like the fun along the way and talent acquisition just so you know but we add that to our statements which I think is the best process so we will continue to give you guys tips as we go interestingly enough let's talk through so a lot of what we did is based on the questions we received last time in our webinar we wanted to make sure that we gave you a little bit of them we have the what the last time so if you've seen that that webinar you'll see what we did what we really wanted to do is to give the how and so to go through that let's go a little bit one of the top questions we got last time was how did we get this how do we start how did we go through and develop this and how did we convince our leadership team LaToya do you want to go through a little bit of that for us.

LaToya: Sure so we would not have the impact that we do on what we do and we would not be able to share how we got there without starting with our leadership team and board of directors when we're asked how do you get buy-in from executive leaders well the answer is having a CEO who is accountable to our board of directors we are proud to have a board who are diverse in ethnicity and gender and also have diverse perspectives inclusion diversity and equity are top of mind with our board and is weaved into all that we do in all that we are accountable for so I'm going to talk to you a little bit about our CEO call to action so our CEO Bob Dickey a couple of years ago joined a list of CEO business leaders signing into a pledge to show our increased commitment to advancing diversity within our organization and fostering an inclusive environment this commitment consists of three I'm sorry this consists of three initial commitments designed to drive a more robust conversation on one of the most important business issues of our time first we will continue to make our four places a
safe trusting place to have complex and sometimes difficult conversations around inclusions diversity and equity we will share our best and unsuccessful practices and we will implement unconscious bias training as we move forward through this presentation you will hear me periodically reference our CEO call to action and actions that we have taken in each of these commitment areas.

Linda: Thank you so much so again last time we gave you the what during our webinar this year we wanted to share the how and very specific examples we had very engaging questions and we wanted to make sure we answer them all in this webinar we will want to frame this discussion through the employee lifecycle we will give you examples of our inclusion and diversity initiatives in each of these stages attraction recruitment which Brettney and I live and breathe every day onboarding development retention and separation so let's get started attraction we want to be able to build the top of our funnel with strong diverse talent so if I were to give you that number one recommendation that would be when we do anything with our recruitment strategy we put a diversity lens on everything we do so what does that mean so sometimes it's included in our print online and social media efforts we wanted to give you a specific example so in this scenario we had trouble finding diverse talent in York Pennsylvania so what did my recruiter do to try to attract a more diverse slate what he did was to work with the local team to create an ad campaign.

So this ad campaign which included grassroots efforts in the local community included signs posters banners I mean we can anything you do from an ad perspective like we did in this scenario and as you can see from this example our print digital social media images have a diverse lens but that wasn't really where we had all of our impact it was by working with the local community we worked with local Hispanic groups to help drive the campaign we were able to increase the hiring of people of color in Yorktown by 10 percent with this campaign I'm going to say that again we were really proud we had so much trouble and by adding a diversity lens and to partner with local groups we were able to see the results we don't so stop there since the last we met we have added several new features on our career page and I invite you all to to look to see what we've done we updated all the contents on our career site that seems like a given but what we also did was to add new landing pages specifically the inclusion page because as we were mentioning in our last webinar people want to be able to see themselves on your career site and feel like they could work there as well so we add an inclusion page we updated our benefits page and you can see some of the things on the slide that we added and as many of you know one of the best pools of diverse talent is early in career so we bolstered our internship page again we're just giving you four examples of what we added to our career site some specific examples that you can add as well to any of your strategies now the inclusion landing page was really something we're proud of Brettany do you want to go through a little bit of where they can find it and what we found.

Brettany: Sure adding the inclusion page we saw immediate results the inclusion page can be found on our career site it increased our total page views referral traffic in average time on each page we track this month-over-month and report out directly to our Chief People Officer and our CEO the numbers from July 2018 when we started to July 2018 were twelve hundred and forty-seven page views with one hundred and nine being referral traffic in an average time of 88 seconds spent on each page.

Linda: So for those keeping track we've just increased our track traffic again things that we would not have if we hadn't added an inclusion page thank you so much and I want to point out something that Brettany said we have a monthly report to our Chief People Officer who then gives a report to the CEO one of the things you'll see as a pretty common theme for us is we have goals we add a stretch goal and we hold ourselves accountable and you will see we are extremely data focused we feel that if you have the data it then is irrefutable and can tell your story but with recruitment it's more than just attracting talent what did we do we were asked last time what are we currently doing to increase the number of page views well sorry guys I feel like we've lost a slide let me just make sure it's not ahead of us nope so imagine this we had a sourcing strategy training that we gave to our recruiters and in this we were able to Brettany do you want to help me with this in to deliver that training last month.

Brettany: Yes so our biggest recommendation is to be present on campus getting to know the faculty to build better partnerships we posted campus events and done developmental workshops but speaking to this training specifically we held a diversity sourcing training with all of our recruiters and our talent acquisition managers providing them with examples of historically black universities female colleges diverse fraternities and sororities and diverse associations and they can use these for sourcing candidates we also provided examples of what diversity is and why it's important.

Linda: Thank you so much I'm apologize that we went a little bit out of order one of the things that we also then recognize is that one of the easiest ways to find top talent is to find this in our early and career so each of our recruiters create their own recruiting strategy here are just some of the examples of our campus strategy we found we had to start small in fact we started with three schools and we started with some historically black colleges and universities HBCUs our goal was to do more than just check the box at career fairs we met with the advisors built campus relationships hosts shadow days but I will say this more importantly we influenced curriculum and cornerstone projects our intention is to help frame out what students learn and how their event evaluated so we had several directors go to campus see their cornerstone projects and give feedback my recommendation the more you partner with schools the more opportunity you will have to meet with their best students last year we hosted over a hundred students from across the country for job shadows and tours this provided students the opportunity to get an inside look into the USA Today newsroom which I will say is very impressive meet with our team and learn what we're doing in the digital media space Brettany do you want to talk a little bit more about some of our other college campus Recommendations.

Brettany: So last year we spent a lot of time building our brand on campus so earlier this year we were part of a diversity breakfast which provided students the offered to get an inside look into the USA Today newsroom meet with our teams and learn about what we are doing in this new digital media space we added these students to our summer internship pipeline and for review by our teams we also hosted a women and media panel at Howard University where panelists included our director of Corporate Communications Editors writers and marketing professionals the event provided insight from women's perspective on a career in media and was also used as a motivational event over 30 students primarily women at Howard University attended and were able to participate in a Q&A and meet with the panelists after the event.

Linda: We've done a lot of work a lot of thought has been gone into both building our internship program and just our overall early in career strategy again the more you can be present I mentioned before we're a McLean based company and so it was easy for us to go and partner with Howard University you have universities across the United States a lot of times we're asked well how do we start just pick one and partner with them get to know their faculty get to know what their specialty are and to really be able to kind of deep dive in the more time again that you put in the more likely you're going to get a result so what do we do as I said before we have a goal we have a stretch goal and we have our metrics so what we pride ourselves on is keeping it real and for us we look at it from the interview slate perspective so as talent acquisition what do I ask my team I want to make sure that we are representing our consumer base in our interviews and we want to make sure our interview panel those are the people that interview are also have diversity so that again just like having an inclusion page we want to make sure people feel comfortable and they can see themselves working for us.

So again what we do is we keep an accountability to our CEO so in some respects I'm sharing here a snapshot which we share with our leadership team monthly these are not our exact numbers but we wanted to give you an understanding of what our interview slates look like we look at the diversity from a gender perspective and an ethnicity perspective and we do it here's a year to date so this was done in December I mean November and then we showed the December numbers again you can see the change month over month and then we want to make sure we give an all up year look we do find that some people because our application is self-identified we do give people the opportunity to say they're non-binary so sometimes we have a not identified in gender and again we do give them the opportunity to decline but we want to see our trends we want to show as managers we want to show our accountability to show that our recruiters are giving and attaining their goals and we can do this month over month and then throughout the year the thing that we added last year that we really have found very impactful is one of our biggest initiatives was to track director plus interview slates and hires we're trying to make a more conscientious decision on our roles specifically our leadership roles.

We want to make sure that these leadership to reflect the communities we serve again what did I say we did we do goals we have stretch goals in this case how did we get the numbers we look at the civilian labor force so the benchmark is 47 percent female and 38 percent people of colors what we've done is put a stretch to 50 percent female and 38 percent people of color again this is something that you will look at yourselves being able to see where you are and to kind of make a goal and then make sure you're sharing how you're going to keep yourselves accountable we received in our last webinar a lot of questions about how do we make sure that the interview process is fair that it's not biased so I'm going to have LaToya who ran this for us give you a synopsis of our unconscious bias training I took it my entire recruiting staff took it the hiring managers and interview panels all took this and we really found some profound results LaToya.

LaToya: Thanks Linda so as everyone recalls at the beginning of this presentation we talked about our CEO call to action and our three commitment areas so this is our first commitment area that we're going to talk about we implement it unconscious bias training last year so inclusion diversity and equity going back to last year was added through our annual required company provided trainings beginning with the topic of unconscious bias how to recognize it and what you can do about it we partnered with Ibis Consulting Group who developed an effective elearning course effective elearning courses that were interactive engaging rich and content and included videos and exercises we focused on bias in three areas we started with an introduction to unconscious bias where bias is defined and key biases that negatively impact the workplace and steps that can be taken to overcome it in addition the course focused on multicultural teamwork and cross-functional communications interactions and being an ally next as Linda mentioned our entire talent acquisition team too far to part and unconscious bias in recruitment and hiring that discuss the impact of unconscious bias can have on decisions during three key phases of the hiring process job postings resume reviews and the interview process finally or our organizational development and learning team took part in unconscious bias and career development and performance feedback that highlighted some of the most common and harmful biases that can undermine performance feedback and career development at the end of each module we included a survey that enabled employees to give their thoughts and feedback as you can see here our training well received and feedback has since been applied and some of our initiatives in addition to our follow-up training that's happening later on this year.

Linda: It's very exciting that we're doing this and I really we hear a lot of positive feedback that we use so what do we do during onboarding again this is something that we pride ourselves on so the last time we spoke we talked a little bit about surveys and so I do have an update on what we've done so we started doing our surveys in Survey Monkey free subscription easy we then have graduated to Glint which is a enterprise wide platform that we're using and so one of the things we felt very strongly to do in our new hire survey we have new hires after being here about sixty days to answer whether they agree or disagree with this statement or so it's a five prong it strongly agree agree neutral disagree or strongly disagree I feel comfortable being myself at work and not only are we asking this but we're making sure we're translating our surveys into Spanish French and Portuguese to make sure we have again the inclusion piece to make sure people are comfortable in their native tongue the response from this we will talk a little bit about our employee resource groups our ERG s and our ally campaign let's go through our employee resources groups now as LaToya heads this would you like to walk us through this LaToya.

LaToya: Absolutely so that's our CEO call to action commitment number two we are going to talk about how we make our workplace a safe trusting trusting place to have complex and sometimes difficult conversations about inclusion diversity and equity so we're going to start with our employee resource groups these groups are diverse employee driven groups joined together based on shared characteristics for life experiences all in the pursuit of recruiting diverse talent strengthening professional growth personal growth and most importantly being inclusive without being exclusive our ERGs are diverse and memberships open to all employees insert as a resource for learning and building connections whether it's through membership or as an allies our ERG s are instrumental in advancing our culture in addition they continue to research share and implement best practices our ERG tackle on a number of diverse themes throughout the year including work-life balance unconscious bias understanding the needs of introverts and extroverts personal and career development and ways to better connect with the communities that we serve.

We have currently six employee resource groups and we will continue to grow over time and I'm going to talk a little bit about each of our employee resource groups starting with african-american forward that focuses on expanding and empowering black leaders here at Gannett this group provides a platform for employees of color to elevate their voices and grow their careers within a network of mentors and allies at all levels of the organization in our face forward welcomes fosters and celebrates faiths and religious diversity across Gannett focusing on educating and understanding employees of all religions beliefs and traditions that are reflective of the communities that we serve military forward is committed to bring together the community of veterans active military members families and allies to promote the understanding of the service community and culture as well as helping them transition to civilian life next gen forward is an open forum for idea exchange for employees who want to understand and embrace generational differences that ultimately drive organizational success while making positive social and community impacts pride ford welcomes all Gannett employees lgbtqia+ and allies to join and engage in conversations and take actions to improve the lives of all people with the community regardless of orientation gender expression and gender identity and finally women.

Ford connects employees across the network focusing on gender equality in the workplace through understanding leveraging and the capabilities of employees at all levels through personal and professional development a focus area for us this year and beyond is to position our ERG s to be a true source not only to employees but to the business as well as we continue to tackle on current events as well as serving as an additional pipeline for attracting and retaining talent you can learn more about our employee resource groups by visiting our newly enhanced inclusion page Brettany mentioned earlier on our career site.

Linda: Thank you so much I will say I think these groups are a cornerstone of what we're doing I mean even things such as the difference in working with extroverts and introverts I mean we tackle these during the discussion because then again the idea is for inclusion not just if you're part of maybe identify with one of these groups but it's for any Gannet employees so thank you so much for leading this LaToya from a development standpoint a lot of this is also about inclusion so LaToya do you want to talk about our ally campaign because that really is an area of development that we have in that make everyone feel included.

LaToya: Yes this is a campaign that as a company we are especially proud of so addressing our third commitment and our CEO call-to-action is sharing best practices so during our introduction to unconscious bias elearning course last year there was a featured segment that talked about how to go from being a bystander to being an ally in the workplace rather than focusing on being an ally to a specific group we created a campaign that focuses on educating empowering and embracing everyone regardless of differences our ally campaign is a company-wide initiative to educate and encourage employees to support and stand up for others in the workplace all in efforts are providing an environment where everyone feels welcome included in values in addition we are committed to having a workplace again where everyone feels safe and open to have difficult conversations about inclusion diversity and faculty and so just to share a couple of tips on how to be an ally you have to be supportive meaning educating your and emphasizing with others two be aware embracing and recognizing both differences and commonalities and as you recall is something that's included in our inclusion statement as well both differences and commonalities listening to different points of view giving equal voices to all number four empowering yourself and others be brazen interactions conversations and actions still a stepping stone for more inclusive and collaborative environments and finally taking action stopping inappropriate actions joining and participating in our employee resource groups and just being open to having open conversations and summary being an ally just isn't a status or identity it's taking action to help others.

We invite and encourage our employees to signal their support and letting others know that they are an ally by simply either posting this posting in their work area or include it as part of their email signature this poster as you see on your right represents who we are as an organization which was a result of several focus groups where we asked employees what being an ally means to them as well as what inclusion diversity and equity means to them for this campaign it was really important for us that it represented our story everyone was involved in the creation of this campaign and everyone's words were used in the background just simple action statement on what inclusion means to them so our diversity and inclusion headlines diversity is who we are and it's what we do and our three pillars educate empowering and embracing is all in effort to ensure full inclusion for Everyone.

Linda: And so those of you that might be taking notes I think the takeaway is we didn't just do this in a bubble this wasn't day LaToya I thought this would be a great opportunity to highlight this from research that she's done we actually did focus groups to make sure that what we said resonated with our employees and that goes along a little bit with what we want with retention so our recommendation for retention what why do you want to talk a little bit about focus areas and and and the fact that we listen to our Employees.

LaToya: Yes so I'm going to pretty much summarize this slide so these are our 29 focus areas where our theme this year is everybody is in so we're going to continue to embed inclusion diversity and equity and values priorities and goals in our DNA so we have it broken down in three buckets accountability leading by example a place of belonging and taking action so we talked about inclusion trainings and seminars earlier and we added inclusion diversity and equity to our portfolio company provided trainings we also launched our ally campaign and we are expanding our employee resource groups to be a true impact to the business which serves as a place for educating having open conversations and being a sounding board for bringing up complex topics in addition tapping our ERGs to set them up as advisors in attracting diverse talent and succession planning encouraging leaders to be conscious of unconscious bias our employee poll survey.

So we conduct a periodic survey to help us understand our progress and to hear from our workforce we use our surveys for everything we believe it's truly important to listen to our workforce survey questions cover topics such as how comfortable employees are and bringing their true self to work their openness to diversity related conversations and fair practices to support our inclusion diversity and equity efforts some examples are where our work there's a sense of inclusion regardless of differences my work environment is open to having conversations around the topics of inclusion diversity and equity we have groups called our employee resource groups ERG executive sponsors so our executive sponsors serve as advocates within the USA Today Network to help employees understand and support our mission to maintain a culture of inclusion and engagement where everyone feels like they belong in addition they serve as a coach to providing a senior leadership swim to the business of justise informing mission and vision of ERGs while mentoring and evaluating new network of emerging leaders so as I talked about our employee resource groups earlier each of our six employee resource groups have a sponsor at our executive level we are going to continue to recruit and retain a diverse workforce at all levels.

We are holding ourselves accountable and our employees experience ensuring everyone feels welcome valued and leveraged in addition we are committed to focusing on greater inclusion of women people of color the LGBTQIA+ community those with disabilities veterans generational differences I’m sorry generational workforce and diversity of thought and other underrepresented groups and leadership roles it is essential that our employees content and products are are reflective of the communities that we serve made us of a diverse mix of identities experiences and perspectives serving as a source of strength towards emerging both individuality and diversity now we are not by any means done yet we are continuing the momentum we've built and remain confident that we'll continue to raise the bar even higher by embedding our inclusion diversity and equity values priorities and goals within our existing day-to-day.

Linda: I love this model here because these are words and so the larger words are the ones that we had more often than the other and so when you look at this you can see that people believe in respect being safe in their environments champion I mean the words here are really powerful I really appreciated that the group and the focus groups were able to come up with this and then we were able to build our strategy based on that again the idea is there's no cookie cutter way of doing this it's something that you really need to work with your organization make sure there's an inclusion you can't really have diversity without inclusion and equity and work without the other they do not work without the other and so the fact that we are engaging our employees in building this is really where we're channeling some success so thank you LaToya I'm sure people are like scratching their head saying how in the world are they doing and making sure there's inclusion and diversity and equity and the separation when an employee leaves well like everything else we measure our success LaToya do you want to go through a little bit about our exit interviews and what you're finding you're wearing your HR business partner hat when you when you talk about this.

LaToya: Absolutely so we want to continue to measure our progress and hear the voices of our employees not only current employees but employees are leaving the organization as well so our exit interviews counts and it's all part of the process of sustaining our efforts best practice has shown that we really need to keep it simple and we only focus on 9 key questions taking from glimpse who's our survey partner that Linda talked about earlier mythology so we focus on six key objectives so capturing employees overall experience so from a culture perspective company-wide all drilling all the way down to their team culture two understanding employees perceptions of the work itself gain insight into managers leadership styles and effectiveness learn about HR benchmarks such as culture salary census at competing organizations fostering innovation by soliciting ideas for improving the organization's and creating lifelong advocates for the organization so from an HR business partner perspective we look at these results from our exit surveys and we take them back to our leaders and we see what we're doing well where we can improve on and continuing as I mentioned before to raise the bar even higher also as Linda mentioned we keep ourselves accountable in really being data-driven which will continue to be a critical focus area for us.

Linda: Thank you so for our audience we started out with attraction we went to recruiting we went through each stage including separation of the employee I hope you've taken away some tidbit learn some best practices saw our methodology again our methodology is very specific it's very goal and data-driven based on employee interactions Angela I think we're done with our piece that we have from a presentation standpoint did we have any questions.

Angela: Thank You Linda yeah actually we have a bunch of questions from the audience so I'll get started on the first one I see here is a really good one it's how do I get started on diversity hiring.

Linda: Its Linda again I'll take that I think it's just start you know it sounds simple when I say that but the thing that you really need to look at it you need to look at your own business see where you can make impact see how you can add so again our recruiters use a diversity lens when we're trying to do anything with an attraction when we are trying to recruit people we add HBCUs fraternities and sororities even schools that we know are clothes that are female orientated that we know we know in LinkedIn that people are proud of their alma mater they're proud of their fraternities and sororities and so if you add keywords to your boolean searches talking to all your sources or recruiters out there you will see more diversity in your talent pools when you add some keyword phrases again such as colleges and fraternities and sororities.

I mean that's your basic somewhere you can begin I mean it depends on where you are as an organization if you're in talent acquisition you have that control and that's the reason why we do interview slate management because we know we can present interviews and people of both people of color and gender diversity in to our interview slates and then we need to work with our hiring managers interestingly enough sometimes it's starting or diversity hired by talking to your leaders as well so there's a variety of ways but my top recommendation that we want to share is just get started think about what you have control over what you can do and then keep yourselves accountable and then share the good work internal branding especially for talent

Angela: Thank You Linda actually you touched on one point that brings me to my next question which is how do I convince my leadership team that diversity hiring is something we need to focus on.

LaToya: Awesome awesome question this is LaToya so I'll take that one so here at the net inclusivity is not just a mindset it's a continuous journey a journey for our organization and employees at all levels our strategy is to incorporate inclusion diversity and equity and everything we do every day throughout our employees lifecycle we leverage inclusion diversity and equity in conjunction with our business core values and behaviors from attracting developing and retaining talent through all facets in the employee like life cycle like hiring and onboarding employee and leadership development employee engagement retention and being conscious of unconscious bias we are building a culture where everyone feels comfortable being their authentic self we are accountable to our entire employee base to ensure all employees feel welcome included valued and leveraged and as I mentioned before we are really committed to focusing on a greater inclusion of women people of color LGBTQIA generational differences those with different facilities veterans and diversity of thought and other underrepresented groups across our network and it starts from the board of directors to our executive leadership team and throughout the organization it is essential that our employees content and products are reflective of the communities that we serve and inclusion is everyone's responsibilities are entire ecosystem of stakeholders will work together in collaboration while actively supporting one another and building a meaningful inclusive and diverse workplace with everyone having an equal access to success so we will continue to progress in this journey.

Linda: I think it's also just a conversation that we have with our leaders as well the thing is we know one of the things it's easy for the USA Today Network is we are digital media we know that our consumers are the ones that are spending the dollars so sometimes it's going to your leaders to express that diverse companies with diverse products make more money.

Brettany: They do they do I was just going to say that studies have shown that companies with employees coming from diverse backgrounds are more creative and perform better by up to 35% compared to non diversity.

Angela: Thank You anyone Brettany else have anything else to add to that I think we covered that Angela okay sounds good yeah we've got a ton more questions to ask so let me go on to the next one so I have a question here about do you have an example of a diversity inclusion Metric.

Linda: Yes I will save this so interestingly enough we talked a lot about setting goals then maybe setting a stretch goal and then having the data to tell the story so specifically we start out with our application we ask people to self-identify and if we have that information this is how the genesis of that happened we were asking that piece we were asking gender we were asking ethnicity we were asking if they were veterans and then also if there was a someone that needed accommodation if there was any disabilities yeah we were collecting all this data and not doing anything with it not doing any reporting on it and so we talked to our people analytics team to understand the civilian workforce and what could we expect what could we expect as an average for our interview slates that's where we came up with the 47% gender and 38% people of color we made that the first year and so we wanted to stretch that and looking at the demographics we increase that to 50% and so each year we'll look at that if we can add the strategies to be able to accommodate increasing that we will.

But again it's so important to have that diversity so you might say well I don't ask those questions it's not required of us what else can we do from as an example for diversity and inclusion metrics well we can also then add hiring so we do an EEO statement we know who were hire we ask them to self-identify if you cancel your interview site then do your hiring this becomes a more enterprise-wide conversation you're talking to your hiring managers one of the reasons why we have success is that those goals are not just people team goals those those goals are not just the recruiters HR business partners but our leaders have those same goals again with the idea on what Brettany I just love having those statistics handy having that conversation on you know having a diverse workforce what do we need to be there if you're not already there what do you need what steps do you need to get there that's where you have that's where we built our diversity metrics and then that's ones we can move forward to also then reiterate we look to add our survey data and remember what I said that can be free you can do a survey monkey you don't have to spend money on a platform if you don't need to for us it was something that we wanted to have Glint which was a platform that integrated with our payroll system.

That we can get the information on our employee so we can be more automated on that which has been extremely helpful but then set your metrics on what percentage agree or disagree with those statements and what we found is we were able to build the idea of the ERG's and the ally campaign based on that and then LaToya has metrics on how many people took on unconscious bias training again it's people think we can be able to regulate the percentages that we said a hundred percent of our recruiters needed to take it 100 percent of our HR business partners but those everything that we said had a metric attached and so that's exactly what my recommendation is a diversity metrics can be found at every stage of the employee lifecycle you just need to find them from your Organization.

Angela: Thank you Linda actually that's a perfect segue to the next question that we have here from the audience which is what part of the employee lifecycle is most important to diversity hiring that's a good question I think it depends.

Linda: That's a good question who you talk to on what's the end simple we're all smiling here when when we say that but I think from a talent acquisition again the talent acquisition team can control what our advertising looks like the search strings the boolean search strings that we have I think where we are most impactful and the one where maybe most important would be the conversations with the hiring managers and so what I would say to that is as a strong recruiter you should have a consultative conversation with your hiring manager and then hiring managers that at the kickoff call so at the very beginning of your rec review process you should be having a conversation about who's interviewing do we have a diverse interviewer so will people feel comfortable when they interview with us and see themselves working here are we representing ourselves in our interview panel and then also what are our goals on your team what talent gaps you have like these are consultative conversations that we can have that really can be that one-on-one conversation any good recruiter is having a kickoff call with our hiring managers we're all notting our heads some of us have HR business partners as part of that conversation so we can see the whole story because HR business partners partner with talent acquisition on the overall talent for the organization's that's why LaToya you might disagree with me but I think the conversation with the hiring manager setting expectation and making sure that you start the recruitment right is what I think is the most important for our diversity hiring.

LaToya: And just from inclusion diversity and equity perspective I find that all stages are equally as important it's all about the employee experience from the beginning and throughout we're not only just interviewing candidates but they're interviewing us as well so we want to set ourselves up as an organization to showcase our commitment to inclusion diversity and equity starting with our inclusion landing page and as Linda was mentioning we want people to be able to see themselves here and to be able to see themselves grow here and want to stay here from a current employee perspective.

Linda: And let's not forget anyone that interviews with us may be a consumer depending on your company you work for so what do we want to do we want to make sure that we're giving everyone a very positive candidate experience and every recruiter and I'm talking as a TA leader we need to make sure recruiters have good value proposition conversations with them as well so I it kind of goes back again I'm still taking it back to the beginning conversation that recruiters have with their with their hiring managers but yes if we don't have that inclusion upfront the value proposition Candidates experience we're going to find that we sometimes may lose a consumer.

LaToya: Yep and we're going to continue to be data driven I mean we ask our when we bring people on board we ask them what their overall experience was so that we can continue to measure our progress there and make tweaks where we need to agreed.

Angela: Got it thank you both we're winding down on time now unfortunately so we just have time for one more question and the question is do you have benchmark numbers that show success.

Linda: Yes I mean the interview slate information is a success but it's our hiring you know the one area that I will say that we should all take a look at is our director and above hiring we've been diligent in our interviews Slade's not always make it every month so I'm not going to try to paint a picture on that but we are having the conversations we want to make sure from a gender perspective we're about 50/50 just like our consumer base is about 50/50 and we want to make sure from especially your art director plus our directors and above is also if they're anywhere between 30 and 40 percent we want to be anywhere between 30 and 40 percent and I think especially from our company perspective you know it's something that comes from our CEO it comes from our board it comes from the talent acquisition team it comes from the HR business partners in our conversations but these really are again look at your civilian workforce look at your own numbers like we all have numbers in our system again it kind of goes back to that first question which was how do you start in some respects even your benchmarks start with you take a benchmark pulse look to see where you're starting then make a goal then try to meet those goals then try to have a stretch goal but then keep yourselves constantly in communication with the people th at you feel are most important which may be your HR business partners or your hiring managers and then our Leaders.

LaToya: And it really goes back to why we're here today right discussing the importance on inclusion diversity and equity and making it part of our DNA and you know and instilling those practices throughout the process so becomes part of our overall culture.

Linda: I think we're up at a time there may be other questions you can only send them to us.

Angela: Yes unfortunately we are all out of time there are a lot more questions unfortunately that we did not get to but just to note for the audience that we will be forwarding all of your questions to the USA Today Network team to try and get those answered for you so I want to thank everyone again for joining our webinar today and hope you all have a wonderful day and they looking for Presenters.

Linda: And thanks for having us again we're happy to do this 2.0 version Thank You Angela.

Angela: Yes definitely thank you thank you all for joining.