ERS' Servant Leadership Team will serve as champions for the new Affinity Groups. VP of Middle Market and Ministry Megan Bradford leads the Young Professionals Group, VP of Affordable Living Jimmy Wilson leads the Women In Leadership Group, and VP of Marketing and PR Bryan Reynolds leads the Multicultural Group.
The second-year results are in
Episcopal Retirement Services has released its second annual Scorecard for its We Can Do Better initiative to improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the organization.
The effort showed progress in several areas, including efforts that should sow further improvements in the coming years.
“I’m constantly reminded that you can only manage what you measure,” said ERS President and CEO Laura Lamb. “This time last year, we unveiled our first We Can Do Better Scorecard.”
We Can Do Better is an initiative ERS launched in 2020 in response to the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. RELATED: We Can Do Better: A Letter from ERS President and CEO Laura Lamb.
The We Can Do Better effort aims to employ more BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color) people and add diversity in other aspects of the organization, including how many residents from under-represented groups, such as LGBTQ, live on ERS campuses.
“We’ve had this process of measuring what we want to improve for a year now,” Lamb said. “You have to ask yourself the question, ‘Did you change anything?’ and we have. We absolutely have.”
Affordable Living’s Development Project Manager Janet Westrich, and Marjorie P. Lee’s Administrative and Volunteer Services Manager Katrina Traylor are two of the co-chairs for the newly formed Affinity Groups. Additional co-leaders will be identified in the coming months.
In a letter to team members this week, Lamb wrote: “I am proud to share that we have made progress from 2021-2022, but as we know, we can do better.”
Highlights from the report
- The first-ever recipient of the Lauren Brown Empowerment Fund was awarded money to help her continue pursuing her college education by paying off some bills that would have prevented her from paying tuition and also provided her with reliable transportation. The award, created for the late beloved ERS employee Lauren Brown, provides non-traditional funds, beyond scholarships for schools’ housing and tuition, to racial minorities to help them advance their careers. Meanwhile, the Lauren Brown Empowerment Fund has received $130,000 from private donors and $130,000 in planned future gifts.
- ERS is now recruiting from 32 under-represented sources, an increase from 6 in 2021. “We believe that if you want to make sure that your workforce is diverse, then you have to be intentional with your recruitment,” Lamb said. She called that a “huge increase” and credited Vice President of Human Resources Joan Wetzel and ERS’ Director of Talent Acquisition Madeleine Kipperman, who “has really put her heart and soul into this.”
- The turnover of under-represented team members, which includes BIPOC and LGBTQ employees, is lower than the organization’s overall rate: “We’re retaining them, to the rate of 8.8 percent turnover, compared to that higher company-wide of 16 percent…. That’s another good success story.”
- ERS, which previously had one “Affinity Group” that focuses on mentoring young professionals, now has three. The added groups were created to mentor BIPOC team members and women.
- Team members also were given the opportunity to add the pronouns they wish to be known by on their email addresses, to help them express how they self-identify.
Here is a link to the We Can Do Better Scorecard.
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