E-REP Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Pledge

DEIB COMMITMENT PLEDGE

The Evansville Regional Economic Partnership (E-REP) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB)
Pledge challenges the region’s business community to build a more inclusive economy based on equal opportunity for people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, people with disabilities
and individuals from other historically marginalized communities, as well as to address the damage
caused by systemic racism.

Join E-REP and other organizations in our shared commitment to pursuing inclusivity and equality for the underrepresented and marginalized, increase transparency
around your organizations conscious efforts to attack poverty, narrow the racial wealth gap, and increase equity for your employees and for all residents
of the Evansville Region.

WE will use our power, influence and position to amplify unheard voices, endorse policies, and implement practices that lead to equitable opportunities for all. 

WE will improve the employment, training, wage equity, growth potential, advancement, support and success of Black and Brown people in our workplace, workforce and marketplace, and commit to ways that minority-owned businesses are intentionally included in pipeline opportunities. We will pledge to remove barriers, diversify our talent pool, and create upward- mobility employment opportunities through implementing skills-based hiring as an innovative hiring practice.

WE will continue ongoing conversations with our region’s leaders to collectively address issues of social injustice, racism, and biases in our communities and organizations, confirming within the organization that DEIB is a strategic imperative with demonstrated commitment and actions. 

WE acknowledge the critical importance of accountability to our community and pledge to collaborate in annual efforts to track and report our contributions to the collective (regional) goal of creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive business community.

ORGANIZATIONS COMMITED
TO THE E-REP DEIB PLEDGE:
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  • Your Organization Name Here
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GUIDING PRINCIPLES:

INSTITUTING FORMAL DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION POLICIES.

Establishing a formal DEIB policy keeps company leadership accountable and ensures that inclusion is prioritized at all levels within the company. Developing a formal policy ensures that all employees understand the company’s commitment to inclusion and creates the expectation to act when confronted with injustices. Unconscious bias training for company leadership is an important component to this policy so leaders can learn about challenges facing minority employees and effective ways to address other systemic issues.

DEVELOPING & EMPOWERING BLACK TALENT.

Black residents often face barriers to accessing high-paying jobs and building generational wealth. It is important the business community works to support the Black Community by reviewing hiring practices and working to ensure companies and their leadership are representative of the community they serve.

SUPPORTING BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES THROUGH EQUITABLE VENDOR SPEND.

Awareness of vendor spend is an important component of promoting diversity and ensuring equitable opportunities for the Black Community to build wealth. Setting a tangible goal to diversify suppliers will allow companies to work with their Tier 1 and 2 suppliers and vendors, and ensure they are equitably spending their money and supporting Black-owned businesses in the Evansville Region.

CHAMPIONING TRANSPARENCY.

Equity will not be achieved overnight, and transparency is key to allowing for course-correction along the way. Companies should be empowered to set their own goals and metrics and report to their employees, stakeholders, and community accordingly. We encourage you to utilize community resources that provide suggested metrics for reporting and sharing with your specific stakeholders.

BUILDING EMPATHY THROUGH MENTORSHIP.

Mentorships help to cultivate young leaders and talent within the community. Often, mentorships are limited based on personal networks which has traditionally left Black professionals at a disadvantage. Companies should encourage their leadership to mentor disadvantaged youth in partnership with community organizations as well as develop internal mentorship programs for employees.

In addition, reverse mentoring offers leaders an opportunity to build empathy by walking in the shoes of a Black employee and uncovering unconscious bias that exists within their company.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

BY TAKING THIS PLEDGE, WILL I HAVE TO TAKE ON EVERY ACTION MENTIONED?

No, E-REP recognizes and respects that companies have different priorities and capacities and must be realistic in the steps they can take to address diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. The above recommendations should serve as a starting point and we encourage companies to address as many items as possible outlined in the pledge. We also recognize this list is not comprehensive and support ingenuity throughout our shared journey toward inclusion. For instance, a smaller company may begin its efforts by participating in a job fair that is hosted in a diverse community or making an intentional effort to market and promote current job opportunities in those diverse communities, while a larger company may be equipped to hire a consultant/liaison, fund a scholarship at a local institution, and/or offer a paid apprentice/internship.

MY COMPANY OPERATES OUTSIDE OF THE EVANSVILLE REGION; WILL WE BE EXPECTED TO IMPLEMENT THESE ACTIONS NATIONALLY?

No, the E-REP DEIB Pledge focuses on the needs of the Evansville Region. Our goal is to address racial inequity in the region, although we understand these problems are not exclusive to the Evansville Region. We expect companies to do what is realistic for them and their operations, but we encourage your company to address diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging where possible and practical.

MY COMPANY HAS ALREADY IMPLEMENTED ITEMS OUTLINED IN THIS PLEDGE. SHOULD WE STILL SIGN ON?

Yes! This pledge is not all-encompassing but rather is designed to make sure companies in our region are able to maximize their diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts. We applaud your company for being a trailblazer in our community and committing to increased awareness and action around these important equity issues. We encourage you to sign on to this pledge as a continuation of your commitment to equity as you continue to seek innovative ways to create a more inclusive community. We also encourage you to work with your fellow businesses to share best practices and lessons learned.

WHERE CAN I ACCESS MORE RESOURCES TO HELP ME ACHIEVE THE GOALS OF THIS PLEDGE?

E-REP has created a DEIB Toolkit for all companies and organizations to utilize. You can find it here. While this toolkit will be available for all companies to consider and utilize as they commit to the E-REP DEIB Pledge, it is not mandatory for participation in the pledge.

DOES MY CEO HAVE TO SIGN THIS INITIATIVE ON BEHALF OF THE COMPANY?

Commitment from top leadership strengthens company buy-in and sets a standard for accountability. We ask that your company’s commitment to E-REP’s DEIB Pledge come directly from your CEO or top leader (in this community) and top-ranking business leadership at your company. Multiple signatures are encouraged in an effort to show company solidarity across those who lead departments, especially on a local level.