The events of the last two weeks have awakened our country and our company in a significant and meaningful way around the topic of race. Perhaps we have learned more, listened more and understood more about this real issue than any other time in our country’s history. And, it is my hope, that these “mores” are enough to catalyze lasting change.
Racism is wrong.
As a company, we must do our part in establishing more frequent, meaningful, persistent and foundational actions and reminders of this fact inside our walls and out.
Earlier in the week, I committed to taking the first steps to start a longer dialogue about this issue. This is not a one and done effort, but the starting point. I did not want The Dude to join the ranks of companies tossing out empty words without real muscle behind them.
Here are seven concrete actions we are taking to begin the work:
- We will sponsor ongoing lunch & learns organized by D&I employee resource group “Hues of Dude” on topics such as “how to be an ally?” starting this Friday, June 5.
- Unconscious Bias Training is now available to ALL Dude Solutions employees. It is mandatory for people leaders (myself included).
- We will annually sponsor three Historically Black College/University (HBC/U) internships at Dude Solutions. We will start the programs this year.
- We will continue our work in supporting a national group call Blacks in Technology on a recently approved Raleigh/Durham franchise that is being co-sponsored by several Dudes. This effort started back in February.
- We will co-fund an initiative specifically aimed at supporting the Black community through our internal philanthropy program, The Good Dude.
- We will broaden the scope of our executive & senior leadership team mentoring program to include a wider and more diverse audience.
- We will ensure the Diversity & Inclusion committee is well funded, well-resourced and given frequent airtime through company communication channels and meetings to ensure it stays at the front of our minds.
On a personal level, I will be donating $2,000 a year to help fund a scholarship at a local HBC/U.
Though these actions may be more targeted to the events of the last week, they are a micro of a broader macro.
Our investors, Clearlake, are staunchly supportive of Diversity & Inclusion efforts. Owned, founded and predominantly staffed by non-Caucasians, there is no doubt where our backers stand.
As CEO, and even more as a human being, I want the company I am part of to feature a level playing field for every team member.
Any race. Any religious belief. Any gender. Any sexual preference.
When we choose to work at Dude Solutions, we will choose to treat each other with dignity, respect and fairness. There is no margin on this point. There will be no debate. The Dude will be a safe and fair place for people to practice their chosen craft.
Dudes will judge one another’s merit only on what skills they bring to the table.
-Ed Roshitsh, CEO of Dude Solutions
Read Dude Solutions' statement on #blackouttuesday here.