The 2023 Fleet Response Diversity and Inclusion Committee

In effort to maintain and strengthen our award-winning culture at Fleet Response, we ensure that all employees feel that their voices are being heard. To align with that vision, the Fleet Response Diversity and Inclusion Committee was created in January of 2020 with the goal of building an inclusive culture that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our employees.

Now in its fourth term, the D&I committee is planning several impactful initiatives for 2023. This year’s committee consists of 12 members. The members include Angela Anderson (HR Sponsor), Lucy Avsharian (Chair), Jorge Rincon (Co-Chair), Michael Miller (Executive Sponsor), Lisa Bauman, Sarah Curry, Veronica Garcia, Bill Keller, Denise Lowery, Kelly Medcalf, Kylie Weaver, and Marina White.

The committee meets bi-weekly to discuss goals, outcomes, and objectives, as well as execute program initiatives.

In past terms, the committee has planned initiatives such as bringing in guest speakers, interactive games / challenges for employees, informational resources, and a multi-cultural food day.

In the 2023 term, the D&I Committee has already executed several impactful initiatives. In May, the committee created a PowerPoint focused on mental health awareness, providing valuable information as well as internal and external resources on how to get help, hotline numbers, ways to cope with mental health, and organizations that focus on mental health awareness. In June, to celebrate pride month, the committee created internal posts to bring awareness and support the LGBTQ+ community. Posts included allyship and what it means to be an ally, pronouns, LGBTQ+ activists, and LGBTQ+ supportive organizations.

The committee also planned a company-wide charity challenge to support The Edna House, an alcohol and drug recovery program for women, based in Cleveland, Ohio. The charity drive helped the Edna House restock their shelves with basic needs for the women within their care. Items being donated include hair care products, skin care products, deodorant, razors, toothpaste, and other hygiene products.

Jorge Rincon:

What are some of the goals for this term?

Our goal is to boost awareness in our organization about different types of diversity, appreciating differences among co-workers, providing knowledge and strategies to enhance interpersonal communications to help build a positive workplace for everyone.  We are also working with Human Resources to revamp employment publications and make them accessible and appealing to individuals from all backgrounds, including people with disabilities.

What made you want to join the Diversity and Inclusion Committee?

It was an opportunity for me to learn and gain valuable insights, develop my understanding of different cultures and perspectives, and contribute to shaping a more inclusive culture in our organization.

What does Diversity and Inclusion mean to you?

Diversity is about recognizing and celebrating the richness of differences among individuals and Inclusion, on the other hand is the practice of ensuring that all individuals have equal access to opportunities and support to be themselves.

Lucy Avsharian:

What are some of the goals for this term?

One of the main goals for the D&I Committee this term is to implement Disability Awareness. Another goal is to constantly educate everyone as to what D&I really is, what it entails and help to support equity for all employees.

What made you want to join the Diversity and Inclusion Committee?

As much as I do my best to be an inclusive leader, I do believe that there could still be opportunities to learn more. By connecting and engaging together with our thoughts and knowledge, we will make a positive impact in our workplace.  I believe in the importance of promoting D&I in the workplace and love being part of the solution to address these important issues.

What does Diversity and Inclusion mean to you?

Diversity & Inclusion to me means unity! No matter who we are, what we do, or what we know, we are all the same.  Every individual needs to be valued, supported, and respected regardless of their differences.  In the workplace environment, we need to make every employee feel valued while also acknowledging their differences and how their differences contribute to the organizational culture and the business outcome.  It is very important to make an employee feel that their idea, presence, and any contributions they have are truly valued in the organization.

Lisa Bauman:

What made you want to join the Diversity and Inclusion Committee?

I joined the committee to make my voice heard. There are many important issues in the world and the work force, and I would like to help.

What does Diversity and Inclusion mean to you?

D&I means that all people deserve a voice and equal treatment. In the workplace, there should not be a barrier between anyone being able to do their job. Whether it is ability or disability, race, religious beliefs, or any other reason, all are welcome.

Denise Lowery:

What made you want to join the Diversity and Inclusion Committee?

We had a chance to speak with some members of the committee and hear about what diversity and inclusion means to them, why they joined the committee, and what goals they have for this term. Between my passion for sustainability, which can only be attained with dedication from as many people as possible to help heal the Earth, my driving force of my three daughters, my personal experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and feminism movement, and love for all people and empathetic tendencies, I was very excited by and quickly jumped into the opportunity to have a hand in the company positively impacting all kinds of people.

What does Diversity and Inclusion mean to you?

It means coming together, learning together, and growing together. We can’t make the Earth a better place if we are divided.

Marina White:

What made you want to join the Diversity and Inclusion Committee?

I wanted to join the diversity and inclusion committee simply because of what this committee stands for. I was raised attending protests from the age of two years old and learned to use my voice for things that are important to me and the greater good.  The topics we discuss in diversity and inclusion are so important not just to our company and how we interact and manage things here at Fleet Response day to day, but also outside of work in every aspect of our lives. I joined because I wanted to help make a difference.

What does Diversity and Inclusion mean to you?

Diversity and inclusion mean everything to me. As someone with disabilities, the fight for inclusion seems to never end. This means ensuring equity vs. equality in some situations and that everyone is respected and given a voice. This also means we look for ways for people to have the means to live their lives more than just surviving but thriving as best as possible given their situation. The world consists of so many different people, but it feels that the system we have been operating on is not made for everyone in mind. We as a country and world have come a long way, but there is so much more that needs to be done in all aspects of diversity and inclusion across the board. All we can do is our best to treat everyone with the respect they deserve just simply because they are a fellow human on this earth.

 

The committee will continue to advocate for the diverse voices of our employees and maintain a strong culture and healthy work environment where employees feel safe, heard, and valued. The 2023 Diversity and Inclusion Committee is off to a great start, and we are excited to see what the remainder of the term brings!