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Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at FTG

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Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) at FTG

You can click on the icons below to quickly navigate the sections within this page.

At FTG, we believe in the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. More specifically, we believe in the diversity of thoughts, ideas, beliefs, experiences, and the inclusion of people regardless of their race, color, sex, language, national origin, religion, orientation, or age.

AT FTG, we recognize that we can do more. We need to listen more, we need to learn more, we need to understand more, and we need to take action to genuinely support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives across our collective companies. Not only that, but we also need to actively eliminate discrimination in all its forms. We have much more to do and so we remain committed to taking action.

FTG Diversity Equity and Inclusion icons (3)

Diversity

Definition: all the ways in which people differ.

DEI Framework: This is the mix of people and perspectives inside the company. The focus of this pillar is increasing the representation of traditionally marginalized groups inside our company. Activities are focused on recruiting and pipeline.

FTG Context: focus on the diversity of people and perspectives. Actions will aim to increase the mix of people in the employee base.

FTG Diversity Equity and Inclusion icons (2)

Equity

Definition: fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people. One’s identity cannot predict the outcome.

DEI Framework: Equity ensures that under-represented voices have a place to speak, and that their voices are able make change. It’s about creating structures that lead to equality.

FTG Context: focus on equity in policy, practice, and position. Actions will work to ensure every employee sees a future path at FTG.

 

FTG Diversity Equity and Inclusion icons (1)

Inclusion

Definition: a variety of people have power, a voice, and decision-making authority.

DEI Framework: This is the culture that allows that mix to work. The focus of this pillar is on creating a workplace where diverse groups feel that they are able to exist authentically and that their voices matter. Activities are focused on culture creation.

FTG Context: focus on inclusion via power, voice, and organizational culture. Actions will go toward developing cultural practices that serve the diverse employee base.

“Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.”

— Jesse Jackson

DEI Alliance

Mission Statement

The DEI Alliance is an executive-sponsored group of volunteer employees that come together with a collective vision to create an environment where people can be authentically themselves and feel engaged, included, and valued. We will reflect with our colleagues to identify areas of opportunity that support our greater purpose. Our goal is to develop and execute a roadmap for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for all employees across OneFTG.

Background

FTG launched its official DEI efforts in August 2020 by sending out a company-wide communication asking for volunteers to join an employee-led DEI taskforce. This taskforce was charged with providing recommendations to FTG’s executive team in the areas of policy, guidelines, reporting, and training. Led by two executive sponsors, Rose Grande (CHRO) and Karen Roscher (CFO), this voluntary committee came together to help FTG establish specific goals and outcomes that would guide the first phase of our ongoing DEI initiatives.

Milestones

After officially forming, the DEI Alliance has hit a few milestones:

  • Hired an outside DEI consultant to come on as a partner in the initial assessment, training, planning, and implementation phase of this long-term initiative
  • Implemented FTG’s first-ever employee DEI survey and received 68% participation
  • Launched first company-wide DEI training, with the first session, “Building Inclusive Cultures Workshop”
  • Launched monthly employee listening circles
  • Launched employee resource groups (ERGs)
Members

The DEI Alliance consists of extraordinary individuals from across the company, spanning different FTG companies, departments, teams, locations, and levels.

Made up of all different backgrounds, these employee volunteers come together to help drive our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives forward and ensure we’re actively working to build a culture of inclusion together.

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Video: In February 2021, we kicked things off by asking a few of our DEI Alliance members to share why they initially got involved in the DEI efforts at FTG. Watch this video to hear their “Why.”

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Five ERGs. One Commitment to Inclusion.

Click on a group below to expand their profile.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Employee resource groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups based on shared identities (e.g. race, gender) or shared experiences (e.g. parents, veterans). The groups aim to build community, provide support, and contribute to their member’s development. Allies may also be invited to join an ERG to support their colleagues.

ERGs provide a safe place for employees of similar backgrounds to connect with each other and provide support to those in their shared community.

ERGs provide a platform for employees to:

  • Build high-trust relationships and improve your sense of belonging
  • Share resources, ideas, inspire conversation and develop new perspectives
  • Meet incredible people outside of your department and company
  • Create opportunities for career growth
4 Pillars of Effective ERGs

1.) Educate: Provide the wider community with education on history, culture, experience, help them practice allyship, either through external educators or amplifying member voices

2.) Represent: Create and support opportunities externally that help position FTG as a diverse employer brand (e.g. participate in career fairs, college recruiting drives, volunteer days, etc.)

3.) Include: Provide support to build a more inclusive culture (e.g. volunteering on recruiting panels, providing an inclusion lens on new products)

4.) Support: Provide a safe space for their members to talk about shared experiences unique to their group and welcome new hires who might become members

Value of ERGs

ERGs add value by:

  • Driving the company’s vision, mission, values, and strategic direction.
  • Supporting new business opportunities and building a strong link to the local communities.
  • Strengthening communications and connections between and among employees and within the company.
  • Supporting leadership and professional development programs for its members.
  • Providing education and awareness for ERG participants and other employees.
  • Assisting the company in its recruitment, on-boarding, and retention efforts.
ERG Roles

There are three main roles within each employee resource group:

  1. ERG Executive Sponsor: Listen, guide, and provide mentorship to the leader/s.
  2. ERG Leaders & Co-Chairs: Oversee growth, development, and safety of the community
  3. ERG Members: Actively participate in the community
Membership

ERG Membership
Membership is open to all FTG employees. 

Ways to Get Involved

  • Attend events
  • Promote initiatives/events within your group, division, and/or area
  • Assist with initiative or event planning
  • Serve on a subcommittee or group initiative
  • Take on a leadership role

Examples of ERG Programming and Supporting Initiatives

  • Skills workshops and leadership training
  • Community outreach
  • Employee recruitment
  • Cultural events
  • Mentoring
  • Social and networking events
  • Company initiatives and activities
Allyship

For employees that don’t necessarily identify with the group’s characteristics, but still want to be involved – welcome! Employees can also join a group to show support and participate as an ally.

What does being an ally mean? It means becoming a member, getting to know people, asking about their experiences, being curious and open-minded, learning about the issues that are important to the group, showing up, engaging, participating, and last, but not least, speaking up and helping amplify the group’s concerns.

*Not all meetings or events will be open to allies to participate in. Each individual ERG has its own guidelines for when and how to support the group as an ally.

Creating a New ERG

Any employee can create their own ERG outside of the ones that already exist at FTG. Those interested just need to reach out to the DEI Alliance so the team can assist in evaluation, development, and implementation.

Annual Company-Wide DEI Survey

2021 DEI Survey Overview

PURPOSE: The purpose of the survey was to provide a better understanding of where the opportunities existed for FTG to make changes to better promote diversity, increase inclusion, and develop equity for everyone. The feedback received in the survey would become critical in the development and implementation of FTG’s DEI initiatives. The results will also serve as a baseline for improvement and the data will be used to measure the impact of our DEI efforts over time.

PARTICIPATION: Thank you again to everyone who participated in FTG’s first-ever DEI Survey. 68% of our employees shared their voice and opinion about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion across FTG. This participation far exceeds the DEI survey average of 14% participation across other companies.

PROCESS: FTG’s experienced DEI consultant and her team analyzed the results for statistically significant data, identified opportunities for improvement, and listed out a series of recommendations to address each one. The consultant has worked with the DEI Alliance to finalize the plan of action, which has since been presented to FTG’s collective leadership team and shared out company-wide.

RESULTS: The resulting plan of action has been broken down into short, medium, and long-term goals. The team is currently focused on rolling out a series of programs and initiatives to support our short-term goals. Everyone across FTG is encouraged to get involved as we continue to make progress on these DEI efforts.

Employee Engagement

“There is no social change fairy. There is only the change made by the hands of individuals.” –Winona LaDuke

DEI is really about making sure that every single employee at FTG can feel that they belong here and that they can grow their career here without ever needing to make themselves smaller.

Everyone’s role at FTG is to ensure we build a culture of inclusion together. For some, it means summoning the courage to stand up and speak, sharing opinions and experiences. For others, it means listening with patience and empathy to create a culture where everyone is safe to speak their truth. For all of us, it means asking questions, respecting answers, and being open to fresh perspectives.

We don’t expect anyone to magically know how to do this, or to do it alone, which is why FTG is working to provide continuous training, tools, and support so that everyone can contribute to the culture we know we want to build. There will be plenty of opportunities to get involved as this initiative continues to unfold. Whether as part of a committee or part of a conversation, it’s ultimately up to our collective employees to help move these programs and initiatives forward.

Every employee has the opportunity to contribute to the success of FTG’s DEI efforts. Whether by leveraging existing employee programs or making small changes in everyday life, there are so many ways to get involved. Here are a few of the current programs and initiatives that support diversity, equity, and inclusion at FTG:

DEI Programs, Trainings, & Initiatives 

Below are a few of the recent programs and initiatives launched to support DEI efforts at FTG. Everyone across FTG is encouraged to consider joining in and participating in one or all of these efforts!

Employee Resource Groups

Employee resource groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups based on shared identities (e.g. race, gender) or shared experiences (e.g. parents, veterans). The groups aim to build community, provide support, and contribute to the development of their members. Navigate to the ERG section further up on this page to learn more about ERGs and the active groups within FTG: Black Talent Group, EmpowHER, Latinx, Parents, and Pride.

Employee Listening Circles

Listening Circles are safe spaces for people to process and share in community with others. The focus of these circles is to have open discussions on race and issues of inclusion. From sharing personal experiences to discussing different perspectives on current events, each listening circle holds a different conversation. So whether employees prefer to share their thoughts or just want to listen and learn from others, all are welcome to join the monthly call for as little or as long as their schedule allows.

Employee Training Workshops

The DEI Alliance has rolled out allyship training workshops to centralized groups across FTG. The first workshop on “Building Inclusive Cultures” was designed for all employees and encouraged participants to take an active approach in creating an inclusive culture for everyone at FTG. The first workshop provided a range of tools to help employees embrace new perspectives, be more empathetic, and be more aware of how we make decisions and choices. 

Using Pronouns

FTG doesn’t mandate the use of pronouns, but it’s strongly encouraged and promoted as a best practice in everyday interactions. This includes adding them to email signatures, Zoom profiles, LinkedIn profiles, and more. Proactively sharing pronouns with others normalizes the practice and creates a space where others feel more comfortable to do so as well. This supports an inclusive culture and allows people to feel comfortable being their authentic selves!

Leveraging Existing Employee Programs for DEI

Employees can leverage FTG’s existing programs to help extend the positive impact onto DEI as well. This includes the employee referral program, employee donation matching program, and the employee day of service.

Employee Day of Service

FTG proudly supports employees in giving back to the community by granting 8 hours of volunteer time off (VTO) each year. Employees may use the volunteering benefit to contribute their time and talents to recognized charities, causes, and not-for-profit 501(c) organizations. Volunteers have the opportunity to fight for equality and work with specific communities to offer support, resources, and services. Volunteermatch.org is recommended to employees as a great resource for finding volunteer opportunities based on location and cause (e.g. advocacy & human rights, LGBTQ+, race & ethnicity, women, etc.). Additionally, employees can reach out to our employee resource groups (ERGs) for recommended volunteer opportunities based on the organizations and causes that they advocate for.

Employee Donation Matching

FTG will match $.50 for every $1.00 donated by an employee to an approved 501(c) non-profit organization up to a maximum company match of $100,000 per year. There are countless 501(c) non-profit organizations that champion diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across the country. Employees looking for an eligible charity are encouraged to check out charitynavigator.org, which is a great resource that sorts charities by rating and by cause (e.g. Racial Justice & Civil Rights). Additionally, employees can reach out to our employee resource groups (ERGs) to learn more about the non-profit organizations they advocate for.

Employee Referral Program

We’re always looking internally and externally for talented and enthusiastic people to grow with us, which is why our employee referral program rewards employees for helping us add to our team! Additionally, referrals have the potential to move the needle on diversity in a way that other talent sourcing methods don’t. The main items to consider to help ensure more diverse employee referrals include 1) focusing on referring candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and 2) it doesn’t have to be a direct referral. Any indirect referrals or loose leads can also help our recruiting team.