Diversity & Inclusion: What Are You Doing to Widen the Path?

4 minutes to read, posted on August 24, 2020, by Peter Mullen

Diversity & Inclusion at VXI Global Solutions

As one of the largest private women-owned, minority-certified businesses in the US, VXI pushes every day to ensure diversity and inclusion is a core part of our business culture.

Several years ago, we helped ignite the inclusion movement in the BPO sector in the Philippines with our famous “Passion for People” video. It was viewed +3M times and changed an industry’s culture.

It led VXI to adopt “Passion for People” as our corporate slogan.

We think about this power to effect change all the time. And our responsibility to do so.

Like all companies (…cough), today VXI is looking closer than ever at ways to expand our inclusion efforts.

I’m a middle-aged white guy. I’m as Protected as they come. I need to use my role to create pathways for others.

We deeply believe in the power of cognitive diversity to solve problems fast and better.

If you’re not yet on board with this cognitive diversity, get educated. (The first link is to an HBS study. This is a Forbes story. You’ll enjoy reading both.)

When you put 10 people at a table who share the same common business priorities but possess different viewpoints, backgrounds, and ideas, you are unleashing the power of human creativity at its best. Helping expand diversity and inclusion helps others, helps me, helps our business. Helps the world.

We’re proud at VXI that four of our six U.S. sites are managed by people of color. Our U.S. workforce is about one-third African-American. That ratio holds true in the leadership ranks at some of our sites. On our global executive team, seven of our 11 members are minorities. But we can do better.

This isn’t a beauty contest where we get points for checking boxes. We have a structure and a plan to expand our diversity initiatives to widen those pathways for individual success.

That’s why articles celebrating VXI’s inclusion efforts, like the great one in today’s Nearshore Americas, is so important to us a company.

Here’s what we say in this headline feature story, “Tackling Workplace Inequality.”

Country Leaders Chris Boucher (Jamaica) and Jean-Pierre Wheelock (Guatemala) shared:

Of VXIs 532 employees in Guatemala, just one percent are of Afro-descent. Just four percent are Indigenous. Sounds low, but that’s in line with country averages. Wheelock stressed that most Indigenous people live outside of Guatemala City, so there is not a large population to draw local employees. Many don’t speak English. But VXI pursues them. How? We work closely with the Finishing School, a nonprofit that has provided English-language training to thousands of residents. Then we try to make it easy for them to join us: VXIs outreach to these groups includes free shuttle transport that extends to the outer reaches of the city,” said Wheelock. We provide mentors and focus on personalized experiences. We widen the pathway. Says, Wheelock: “Diversity is a superpower, and takes active steps to diversify our workplace.”

In Jamaica, +90 percent of our 800 employees are of Jamaicans of Afro-descent. It’s not a diverse country. Until recently, VXI imported experienced and highly successful foreign leaders to Jamaica to manage the site. These were great leaders. They hit their numbers. But guess what? Our new country manager, Boucher, is a fellow Jamaican. He is such an incredible role model that our young workforce instantly upped their game. They want to be like him. In this new leader, they see their opportunity and their future selves. We widened the pathway. In less than 3 months, agent attrition dropped more than 300%.

As a company and individual leaders, we have a lot to do. We always will.

We’ll have victories and we’ll make mistakes.

We’ll keep moving forward.

How about you? What are you doing to widen the pathway?

Diversity & Inclusion: What Are You Doing to Widen the Path?

Real people.

Real experiences.

Real emotion.

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