What is social justice in the workplace? Why is more than a conversation needed? Janet Baildon from Radco Residential joins us to discuss how she and her whole company are taking the lead for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Our Special Guest: Janet Baildon from Radco Residential
Janet Baildon is the Vice President, Talent Management at Radco Residential. Janet brings with her a diverse background as an HR professional. As she stated, she is drawn to anything people-related, as can be seen by her work at Radco Residential. She loves that she gets to live out her passion by empowering people to make a difference.
Having the taboo conversations needs to happen if we are going to effect change. But how can a company get started? How do you make diversity, equity, and inclusion more than an HR exercise? This episode gets to the heart of the matter and provides amazing insights into what companies need to be doing now.
Key Questions/Topics Covered
What was the driving force behind doing more for social justice in the workplace?
We all had a wake-up call with the events surrounding George Floyd’s death. Our management team wanted to know what we could do. Approaching diversity, equity, and inclusion from an HR perspective where we follow an exercise, check the boxes, and then sort of put it away was not enough. We needed to do more than put words on paper as a protocol for people to follow. It was time for action.
Who led the conversation and decided on the topics that included DEI?
Management wanted every department to have the opportunity to get involved. It started with a small group of volunteers that included various backgrounds and levels of experience and responsibilities.
We started with a weekly meeting to talk about “taboo” topics that most businesses avoid at all costs. We created a safe space that focused on listening and understanding, which allowed the topics to grow organically.
From a small group of ten, we quickly grew to 40. It was impactful to learn about each other. To truly understand that our fellow workers live different lives because of the color of their skin.
How did the conversation evolve into action? How have you impacted change in regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
In the beginning, we focused on opening the dialogue. Once this was established, we started to research and provide resources on specific topics of concern before the meetings. For us, the issues of focus were racial profiling and unconscious bias. This led to much deeper conversations and the impetus to act.
We now have three sub-committees in charge of making actionable changes both within our company and our local community. Some of the changes include:
- hiring practices
- inclusive marketing
- support for minority-run businesses
- financial and educational resources for non-profits
This is to name a few. We are dedicated to making these changes a success and continuing to grow our social justice initiatives.
What does the future hold?
The hope is that this will inspire others to take steps and have these courageous conversations. And keep the conversations going. Just because it may not be in the media, it is still happening, and we still need to work for change.
What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator?
If we invest in our people then they will take care of the business.Janet Baildon
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