Studies show that more and more American workers value a workplace that makes meaningful efforts toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). According to a report from Pew Research Center, 56% of employed adults in the United States believe increasing DEI in work environments is beneficial.
At Columbia Distributing, we’ve always been dedicated to the communities we serve throughout Washington and Oregon. We recognize that answering the call of more DEI requires real effort. In response, we’ve created the Inclusion Council to highlight our diverse workforce, ensure all teammates have a voice, and guide the company in following sustainable, strategic DEI practices. Learn more about the council and our commitment to DEI.
The Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Conversations about DEI have been circulating for several years now, but what does the concept mean? DEI includes three separate — yet all equally important — ideas that contribute to a more just workplace and society. These components include:
- Diversity: The celebration of differences found in teammates of various backgrounds, whether it’s race, ethnicity, gender, age, ability, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or any other demographic aspect or perspective
- Equity: The commitment to ensuring all teammates, especially those traditionally underrepresented or disadvantaged in the workplace, have the same access to opportunities for career growth and development
- Inclusion: A company culture that affirms and values all teammates, ensuring their voices are heard and they can reach their full potential
How DEI manifests can differ depending on the industry or specific business. One company may need to consider additional aspects compared to another. The following are common examples of how organizations infuse DEI into workplace culture:
- Creating training and development programs with the unique concerns of diverse teammates in mind
- Reflecting on current hiring practices and investing in resources and methodologies that support unbiased recruitment
- Encouraging feedback from all teammates about DEI initiatives and their general feelings about the company culture
- Recognizing and celebrating the spectrum of holidays and remembrances of your diverse staff
What Is the Inclusion Council?
At Columbia Distributing, inclusivity is a key element of our vision and values. We understand that fostering a culture of inclusivity is not solely the responsibility of the CEO or other executives, nor is it achieved just by merchandisers and others completing the daily tasks that enable Columbia Distributing to thrive. Instead, it’s the combined, collective dedication of the entire company.
Guided by the company’s overall mission, purpose, and core values, we’ve developed an engagement eco-system designed to amplify diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at Columbia Distributing. The Inclusion Council enables us to be intentional about inclusive behavior, empowering meaningful steps to maintain a culture that celebrates diversity and enforces belonging.
Another important component of inclusion at Columbia Distributing is psychological safety. For teammates’ voices to be heard, they must first feel comfortable being candid. This means giving honest feedback to leaders without fear of negative consequences, sharing vulnerability without feeling judged, and openly disagreeing about strategies and ideas. Part of the efforts of the Inclusion Council is to make psychological safety second nature.
The Inclusion Council encompasses a unique mission, vision, and equity statement that guides DEI practices at Columbia Distributing.
We’re an evolving team working to create a Diverse culture of Equity and Inclusion. Connection is at the heart of the people, products, and services we share with customers.
We strive to be an industry leader through a Diverse culture of Equity and Inclusion.
We are Columbia Distributing. We honor all races, ethnicities, identities, cultural backgrounds, and beliefs. We recognize these elements are the backbone of the communities we serve in WA and OR. We admit that in the past, we’ve fallen short of accurately reflecting the diversity in these communities — this equity statement represents a commitment to remedying these past shortcomings.
We are stronger when we connect ourselves, our suppliers, and our overall community through a culture of diversity and inclusion.
We are better when the decisions we make are fair and ethical.
We are faster when we eliminate the barriers that hinder open and honest communication.
We are more successful when we show respect and trust in one another, accomplishing goals in solidarity.
Learn More About the Culture at Columbia Distributing
Columbia Distributing is proud of the great strides our diverse teams have made to uplift every teammate at the company and make an impact in the communities we serve. We know there is much more work to be done, and we’re excited to continue improving our commitment to DEI to do our part in cultivating a more inclusive and equitable society. To learn more about the Inclusion Council, our products and services, and careers at Columbia Distributing, contact us today.