Awareness and empathy are essential ingredients of a truly inclusive culture. To help foster conversation and promote understanding as part of our holistic Racial Equity plan, we are launching an immersive diversity, equity and inclusion employee enrichment platform for all Coca‑Cola associates.
“We see this as a capability building effort,” said Valerie Love, senior vice president of Human Resources for the North America Operating Unit. “Inclusion is a skillset that requires continuous education, listening and learning. By providing employees with tools, training and resources, we hope to empower them to become allies in this work, to support each other and to stand as one.”
The first output of our company’s multi-year learning and development plan was the “Together We Stand, Together We Must” Allyship Guidebook, which was shared with US-based employees in August. We believe allyship – the proactive process of building relationships grounded in trust, consistency and accountability – is more critical than ever in creating environments where individuals of all backgrounds can thrive.
This internal guide, created entirely by Coca‑Cola employee volunteers, includes learning resources, communication tools, video testimonials and other content designed to first help teammates better understand each other’s experiences, perspectives and challenges, and then to facilitate authentic conversations about race and play an active role in shifting thinking and behavior that ultimately drives positive, permanent change.
“We set out to meet everyone where they are on their journey, because we know there is a broad spectrum of awareness, comfort level and willingness to speak up and be proactive, ” said Tutul Rahman, Flavors Portfolio director and co-lead of the project team behind the guide.
Michael DiLeonardo, VP of sales for the SUBWAY Global Account Team and project co-lead, hopes the guide will help create a more inclusive culture. “This experience has proven that you don’t need to be an HR or diversity expert to listen, learn and have discussions about these critically important issues. We all simply need to jump in and seek to understand how we can be better colleagues and friends, and how as human beings we can spot and overcome biases to create a more inclusive work environment and, ultimately, a more productive organization.”
In addition to the allyship guide, the company is developing an immersive program on diversity, equity and inclusion that will be ongoing and will be incorporated as part of our employees’ standard training and development programs. All of our informational, educational or training programs are conducted in a manner that is respectful to everyone, and that will be the case for these programs as well.