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Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Through Learning and Leadership

Culture change depends on changes in behavior and beliefs. Training and learning are essential to that transformation.
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Our foundational training helps to create a common language and a basic level of understanding about diversity, equity, and inclusion. We build on this by providing our employees with the tools and opportunities to increase self-awareness, as well as awareness of others and respect for their differences; foster the ability to acknowledge our potential blind spots and biases towards those differences; and to raise accountability and ownership to sustain an environment of mutual respect. With the onset of COVID-19, and nearly half our workforce shifting to remote work, we transitioned to digital platforms to train employees in an array of learning forums focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity compliance.

Highlights

  • Con Ed Connects This interactive forum engages employees to share their feelings, connect through their experiences, and build a sense of community during potentially stressful and isolating times.
  • Value of Inclusion Through open dialogue, participants work together during this workshop to identify strategies and specific, meaningful steps to foster an inclusive environment within the new remote workplace.
  • BUILDing Bridges: Courageous Conversations Employees candidly discuss the personal impact of race in America and share their concerns, fears, and frustrations while shedding light on the ongoing challenges and inequities faced by people of color.
  • Unconscious Bias Series We expanded and opened our trainings around implicit and explicit bias and microaggressions to all employees. Our biases influence how we view the world and show value for others around us. The sessions cover topics such as blind spots and managing perceptual filters; broadening perspective to avoid similarity bias; and defining microaggressions.
  • D&I Summit Specifically for employee resource group leaders and local D&I Council members, participants share in open and candid conversations about daily activities and interactions that impact managers as they lead diverse teams, and learn the skills and tools needed to foster a culture of inclusion and respect across all levels of the company.
  • Leadership Development Program: Unconscious Bias in the Talent Management Process In an interactive session, managers learn how bias can impact daily management decisions and create potential barriers to inclusion related to how they view people when recruiting, interviewing, and hiring; engaging and communicating; and managing and developing.
  • Psychological Safety Participants learn the importance of psychological safety and how to identify strategies and concrete, meaningful steps to foster an environment where employees feel a sense of appreciation and belonging at work.

Connecting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Throughout the Company

The success of any culture-change initiative requires the commitment, support, and engagement of the company’s leadership team. Our leaders own the responsibility for creating an equitable and inclusive environment that enables everyone across multiple differences to feel valued, respected, and that they belong.

Highlights

  • As members of CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, former Chief Executive Officer John McAvoy and Orange and Rockland Utilities President Bob Sanchez participated with more than 1,400 peers from the world’s leading companies and universities to share best practices for diversity and inclusion, increase awareness of unconscious bias, and cultivate open dialogue on complex and sometimes difficult diversity and inclusion topics. Last year, the group launched CEO Action for Racial Equity, a two-year fellowship to address systemic racism and injustice in society. Member CEOs were asked to nominate high-performing employees to focus full time on public policy and corporate best practices in education, healthcare, public safety, and economics, working with private and public foundations, nonprofits, and policy makers who focus on racial equity in society. Tohma Gadson-Shaw, department manager, Human Resources, is representing us in this important initiative.
  • To ensure that we continued to create understanding across differences, we developed the “D&I Playbook: Leading Courageous Conversations.” This step-by-step guide helps managers navigate sensitive and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about race as they have open, productive, and respectful dialogues about differences and the importance of valuing diversity.
  • Con Edison CEO Tim Cawley, along with 190 other chief executives and business leaders, signed on with Partnership for NYC in support of racial and social justice.

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