Written by Angela Webb, HR Consultant
This May, I will celebrate my 13th year of service with Schneider Electric. My time with Schneider has been marked by an abundance of learning and growth—both personally and professionally. In most cases, opportunities for career growth and development at Schneider directly correlate to the contribution and ambition of each individual employee, regardless of gender or ethnicity. As a woman and person of color, I have found this to be true of my own career even in the absence of a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy.
At Schneider Electric, “Embrace Different” is one of our core values. In recent years, the company has placed a needed emphasis on gender diversity (hiring, developing, and advancing women at SE) and I am so pleased to see that the strategy is expanding to include ethnicity, veterans, generations, LGBTI, and individuals with disabilities.
I believe it’s vitally important to the bottom line and longevity of the company to focus on representation. In order to be a leading contender in the U.S. marketplace, the faces and voices of Schneider Electric have to mirror the faces and voices of the customers we serve. With the new expanded diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy and the official launch of the Black Professionals Business Relationship Group (BRG), we are already making great strides in becoming a best in class employer for diversity and inclusion. And it hasn’t gone unnoticed – the company recently earned a spot on Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity 2019.
Black History Month
Black History Month was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students organization at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later from January 2, 1970 – February 28, 1970.
Six years later, Black History Month was celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers, both great and small, when President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial. He urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”.
Why do we dedicate a whole month to the accomplishments of a race of people?
While black history is American history, the significant historical events and contributions of people of color are left out of American history books and lessons to this day. Black History Month is an opportunity to highlight those contributions and educate people of all backgrounds. This is especially important for young people of color since it is still pretty difficult to trace the heritage and roots of Americans with African descent due to slavery.
Celebrating Black History Month
We will be celebrating diversity all year long, starting with Black History Month; therefore, many of the larger sites across the U.S. are hosting Black History Month events in February. SE employees – keep your eyes peeled for event details in your local site newsletter.
About the Author:
Angela Webb is an HR Consultant. She currently supports managers and leaders within the Digital Energy team with performance and talent management related activities. She is an advocate for diversity and inclusion and believes that it is the social responsibility of corporations everywhere to embrace D&I.
Angela resides in McKinney, Texas with her husband of 10 years and three daughters. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, outdoor activities, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
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