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Diverse Business Owners Industry Updates

Company Practices What It Preaches When It Comes to DEI

“We believe diverse teams have the power to transform business,” said Roselle Rogers, Circa’s vice president of DEI.

Circa, a technology company that helps businesses build more diverse, innovative and high-performing teams to accelerate their success, is advocating the benefits of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). But the company’s advocation is embedded in walking the talk of DEI.

In a recent press release, the Milwaukee-based company said that companies that invest in DEI practices often see significant growth and financial gains — and more. “Beyond the numbers lies a much greater benefit,” Circa said. “When you recognize and value the contribution of people with different backgrounds, experiences, capabilities and perspectives, you attract top talent and innovation soars.”

For more than 25 years, Circa said it has connected organizations with the employees they need to thrive. The company said it has evolved in step with emerging business needs and a fast-changing workforce to solve diversity recruiting and compliance challenges for some of the country’s most innovative businesses.

But Circa doesn’t just recommend diversity recruiting programs for others — the company says it has taken a careful, holistic approach to bring inclusive, equitable practices to all aspects of its own business.

“We believe diverse teams have the power to transform business,” said Roselle Rogers, Circa’s vice president of DEI.

Circa cites these statistics from the consulting firm McKinsey & Company that reveal the benefits of DEI:

• 35% of racially diverse companies are more likely to have greater revenues.

• 15% of gender diverse companies are more likely to have better financial returns.

• 80% of inclusive teams outperform their peers.

Circa said it takes a six-prong approach to elevate DEI in its own ranks:

One: Talent Acquisition — To diversify its talent pipeline and make sure the people hired are reflective of the available represented talent pool, Circa said it looked inward to make the hiring process more inclusive. The company leveraged its candidate matching software product and leveraged relationships with community partners in its outreach management system.

“We’ve partnered with several organizations for our own recruiting, and it has started to pay off,” Rogers said. “We’re definitely seeing an increase in the number of diverse candidates self-identifying while applying to open positions within our pipeline.”

Two: Training and Development — Circa said increasing the diversity of its employee base is the beginning. Creating an inclusive work environment meant stepping up training and development, and the company ramped up training by rolling out foundational courses such as “Building an Inclusive Workforce and Inclusive Hiring” to all managers and employees.

The company celebrated awareness events such as Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Hispanic Heritage Month. But it went deeper than just celebrations — Circa conducted small-group discussions to delve into racial equity and relevant, urgent topics.

Three: Community Investment — “We identified multiple avenues where we can impact the community positively,” Rogers said. “We’re targeting diverse populations and organizations that can benefit — and providing ways for our employees to get involved.”

One of Circa’s community partners is the United Way. Circa employees raise funds for and volunteer their time with the United Way, including at a recent event where employees compiled card decks with racial equity messaging meant to inspire dialogue and then distributed them to organizations such as schools.

Four: Supplier Diversity — Ensuring supplier diversity is an important part of a diverse organization, according to the company. Circa said it is actively working to increase the number of diverse suppliers and the percentage of dollars spent with diverse suppliers.

Five: Employee Experience — The company says creating an environment where all employees can be their authentic selves and thrive doing so starts at the top. Circa’s CEO and President Patrick Sheahan signed the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity & Inclusion, committing to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

Six: A Customer and Employer Brand Leader — Circa said it is committed to being a thought leader in diversity and inclusion. It regularly issues position statements on racial justice and social equality workplace topics. Hours after the Derek Chauvin verdict, the company said it welcomed the guilty verdict in George Floyd’s murder trial and commended the 12 Minnesota jurors who upheld the rule of law.

“We’re not just talking the talk for our clients. We’re walking the walk with them as well,” said Cathy Hill, Circa’s vice president of marketing and product management. “We’re all at different points on this journey of building and growing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. As fellow travelers, we share a kinship with other companies on this path and learn from each other’s experiences.”