In the past, Westfield had been benchmarking its diversity and inclusion efforts within the financial services industry. That changed when the company decided to leverage the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s D&I Organization Assessment, which is a free asset available to Greater Cleveland Partnership members.
The assessment functions as a barometer of inclusion in Northeast Ohio, giving employers a tool and benchmarks for examining their own diversity and inclusion efforts. And while the information is critically valuable to individual companies, the collective data also promotes economic growth in Northeast Ohio which cannot be sustained without the inclusion of a diverse workforce and the utilization of minority businesses.
Westfield and other businesses who participate in the assessment receive immediate feedback and a report with the organization’s aggregated results and benchmark information along with suggested resources, which can be used for internal diversity and inclusion strategic planning. Participants might also be recognized for their diversity and inclusion efforts.
The vast amount of data Westfield received belies the mere 60 minutes required to input company data into the assessment. “It covers all of the aspects a company would want to evaluate,” says Westfield’s diversity and inclusion leader, Kristene Hawk. “And from that, you gain a local perspective for what other companies are doing.”
She adds, “You need to know where you stand before you can map out your strategy for future growth and that’s the value of the assessment.
D&I Organization Assessment background
For the past 17 years, the Commission has collected data and reported the status of diversity and inclusion efforts in Northeast Ohio. The most recent version of the assessment tool pre-populates the survey forms with the previous year’s responses.
Each organization is assigned a single confidential password that can be shared within that organization to allow more than one person to enter data if necessary. Only one person per organization can be logged in at one time.
The impact of participating in the assessment has been significant for Westfield, according to Hawk. “It’s a meaningful discussion document,” she says. “The data and insights allow us to have a dialogue about where we see ourselves and how to advance diversity and inclusion at Westfield.”
There’s also a business case to be made for focusing on diversity and inclusion in the workplace Hawk adds.
"Inclusion is a business accelerator. It helps us better understand our customers and to continue to successfully attract talent and grow our business.”
Hawk encourages other companies to participate in the D&I Organization Assessment.
“I think it’s a valuable tool. Working with the Commission staff, there’s an entire team committed to advancing diversity and inclusion and working with like-minded people is inspiring.”
The deadline to complete the Assessment is March 15, 2019. The first 10 organizations that complete the assessment for the first time this year will receive one free registration for the Commission’s annual Inclusion Conference in August—a $125 value. If you are interested in participating, please contact Commission Program Manager Marci Blue at MBlue@gcpartnership.com.
Westfield was founded in 1848 by a small group of hard-working farmers who believed in the promise of the future and the power of the individual. Today, as one of the nation’s leading property and casualty (P&C) companies, we remain true to their vision and are dedicated to your protection and prosperity and to the progress of our community. Learn more about Westfield at www.westfieldInsurance.com.