On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act extends protection against sexual discrimination to gay, lesbian and transgender employees. Just days before this decision, it was legal to fire someone in more than 30 states (including Missouri), and at the federal level, for being gay. The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court represents decades of hard work and determination to help achieve equal rights for LGBTQIA+ people in this country.
WWT’s LGBTQIA+ employees have been protected by our non-discrimination policy long before it was required by law. This year, as we launch Multi-Cultural Inclusion Groups, we will include LGBTQIA+ in our diversity and inclusion program. In addition, we will reinforce this through our diversity recruiting efforts. We will also look to gain more information about the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Index to consider future partnership to help reinforce that WWT values our current and future LGBTQIA+ employees and partners.
A culture comprised of unified individuals
As individual employees, we can all work together to ensure that our culture and values shine through every day. WWT employees should aspire to create and promote an environment where our LGBTQIA+ employees, colleagues and teammates feel comfortable and empowered. We must strive to steward a climate that invites employees to come to work as their authentic selves, bringing their unique experiences and talents to their teams. These actions are the only way to foster a culture of inclusion.
These hard-won freedoms and protections are happening because so many have suffered and sacrificed for years. Let us all strive to be a part of an open and accepting world, where we let our light shine for all to see. We encourage you to bring your real self to work, bring your gifts and perspectives to your teams, and be a visible part of our diversity programs.
Our people are our greatest asset
At WWT, having the right people on our teams is our greatest asset. Every year, we put a significant effort into increasing our diversity and inclusion efforts to ensure that we live up to our core value of “Embracing Change and Diversity of People and Thought.” That diversity contributes to our employees feeling safe and fulfilled in their jobs, and it strengthens our organization’s ability to be innovative and creative. The Harvard Business Review found that “Leaders who give diverse voices equal airtime are nearly twice as likely as others to unleash value-driving insights, and employees in a ‘speak up’ culture are 3.5 times as likely to contribute their full innovative potential.”
Though Pride month has ended, and we are seeing fewer rainbows in stores and across social media, that does not mean the people of WWT should slow our efforts to continue to be a diverse and inclusive organization. We value all people and their perspectives and want to continue to work together to make WWT a Great Place to Work for All.