Posted by: danielrashke | June 24, 2020

TASC Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

When writing my employee address regarding the systemic racism and hate that has resulted in this tremendous divide in our nation, I knew I had to speak from my heart. As the CEO of TASC, my employees need to know that even though I can’t walk in their shoes, I will stand and walk beside them as TASC continues its journey toward becoming a business that can truly refer to itself as one that embraces and acts in accordance with diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). Those are critical components of our overall business strategy and essential to accomplishing our purpose and achieving our mission.

I am deeply moved by the overwhelming response from TASC employees following the employee webcast and the previous CEO Blog post, “Leading with Empathy, Standing for Justice.”

The responses from TASC employees came from both long tenured and newly acquired employees, in a variety of positions from entry level to senior leadership, all different demographics and locations (40+ states represented) and individuals with variety of skin tones and backgrounds.

Listening to TASC employees and what is important to them, learning how I can better understand the challenges society and individuals face and how best to act feels right in my heart and soul. Included in this is a need to further understand the challenges created by, supported by or overcome by TASC for People of Color.  I will continue to do so and encourage the leaders of TASC to do the same.

The overwhelming response from the employees was a sense of pride. Pride working for a company that takes a stance of intentional focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and excitement about the positive direction we will continue to move in.

Continuing to build a workplace dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion where everyone is comfortable and able to bring their best is the right thing to do for people and for business. DE&I ensures equal representation at the table from all demographics. Talent does not see the differences in our characteristics and demographics, it sees only aptitude, hard work and drive. DE&I ensures a dedicated, talented workforce and a respected business strategy internally and externally.

DE&I helps an organization recruit top talent, retain top talent and remain competitive in their industry as well as increase profits.  DE&I is not just the right thing to do for society. It is the right thing to do for business. It is good business. I want top talent, high performance and outcomes that out-perform my competition. I can’t get that at TASC if I don’t have a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.

TASC is expanding our understanding of the issues of discrimination in the workplace as part of our intentional focus on DE&I. We will improve employee engagement and recruitment efforts while at the same time providing us with access to new customers, consumers and markets to deepen our customer loyalty; increase our internal creativity, production and revenue and enhance our current talent pool.

We have specific objectives to improve DE&I within TASC:

  • To foster a culture where all employees can contribute, advance and feel valued,
  • To attract, develop, and retain a diverse workforce, and
  • To inspire commitment and drive accountability of leaders and employees to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in their decisions, business practices and spheres of influences.

How will we get there?

In order to accomplish our long-term goals, our initial efforts are focused in two areas.

  • Establishing a framework defining our vision, philosophy, guiding principles, measurement & program plan, and building our guiding coalition and action teams to support and complete it.
  • Broadening awareness and engaging employees in the journey by conducting introductory DE&I workshops, listening sessions, providing learning resources for self-guided education, and continuing to add to our growing Employee Resource Community networks.

The activities within these two immediate focus areas will be analyzed for the purpose of mindshare and resourcing investment required to demonstrate progress against commitments made. Here are some of the action items that TASC is committing to moving forward:

  • Requiring all employees be trained in DE&I expectations within 30 days of start date and required annually thereafter.
  • Provide access to additional educational resources and eLearning’s for more targeted information and training.
  • Promote inclusive and diverse leadership with our employees through onboarding and orientation.
  • Provide access to a variety of organizations, committees and opportunities for engagement and diverse team building.
  • Offer a range of benefits to all employees that allow for a variety of services both traditional such as medical, dental and vision as well as nontraditional benefits like mental health, cost savings, life planning and more.

This unwavering commitment is for the betterment of myself, my employees, my peers and my community. We have been working for years on DE&I and will continue to do so to make necessary changes to bring unity and justice to all who have been betrayed by our societal choices. I am encouraged by TASC employees’ willingness to join with us to be a part of the solution.

It is important that I point out that TASC is NOT where it needs to be as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion. It does not exist at all levels and parts of the organization.

We have gathered a few resources that we think will help your business advance equity and eliminate discrimination in the workplace as well as provide educational tools on discrimination.

Community Action Related: This toolkit from PolicyLink helps government leaders as well as activists/advocates in the community connect with strategies to advance equity in communities.

Business Quick Hit Guide to Action: This Harvard Business Review article hits home for businesses with straight forward ideas.

Confronting Racism at Work: A Reading List: Harvard Business Review compiled a collection of articles for companies and business leaders.

Inclusion & Belonging to Drive Business Outcomes: These resources from Deloitte links inclusive practices to business performance and provides great insight for businesses looking to bolster or add in DE&I to business plans and trainings:

Creating a Culture of Belonging

Podcast: Six Signature Traits of Inclusive Leadership 

Article: Six Signature Traits of Inclusive Leadership 

In my follow-up webcast to employees last week I spoke of specific things I was doing and will do; I covered the same with respect to TASC, some of which we have covered in this post. In addition, we made modifications to our Volunteer Paid Time Off program, specifically what qualifies for employees’ use of the 40 hours of paid volunteer time.

One example of how we have expanded our volunteer paid time off has been to allow giving time to social justice, civic and political engagement. This encourages and supports employees who would like to use the hours for activism and standing for change, getting engaged in the policy needed for change and being involved in civic activities, which include but are not limited to voting and assisting others in being able to vote. The qualification use of this time is it must be in the spirit of and effort for changing the human condition…for the better.


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