How Black Employees Supporting Talent provides community, elevates voices at TQL
It’s important for every Total Quality Logistics team member to feel important in an environment that promotes a sense of belonging and values integrity, teamwork and determination.
That’s why we foster an intentional culture in the workplace through six Employee Resource Groups and a Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. Women in Logistics is our oldest ERG. Our second oldest is BEST, Black Employees Supporting Talent.
BEST contributes to the growth and development of team members who self-identify as Black, African American, West Indian or of African descent. Formed in 2020, the group’s goal is to attract, retain and develop a community by enhancing team members’ engagement, connecting them to resources, and promoting their personal and professional growth.
Stacee, a TQL Finance Learning and Development Senior Manager, is BEST’s president. She recently spoke about the ERG, its vision and its future.
How has BEST affected you?
It’s really nice to be in a community that looks like me and it’s extremely helpful to see that TQL cares about diversity and inclusion. You hear a lot of companies using diversity and inclusion as buzzwords. To see that TQL has a community to support Black employees – that encouraged me and helped me give back. It let me be the representation that, at the beginning, I wanted to see for myself.
Describe BEST’s impact at TQL.
I think the BEST community has increased our African American population at TQL. By sharing our community’s accomplishments on social media, we showcase our Black employees and leadership. We encourage others to not only see yourself here, but to see yourself in leadership.
BEST helps educate our salespeople and sales support people. We reach back on a regular basis in our sales groups to say, “Here are some things that have helped us.” That hasn’t always happened for us because sometimes we don’t feel like we fit in the community or have the right fit with the knowledge base. BEST gets you in touch with these people, shows you how to be successful and helps you grow.
What ways does BEST attract, connect, and develop a community of employees who self-identify as Black, African American, West Indian or of African descent?
BEST’s three major pillars are volunteerism, recruitment, and education. We attract, connect, and develop our members through those lenses. It has helped us to have ambassadors in all TQL locations reaching out and sharing benefits of the BEST community. From events and discussions to providing a support system, we attract people within TQL and on the outside. We do quite a bit with supporting Human Resources and our Recruiting team. We’re also very involved in volunteerism, letting the community know that our ERG cares.
What is your vision for BEST’s future at TQL?
I see BEST continuing to drive diversity and inclusion for TQL. I see us getting more involved in mentorship – not just our individual contributors but also leadership mentorship. I would love for BEST to create a process with diversity and inclusion that includes education about dealing with and alleviating discrimination and microaggressions. Instead of the conversation being, “Do you have a community to fit into at TQL?” it’s “Outside of your community, do you fit in? Do you feel safe in your work environment outside of BEST?” I think BEST can really drive that at TQL.