Reeva KymerOctober 25, 2022

Recognizing and Empowering People: A View of Avaya’s DEIB Initiatives

A company is only as effective and empowering as its people. And at Avaya, our people are everything. As a company dedicated to helping businesses create experiences that matter, engaging and inclusive experiences must also extend to our employees.

In recent years, a rising public awareness of problems around equity and inclusion has also driven a groundswell of interest and activity in finding solutions to these issues. At Avaya, we’re striving to amplify and expand our diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) efforts as a continuous commitment to our global-reaching brand. We believe having a rich and diverse set of perspectives helps generate innovative ideas and ensures an inclusive workplace across our organization.

Global DEIB Advisory Council and Committee

In 2021, we established the Global DEIB Advisory Council, a significant step in driving our focus and strategy for DEIB. Comprised of Avaya leaders, the Council provides guidance, advocacy, visibility, and support for our company as a whole and for our newly established DEIB Committee. The Committee includes members of our Employee Resource Groups and employees from all Avaya functions and regions. They serve as change agents for the company, focusing on four areas:

  • Representation: Expand our diverse talent recruitment, retention, and promotion efforts
  • Education: Strengthen inclusive leadership through comprehensive DEIB education
  • Development: Empower and enable all employees to realize their career aspirations
  • Community: Amplify the experience and increase resourcing for our internal communities, and invest and engage in external communities to give voice to the underserved

Together, the Council and Committee are working to build a workplace where individuality is celebrated and harnessed.

Inclusion as a Cultural Principle

As an organization that prioritizes DEIB, it was only fitting to add Inclusion as one of the cultural principles in our value system. These values guide us in how we conduct business, how we make decisions, and how we treat employees and customers. The Inclusion Principle states:

“We strive to build a supportive and inclusive culture by creating an environment in which every individual or group is welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to engage and lead.”

Employee Resource Groups

Providing a platform and safe environment for employees to learn and grow together is vital to our Inclusion principle. Avaya currently has seven established Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) with over 350 members, offering employees the space, resources, support, and education needed to reach specific goals. Giving a spotlight to these groups opens lines of communication across the global Avaya team and affords visibility to leadership. By leveraging our own technology to build, collaborate, and share, we also receive unmatched insights into our diverse customer base.

These ERGs are amplifying our culture of DEIB: ABLE (Avaya Blacks Leading Empowerment), AERG (Abilities Employee Resource Group), ALMA (Asociación de Latinos Mundiales en Avaya), APIA: Asian Pacific Islanders at Avaya, PRIDE (Avaya LGBTQIA+ Network), WINA (Women Inspired Network at Avaya), and VETA (Veterans at Avaya).

“Being a part of the ABLE ERG has been tremendously important to me because we created the ERG at a critical time for the Black community in the U.S. The ABLE group allowed me space to interact with colleagues who shared similar experiences. We openly discussed how we were feeling and how we could help other employees as well as communities. I also have the opportunity to participate in global company initiatives that foster transparency, inclusion, and community.”

 – Roger McDaniel, Avaya Blacks Leading Empowerment (ABLE)

Transparency and Pay Equity

As a brand that’s redefining communications between businesses and their customers, worldwide, our own communications must be powered by a diverse and equitable group of people. In support of our commitment to equality and representation, we are mitigating pay gap differences by actively increasing female representation across all levels of the organization and promoting transparency in our workforce representation and compensation practices. This includes releasing stats on our female and minority workforce in our 2021 Corporate Responsibility Report

Giving back to the world starts with investing in our own people. Together, we’re working toward a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace and ultimately, toward a more united global society. We invite you to read the full report.

Recognizing and Empowering People:  A View of Avaya’s DEIB Initiatives

Reeva Kymer

Reeva Kymer leads corporate social responsibility for Avaya and is accountable for propelling the company’s focus on sustainability, including environmental, social and governance disciplines. 

Read Articles by Reeva Kymer
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