Video production: Andrew Kennedy Lewis
Giving people the chance to share personal stories and experiences can lead to greater levels of connection. An inclusive conversation series launched by Allstate has led to some of these deeper connections and allowed those within the organization to be respectful of one another and learn about different perspectives, says Aisha Ghori Ozaki, Allstate’s manager of inclusive diversity.
Read the full transcript of Ghori Ozaki’s interview below:
So inclusive diversity is a core value at Allstate. We’re really lucky that it’s built into the fabric of the organization. As such, we do have a team that supports a number of different initiatives throughout the organization which serve the entire enterprise, so we’re sort of located all over the country.
We have a robust training and education program and that’s virtual, that’s in person, that’s customized, that’s really sort of getting people thinking about how to have some of these conversations and exciting topics.
We have an exciting enterprise diversity leadership council. These are leaders who invest, in addition to their very busy day jobs, invest in diversity and inclusion and serve as a catalyst and amplify the work that our team is engaged in.
We submit a variety of assessments externally to see sort of how is Allstate doing, what can we do better, what can we do more of, where are we making great progress, and what are some opportunities for us? And then lots of wonderful partnerships with organizations and teams within the organization.
So, we launched a little over a year ago, an inclusive conversation series. And one of the things we’re trying to do is actually take away this notion that the conversation has to be difficult. It may be a conversation that you haven’t had before, but imagine connecting with somebody on a deeper level, really respectfully, really thoughtfully, you don’t have to necessarily agree, but you can learn about a different perspective, a different experience, and add that to your own awareness and ability to maybe connect with others.
And it’s been great to have folks come out and share a story because I think, you know, we spend a lot of time, our leaders get a lot of opportunities to get out there and talk about the great work they’re involved in. But when you create a personal story or you share an example of an experience you’ve had or a mistake that you’ve made, and you can start to be model that, folks really, it resonates with them. And then they get comfortable thinking and doing things a little bit differently.
And so, that’s been a really neat way for us to sort of encourage leaders and other Allstaters to get courageous and also be willing to share a personal story or two that then can lead others to connect on those experiences. Because as much as we all try to do the right thing, we’re going to make mistakes, we’ll mess up. How we recover from that and how we continue to sort of ensure that folks feel included is really important.