Q&A With Jeri Lawson, Standard Solar’s HR Manager
Our employees approached the leadership at Standard Solar with the idea of starting a Diversity & Inclusion Council within our organization. The more they told us about what they were planning, the more on board we became. We sat down with Jeri Lawson, the mastermind behind the effort and the company’s HR Manager, to let her explain, in her own words, the vision and mission of the Council and where she sees it going from here.
Q.: What was the inspiration to start a Diversity & Inclusion Council at Standard Solar?
An organization is only as strong as its people, and the more diverse the people are, the stronger the organization is. The goal of our Diversity & Inclusion Council is to ensure that everyone’s perspective is heard and valued. After all, revealing perspectives of people you might not otherwise hear from is an educational experience and can drive better communication and understanding throughout an organization. In the end, when everyone is heard, we are a more cohesive team—and that’s what we on the council are striving to build here at Standard Solar.
Q.: How has the management at Standard Solar reacted to the Council?
We’ve been so appreciative that the company’s leadership has gone out of its way to support us and encourage people to participate in our meetings. They understand the importance of bringing a diverse range of thought and experience to our jobs and how it will make us all better for the exercise. We couldn’t be more pleased with their support.
Q.: What are your goals?
The council, which is currently made up of 10 employees, has four major goals. They are to:
1. Promote and support company-wide diversity awareness.
2. Plan and implement diverse activities both in the office and throughout our community to foster a more cohesive workplace.
3. Recommend and promote policies, programs and other initiatives that will attract and retain a diverse mix of staff.
4. Examine formal and informal processes and recommend changes that foster greater inclusion.
Q.: Do you see your mission as going beyond the walls of Standard Solar?
While our primary objectives are focused within the walls of Standard Solar, we certainly have broader objectives in mind. We have already held our first food drive this past winter which was an overwhelming success, and we plan to expand and engage in other activities within our community as opportunities arise.