On this day—Juneteenth—we remember and celebrate the announcement of the end of slavery in the last Confederate state. Sadly, even 155 years later, we cannot celebrate the end of racial injustice. Earlier this month, I wrote that, “We acknowledge our responsibility to be part of the solution. We are committed to doing our part.” I have reached out to some of you directly and have appreciated the candid conversations we had, as well as the many suggestions provided. It is important we continue this dialogue.
We formed a diversity and inclusion committee in 2018 to understand and further improve our culture. To date, the Committee has been heavily focused on research and planning, including conducting surveys, organizing focus groups, and initiating discussions on bias.
The Committee has additional initiatives scheduled throughout the year, as well as long-term plans for the future. We will place an increased focus on anti-racism efforts and ensure that we are providing our employees with the tools to understand and improve. Below is some of what is planned:
- Continuing our conversations and training about bias across the organization.
- We will continue to learn and identify types of bias with a focus on individuals’ commitments to mitigate personal bias.
- This will include training for our leaders of people to dive deeper into this subject.
- Launching a company-wide listening campaign to open communication for diversity and inclusion topics.
- In August, a new tool will be released that will give employees a direct way to share their thoughts and ideas about diversity and inclusion with leaders. The platform will aim to amplify the voices, ideas, and opinions of our employees across the country.
- Continually review our company procedures to ensure we are giving equal opportunities for all our employees.
- Sponsoring more conversations and learning opportunities for the team to better ourselves on topics like anti-racism, perspective-taking, advanced bias mitigation, and more.
- One example will be the next CEO Vlog, which will be released in early August covering the subject of anti-racism.
In addition, the Committee will discuss and consider the additional ideas recommended by our teammates.
Extra Space Storage’s values of Integrity, Teamwork, Passion, Innovation, and Excellence will drive these initiatives as much as they drive everything we do at the company. Our commitment to help people to a better tomorrow includes helping create a more diverse and inclusive workplace today.