BY KENNY GARDNER | CHIEF PEOPLE OFFICER FOR DAVITA
DaVita is committed to creating a diverse Village where everyone feels like they belong, and that requires a plan of action that is both meaningful and measurable. I’m proud we are among the first employers to achieve “Plan Approved” status with Management Leadership for Tomorrow’s (MLT) Black Equity at Work Certification.
This certification provides a framework to evaluate how organizations like DaVita contribute to Black equity, from representation efforts to creating belonging to how we support the broader Black business community.
In 2020, DaVita joined forces with MLT in developing the program and certification criteria. We are honored to take part in this effort to create an influential ecosystem of employers focused on supporting equity.
To achieve “Plan Approved” status with MLT, we evaluated our organization using their framework and developed a comprehensive plan to address five pillars:
- Employee compensation
- Inclusive, anti-racist work environment
- Racially-just business practices
- Racial justice contributions and investments
Now that we are in the next phase of certification, we are ready to activate our plan and be held accountable to our commitments. To reach certification, we will need a minimum score of 60 out of 110 points across the five focus areas. We have already made meaningful strides and I look forward to continuing the momentum.
Our 2021 launch of Teammate Resource Groups (TRGs) is one example of the work that will contribute to our certification efforts. TRGs are teammate-driven groups that provide teammates who share common identities, interests and/or experiences with a forum to create belonging. In addition to support for Black teammates (DaVita employees), we have TRGs for Asian & Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+ and working-parent teammates, with plans to expand to other groups this year. Our goal for these TRGs is to create safe spaces where teammates can connect with others they relate to and trust to build community and belonging.
As we continue our work to promote D&B both within and outside of DaVita, I am excited by how our relationship with MLT will hold us accountable to action. The certification’s structure has helped us identify gaps in our current work and shed light on how we can frame our future work with a spotlight on Black equity.
I feel passionately that this certification is one powerful way DaVita can demonstrate that we value all teammates and that we will continually challenge ourselves to be better. I encourage leaders looking to promote equity at their organizations to pursue this certification. To learn more about the MLT Black Equity at Work certification and other organizations participating in the Black Equity at Work certification, visit MLT’s website.