The events and discussions taking place have reminded all of us that we need to reexamine how we see the world and learn how we can all do better to be better.
NGL supports diversity, equity and inclusion not only on a local and employee level, but also through what we do in our community and overall industry. We are committed to working harder to make everyone feel safe and valued at NGL.
Knut Olson, NGL President & CEO says, “Racism, prejudice, discrimination, and violence should not be tolerated and is not acceptable at NGL. We all play a vital role in the communities where we live, and I am proud of our employees and the difference we seek to make in the lives of others.”
A few of the ways NGL is promoting diversity, equity and inclusion:
- Recruiting efforts concentrate on attracting and developing a diverse workforce.
- The addition of a new personal paid holiday in 2020 that employees can use to support any holiday or personal celebration.
- Donating to and volunteering at a variety of organizations that strive to support others and recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion.
- Organizing an Employee Resource Group, aimed at listening to the needs of employees and promoting opportunities to support each other.
- Signing a diversity pledge last year with the commitment to bring focus to the topic of inclusion.
“NGL leadership and I signed a diversity pledge and made a commitment to bring focus to the topic of inclusion. Now, more than ever, is the time for that pledge to be more than words on a piece of paper,” Knut shares.
In 2019, Knut joined many Madison-area CEOs in signing a pledge to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The pledge acknowledges many business leaders have taken steps to address diversity but there is still more to be done. Leaders who signed the pledge committed to championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace by creating a safe and comfortable environment to share experiences and perspectives, attracting and developing a diverse workplace, and allowing employees to network and contribute their insights on issues.
Some employees have already voiced ideas about how NGL can further strengthen our diversity and inclusion opportunities. We appreciate the feedback and opportunity to continue learning and driving our commitment to this pledge, with that, NGL created an Employee Resource Group.
Dave Anderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer is organizing and leading NGL’s first group. He shares, “These last few weeks have prompted a number of emotions for me. Sadness, disbelief, fear, questioning. As I’ve experienced those emotions, I’ve also been left with a feeling that I haven’t done enough, that there must be something more that I, personally, and we, collectively, can do. I am committed to not sit back and watch. I want to be part of a solution and a part of making progress.”
This newly created group will focus on ways to promote workplace diversity, provide volunteer opportunities and work with partners in our industry to support them in their efforts.
“I hope NGL employees will feel empowered to be positive voices for change in our world and that we will maintain a culture of dialogue, conversation and a strong conviction to trying to understand our differences and the points of view of others,” Knut says.
Danny Bentley, Executive Vice President at NGL and BrightBenefits President says, “Having grown up in the South, I was fortunate that from a very early age, my father taught me that racism was wrong, unacceptable and could not be tolerated in a nation formed through a Declaration of Independence that proclaimed ‘all men are created equal.’ As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently stated, we must become a ‘nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.'”
Knut shares, “I am sure as leaders; we may make mistakes as we address an evolving landscape. Our commitment is to continue responding in alignment with our values and to communicate openly and directly. We are all in this together.”
There are ways to get involved and learn more, including donating/following organizations that are committed to improving the lives for people of color, educating yourself on racism and the history of systemic oppression. If you still aren’t sure where to start, Madison Magazine recently shared a list of Madison-based organizations that focus on black empowerment. If you are interested in books, documentaries or podcasts about the topic, click here.