A 22-year staffing industry veteran — 18 of them at Kelly — Keilon Ratliff has worked hard to advance the diversity and inclusion cause. Being a minority himself, Ratliff realized very early that “I have to be that person whose voice has to be louder.”
Not afraid of going the extra mile, he believes in promoting diversity of thought and culture. “It’s important to embrace each other’s cultural diversity,” says the VP, head of automotive and oil, gas & energy at Kelly Professional & Industrial. “It’s all about leading with an equal heart.”
Ratliff is passionate about helping companies build a workforce that equally represents and reflects the communities in which they operate. Over the past seven years, he has worked with executives at Kelly clients to improve diversity and inclusion rates across the US and Canada.
A key initiative Ratliff actively supports is Kelly’s Equity@Work platform, which is aimed at removing barriers that make it hard for people to attain enriching work. “Don’t job seekers with non-violent, non-relevant criminal histories deserve a second chance to play a contributing role in the workplace?” he reasons.
Ratliff spearheaded Kelly’s collaboration with an automotive manufacturing client to provide job seekers with non-violent criminal histories, who had previously been disqualified from consideration, the opportunity for employment. He coordinated a program to hire qualified candidates with misdemeanors and felonies in areas unrelated to their job duties. The program increased the client’s talent pool, improved retention rates and continues to be a huge success. Second chance hiring has since become an integral part of Kelly’s Equity@Work initiative, and the company is in the process of introducing similar efforts to other clients across the business.
Ratliff also serves on the Kelly Inclusion Council, which provides a platform for employees to shape processes, programs and initiatives to be more inclusive.
2021 DE&I Influencers List