As executive VP of human resources at Addison Group, Peg Buchenroth is passionate about making DE&I an integral part of the company’s culture. Under Buchenroth’s leadership, along with Addison Group’s DE&I Advisory Board, DE&I is being woven into the organization’s fabric beyond a one-time project. “Companies that embrace DE&I attract the best talent, resulting in valuable perspectives and innovative ideas that can produce positive outcomes throughout an organization,” she says.
To achieve this goal, Addison Group established an interim DE&I task force in November 2020, which has since become a permanent advisory board. In 2021, the company engaged a DE&I expert consultant who helped build a three-year plan, which the advisory board has worked to implement, including launching seven employee resource groups that provide internal support and social networks for all employees across Addison Group’s family of brands.
“Our employee resource groups play a critical role in providing a safe space for employees to build a community, be together and share stories,” Buchenroth says. “I am proud of the courage of the individuals who share stories with us. Anyone who has attended our events and heard those stories were deeply moved.”
As someone who has wanted to help people her entire career, Buchenroth suggests companies should involve employees to accelerate DE&I programs and bring in a trusted partner, if they do not already have individuals with extensive DE&I experience within the organization.
“All of our employee resource groups are employee-led,” she shares. “The love and passion our employees have shown in being part of DE&I efforts has been gratifying.”
Addison’s goal is to expand these employee resource groups by increasing membership and offering more educational and career development opportunities.
As an ally of women- and minority-owned businesses, Buchenroth also seeks to support these businesses and believes in donating time within local communities to help them grow.
“Anyone can support underserved communities financially, but what’s equally impactful is donating time. Every act of kindness counts in building thriving communities, and if one can help with events within the local community, it does make a difference.”
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