CDW understands that a safe and nurturing environment which values diversity is necessary to accomplishing your best work. That’s why we not only strive to educate coworkers on inclusive practices but encourage diverse thinkers to be their authentic self every day. See what Tamara Fletcher, Senior Manager of Inclusion, has to say about her 14-year career at CDW and what inclusion at our company means to her.
What is Ignite Inclusion and why was this launched?
Ignite Inclusion is a 10-month program for ALL CDW coworkers in the United States and Canada. It is designed to marry education and awareness with inclusive behaviors so that we can build a culture of collaboration, unity, belonging, and inclusion. It was launched because CDW recognizes that to be both a diverse and inclusive organization where coworkers feel they can be unique and belong, EVERY coworker needs to understand and be accountable to how they can behave more inclusively in the workplace.
Why is Ignite Inclusion important to you? And why is it important to CDW?
I have been at CDW for 14 years…my entire career has been at this organization. I have always considered myself to be unique, but I haven’t always felt like I belong. As a Black Lesbian woman, there have been moments in my career when I have either hid aspects of myself or isolated myself before I could be ostracized. In either case, I wasn’t as productive as I could have been, and I certainly did not feel valued. This program unites us all in a journey to create an environment that makes sure my past experiences don’t become the experiences of others at CDW.
What does inclusion mean to you?
Inclusion means that I can bring all aspects of myself unapologetically to work and know that those aspects that are different than others are valued by my team members, my peers, and my leaders. It means that my differences do not isolate me, instead they are considered the missing piece to what makes CDW great. It means that opportunities are presented for me to contribute, and those contributions are respected and appreciated. Lastly, it means that my pathway to success does not have limitations and I can achieve any goal I put forth for myself.
What do you think CDW does a good job of doing already when it comes to inclusion?
We have done a great deal of work to ensure that our Business Resource Groups (BRGs) are a pillar of Inclusion at CDW. They have become a platform for cultural awareness, professional development, networking and connections. We have also done a great job of educating and engaging leaders as they work towards their journey of inclusive leadership. What we’re excited for next with the Ignite Inclusion program is embarking on a path of awareness and behavior change at all levels throughout the organization.
What would you want others to know about this effort?
Our coworkers are what makes CDW a success. Ignite Inclusion is a program that helps make sure that coworkers feel and know that their contributions matter, and that everyone is supported and empowered to do their jobs effectively. At a broader level, this program demonstrates that CDW not only values inclusion and diversity but is committed to cultivating an inclusive culture across all of our locations. I am honored to have been a part of creating a program like Ignite Inclusion, and am excited to watch its impact on coworkers, our culture, and CDW’s success over time.
Learn more about CDW's diversity & inclusion efforts here.