Update on our Commitments to the Black Community
In June 2020 amid numerous acts of racism and violence in our country, we declared our commitments to being part of the solution to fight racism and create a more equitable world.
At this time, we want to update our associates, customers and stakeholders on the progress we’ve made on those five key initiatives we pledged to address over the past two years, as well as our plans moving forward.
Standing with our black associates, leaders and associates at large as they advocate for equality in their local communities.
· Our Network of Black Associates Associate Resource Group (ARG) holds quarterly discussions with senior leaders to voice their thoughts and opinions on a variety of meaningful topics related to racism and inequality. We also encourage attendance at national and local diversity and inclusion events.
· In 2023, we plan to implement diverse representation goals for every department at UScellular and hold ourselves accountable for meeting them.
Continuing and expanding our internal initiative "Inclusion is How we D.O. Conversations" focusing on deepening cross-cultural understanding of issues of equity.
· We held four “Inclusion Is How We D.O.” conversations in 2021 with topics ranging from the January 6 election certification, social justice, engaging in political conversations at work and the Afghanistan crisis. So far in 2022, we’ve held conversations on finding our roots, allyship and the Ukraine crisis. We held our annual Inclusion Summit virtually in 2021 and had more than 950 unique attendees across 12 sessions, averaging 350 attendees per session.
Requiring training on racial inequity and continuing to embed diversity into our leader expectations and goals.
· All hiring managers at UScellular are required to take a “D&I Top of Mind Hiring” training course which highlights the benefits of having a diverse slate of candidates when filling positions. Additionally, all vice presidents now have two hours of required Diversity and Inclusion training. In 2022 we added a new training vendor to provide additional learning opportunities across topics of inequity, microaggressions and cultural competency.
· Our goal for 2023 is to include specific diversity trainings in our annual compliance obligations, making them required for every associate on an annual basis.
Expanding our current partnerships with Urban and Diverse Economic Empowerment Organizations.
· Since 2020, we’ve enhanced our engagement with three historical black colleges and universities within our markets to better access talent and encourage interest in UScellular careers. We also have continued our commitment and support for the Chicago and Knoxville Urban Leagues and participated in the Chicago Urban League career fair for the first time in 2021.
· To help address the gaps in STEM education, we support Boys & Girls Clubs of America with a $1 million annual investment. Our 2021 donation connected 204,000 of tomorrow’s innovators with the resources they need today to help shape their future opportunities. We also held our annual Black History Month Art Contest with 30 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country, providing $15,000 in gift cards to directly to youth. In 2022, we added Girls Who Code as a new non-profit partner and donated $150,000 to open five new clubs to help increase access to future opportunities.
Increasing our spend with minority businesses, inclusive of black-owned businesses.
· We increased our spend with minority-owned businesses since 2019, and this is an area of focus for us in 2023 and beyond. On an individual basis, our Network of Black Associates created lists of black-owned small businesses to support in their communities during Black History Month, and we plan to build on that at the corporate level to increase our spend in the future.
We are on a journey, and we recognize that we still have work to do. We will continue to track our progress toward these commitments and implement the necessary changes to ensure we are part of the solution to righting social injustice in this country. We commit to public transparency on this progress to celebrate successes and admit when we may fall short, and we look forward to working with our associates and local communities to create a better future for our country.