My intent when I turned away from a big job in “corporate America” the year I turned 40 and started Briljent was to create a company where everyone could have a voice. Honestly, I was fed up with how I was treated because I was a woman. For over 20 years we have worked with clear intent to take care of our people equally, listen to their ideas, value their contribution, and give them opportunities. Are we perfectly doing this? No, but we work at it every day, and we are constantly improving. Our goal: Create an environment in which all people thrive.
-Kathy Carrier, Founder and CEO
“Many of us are spending time reading, learning, and educating ourselves on topics such as unconscious bias, white privilege, systemic racism, and oppression,” began the invitation to an internal series of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion think tank sessions to commence in Summer 2020. Our invitation to our family of employees continued, “We are looking deep within ourselves and thinking about what we can each do. Our efforts are in pursuit of improved diversity and inclusion for hiring, developing, and promoting at Briljent.”
The DEI think tank series was an intentional step to refresh and expand our DEI policies, and there is no doubt that we still have much to do to fully live out our commitment to DEI values, but as the opening quote from our founder and CEO, Kathy Carrier, shows, we’re proud of our history and commitment to diversity. Briljent is a Women-Owned Business (WBE), and we carry the WBE Certification in several US cities and states. At the heart of our origin story is Kathy’s bold leadership—an entrepreneur; a woman—and her frustration with the treatment of women in the workplace that she had experienced directly.
Briljent’s purpose to serve its staff and communities is the driving force of our initiatives. We see what is going on in the world, and we are working to acknowledge what each of our employees are experiencing. We are inspired to learn more, to help bring about change, and to be better.
The DEI think tank sessions resulted in a company glossary of terms to cultivate shared language, an internal blog series called, “Let’s Get Uncomfortable,” where our employees shared their own stories, including deeply personal admissions about reckoning with our own unconscious biases and heart wrenching stories describing how we have been affected by discriminatory and prejudicial practices, including racial injustice, gender bias, and ableism. Our DEI work showed up in transparent communications from our senior leadership and peer-to-peer connections in brave spaces that celebrated our diversity of age, gender, shade, and background. Our skilled instructional designers and eDevelopers partnered to create a new DEI training module from scratch—not merely patching up an old version or procuring an off-the-shelf training. We roll out this new training internally this year.
Our efforts in pursuit of improved diversity, equity, and inclusion continue. We’ve created a policy as the foundation to guide our business decisions and practices. This policy outlines Briljent’s view on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion for our company and the initiatives we’re taking to support these important topics. Do we get it right every time? Of course not, but we will continue educating ourselves and building the collective behaviors and actions that it takes to work toward a better Briljent.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy
Briljent recognizes and values the contribution of people with differences in capabilities, experiences, and perspectives. Diversity encompasses gender; age; physical or mental ability; family or marital status; sexual orientation; gender identity or expression; political affiliation; socio-economic status; veteran status; education; ethnicity; race; language; and religious and cultural backgrounds, as well as other dimensions such as lifestyle and family responsibilities and other characteristics that make our employees unique. Diversity within our organization provides diversity of input for our projects, clients, and the community we serve, which benefits all. Equity ensures that all employees have access to opportunities for growth, recognizing both individuals with certain privileges and those facing barriers. Inclusion ensures all feel a sense of belonging. Briljent is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion where everyone can be one’s best self, free from discrimination, where all who are respectful of others feel welcomed and valued in a workplace that provides opportunity to all.
Briljent’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are applicable, but not limited, to our practices and policies on recruitment and selection; compensation and benefits; professional development and training; promotions; transfers; social and recreational programs; layoffs; terminations; and the ongoing development of a work environment that encourages and enforces the following:
- Respectful and inclusive communication and cooperation between all employees
- Teamwork and employee participation, permitting the representation of all groups whenever possible
- Diversity of perspective by leveraging the diverse personalities, thinking, skills, experience, and working styles of our employees and other stakeholders
- Work-life balance to accommodate employees’ varying needs
- An inclusive environment by identifying and removing systematic barriers to equitable access, participation, and progression in employment
- Programs aimed at increasing access to promote success in employment for under-represented groups in order to overcome disadvantage
- Employer and employee contributions to communities we serve to promote understanding and respect for the greater good
This policy applies to all Briljent employees and consultants, representatives, contractors, and contract workers when they act on behalf of Briljent. All employees and representatives of Briljent have a responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect. All are expected to exhibit conduct that reflects inclusion and fairness during work, at work functions on or off the work site, and at all other company-sponsored and participative events.
All employees and applicable representatives are required to complete annual compliance training to enhance their knowledge to fulfill this responsibility. Any employee or representative of Briljent found to have exhibited inappropriate conduct or behavior against others may be subject to education, disciplinary action, or termination.