APCO Holdings, LLC, a leading provider and administrator of automotive F&I products and home to the EasyCare and GWC Warranty brands, announces initiatives to improve diversity and equity within the company along with plans to continue building an even stronger culture of inclusion.
We are determined to engage our employees in having a more positive impact on both our company and the larger communities in which we do business.
"As the nation engages in discussions about diversity and inclusion, APCO is committed to using our resources and collective experiences to create substantial change now and in the future," says Crystal Meinert, Vice President, Human Relations. "We are determined to engage our employees in having a more positive impact on both our company and the larger communities in which we do business.”
Recognizing the need to be intentional about building a truly inclusive environment, APCO partnered with Pope Consulting, one of the country's most experienced firms specializing in diversity, equity, inclusion, and culture change. To launch APCO's Diversity and Inclusion strategy, Pope has led several programs to benchmark employee and candidate demographics and evaluate employee feedback. This effort included an in-depth, voluntary employee focus group designed to give leadership better insight into the challenges, issues, and stereotypes employees face at work. Pope will continue to advise APCO on steps the company can take to achieve organizational change.
To spearhead the company's own initiatives, APCO formed a Diversity and Inclusion Council to shape future opportunities to educate and engage employees. Made up of 30 employees representing all business lines, the Council has worked to accelerate structural change by encouraging conversation and launching new Inclusion and Unconscious Bias training courses required for all employees.
"The conversations we've had as part of our Diversity and Inclusion Council meetings have been instrumental in providing employees a view into the challenges their peers face both inside and outside of the workplace," says Meinert. "The actions that APCO is taking are directly influenced by these open and transparent discussions."
The Diversity and Inclusion Council also took on the responsibility of deploying funds earmarked for contributions to community partners that champion social equity initiatives. Nominated by employees, groups in consideration were reviewed by a Diversity Community Outreach Committee formed to manage this process. The five organizations selected to receive funding in 2020 were:
- 21st Century Leaders based in Decatur, Ga., whose mission is to inspire high school students to leverage diversity, explore career opportunities, and become leaders in their schools, communities, and ultimately the workforce
- The Black Scranton Project in Scranton, Pa., working to cultivate awareness and unity through the arts, sharing public history, and elevating Black and POC-owned local businesses
- Black Students of California United in Fresno, Ca., providing resources and tools to California's Black youth to grow fully engaged participants in civic and economic life
- Gwinnett County Community Based Mentoring Program in Suwanee, Ga., working to expose students to academic and enrichment activities that will allow them to become successful young adults in and out of school
- ACLU Georgia, based in Atlanta, Ga., dedicated to preserving and protecting the liberties and privileges guaranteed to everyone by the Bill of Rights
"As an essential part of our ongoing effort to ensure diversity in all that we do, we are excited to support and partner with organizations that serve the neighborhoods where we live and work," Meinert says. "But we have more to do and more to learn, and we will continue to pursue ways to turn opportunity into action and keep up our efforts to encourage a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion."
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today