I, Rhonda Ferguson, personally commit to the following:
I personally commit to developing and executing a Roadmap for Sustainable Change by reimagining how we create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace and community. We will base our roadmap on five key pillars – education, culture, talent, vital communities, and suppler relations.
I. Employee Education and Understanding – A Foundation for Growth
Change begins with self-awareness, understanding and compassion. I will lead the development and execution of a robust program to educate Law Department employees, with an emphasis on white colleagues, about both historic and contemporary experiences of minority Americans – to raise awareness about bias, increase support for anti-racist policies, and increase diverse representation at all band levels internally and with outside firms.
II. Culture – An Open and Honest Environment Where We Thrive as Individuals and as a Community
- I will empower and equip leaders to have open, direct respectful and impactful conversation with employees about inclusive diversity and equity.
- Encourage employees to lead from every seat – i.e., the notion that every employee, without regard to position or rank, is a leader and can contribute to meaningful, measurable change.
- Cultivate an environment of trust where employees feel a sense of belonging and comfort while at work – where they can be their authentic selves and thrive.
- Foster a community of ideas, where employees are encouraged and rewarded for thinking creatively and sharing ideas – and to challenge the status quo.
III. Talent – Our Most Important Assets Are Our People
- Recruit, develop and retain diverse team members in Law & Regulation via a deliberate and strategic approach, establish goals, and measure/reward success.
- Ensure hiring managers and interviewers are engaged with our strategy and have the resources to successfully execute it.
- Ensure that diverse employees thrive in Law & Regulation – with an emphasis on career development and growing future leaders. Opportunities must be equitable as must rewards.
IV. Vital Communities – Build Stronger and Healthier Communities through Advocacy and Giving
- Advance programs and public policy, and give our time and resources to improve our communities and promote inclusive diversity and justice.
- Engage in volunteer pro bono work and community service – and engage with employee resource groups.
- Contribute much needed funds to worthy causes.
- Use my voice to advocate for change – and leverage our spheres of influence, internally and externally.
V. Supplier Relations – We are Better Together (but, sometimes, we must act on our own)
- Increase our spend with diverse-owned law firms – with strategies, goals, measurement and accountability.
- Work with our law firms to help ensure they satisfy contractual commitments to have diverse attorneys perform a significant percentage of the work on Allstate matters – and that they play a leadership role in such matters and receive origination or other credit. Refine our data gathering and measurement to allow us to identify improvement opportunities at more granular levels.
- Engage in active and ongoing dialogue with our law firms to share best practices, key learnings, and resources about inclusive diversity and equity.
- Partner with law firms to provide bro bono legal services to advance racial equity.
- Collaborate with our law firms to identify new ways to promote diversity in the legal profession – but also be empowered to innovate on our own and require our law firms to meet certain objectives; directly link compensation and future business development with results.
- Require diversity factors, such as staffing opportunities, leadership and succession, and billing and origination credit, when selecting and retaining law firms.
- Evaluate our law firms quarterly on key diversity dimensions, and work with them to advance action plans for improvement, as needed; link future business development with results.