Whitney Harvey named Prime’s new diversity, equity, and inclusion director
Prime’s diversity journey continues to growJanuary 8, 2021
“It is such an honor to have been selected for this position,” says Harvey. “Prime’s diversity and inclusion efforts have come a long way in the past few years when it started as a volunteer effort. I am beyond excited to see the additional impact we can make now that I can be dedicated full-time to this work.”
D&I at Prime – it’s a journey
In 2017, Prime mapped out a path to create more strategic, sustained and integrated diversity and inclusion efforts.
“We knew we needed to make a plan to embed this in the business as a priority,” says Vicki Heinz, assistant vice president of talent management and the lead sponsor for the D&I Council. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done so far, but to make meaningful and lasting change we needed a designated quarterback to keep driving us forward. I’m so thankful we could tap Whitney for this role. She is a thoughtful innovator who values all people and sees what we can achieve when we leverage all our unique strengths. I am excited to see what we will accomplish next with her leadership.”
One of the most visible actions from that original plan was the formation the D&I Council in 2019, which is staffed by Prime employee volunteers who seek to make a difference. Already the Council has already made a meaningful impact. In response to the unrest after the murder of George Floyd, the Council sponsored employee listening sessions, supported HR-led leader listening sessions, and hosted volunteers to clean up communities affected by the unrest. The Council also played a key role in the development of the new Prime Together Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to “work together with our communities to address inequality and injustice in all its manifestations, particularly racism, poverty, health and hunger.” Although managed separately, the Council will play a role in recommending how foundation funds are allocated.
While the pandemic changed many activities that would normally take place in-person this year, the Council still managed to host successful virtual events, such as a Pride celebration this past spring.
In addition, the Council stood up two employee resource groups (ERGs), Prime Pride and Women + Allies, which are groups that foster diversity, inclusion and relevancy among employees who may share a common characteristic or are like-minded.
“ERGs are a great way for employees and allies to come together to discuss ways that Prime can be more inclusive by hosting events, creating awareness around issues affecting a particular group or community, and to make connections across the business in a new way,” says Zabrina Watkins, D&I Council co-chair.
What the future holds
While the Council has already accomplished a lot, they continue to work to ingrain diversity, equity and inclusion into Prime’s culture.
“In 2021, the D&I strategy will focus on hiring diverse talent, growing opportunities for new and existing ERGs, and launching more employee education. We intend to demonstrate our commitment to inclusion through our actions. We’re proud of the steps we have taken on inclusion, to better model our communities and our members. We believe these initiatives will enhance our status as an employer of choice in the Twin Cities and nationally,” said Heinz.
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