In the weeks following the murder of George Floyd by police, Convoy, like many other companies, put out a statement affirming our support for our Black employees and community members. In this statement, we acknowledged the centuries of privilege, ignorance, and inequalities inherent in our society as well as the role we have played in upholding these oppressive systems. We outlined the immediate steps we were taking to build diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into our DNA as we grow as a company and made commitments to fight systemic racial inequality.
Making statements and promises is not enough, and the actions we take need to be defined by the people who are most impacted. With that in mind, we are empowering our Black employees to help define the path forward and to hold us accountable. They in turn have formed Black@Convoy, an Employee Resource Group (ERG) to represent and celebrate Black employees at Convoy. Black@Convoy plans to create a supportive and inclusive community at Convoy, by promoting employee growth and allyship through recruitment and community engagement efforts.
Black@Convoy will start by educating Convoy employees about the issues and barriers that disproportionately affect the Black community. These issues include barriers to career growth, unwelcoming and racist attitudes of white colleagues, and forced assimilation into racist corporate cultures. “One barrier I have previously experienced as a result of having to assimilate to White normative culture is feeling uncomfortable wearing my natural curly hair (because of comments & stares)” says Gabbie Moore, a member of the Black@Convoy Leadership Council. “As a result of this discomfort, I felt pressured to straighten my hair, especially for job interviews, to ensure I could secure a role and be accepted at the company.”
By providing education, resources, and a space for Black voices, Convoy strives to be an effective advocate for our Black community members and an ally in fighting the issues they face. Black@Convoy has four primary goals:
- Help grow Convoy into a more diverse and inclusive company.
- Celebrate the unique experiences and culture that Black employees bring to the workplace.
- Provide increased exposure to, and education about Black experiences and culture for the greater Convoy community.
- Initiate and participate in the tough conversations regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
While forming the Black@Convoy ERG represents a step in the right direction, there are many tough conversations that still need to be had within Convoy and the trucking industry as a whole. “My advice to company leadership and allies is to make sure that you’re listening and creating feasible long-term solutions for the concerns, burdens, and issues that are being surfaced regarding DEI” says Moore. “Having the initial conversation regarding how to address DEI is a step in the right direction, but in order to truly be leaders in the incorporation of DEI efforts, we have to make sure that we support DEI holistically and that this doesn’t stop with solely a conversation. A primary example of how we can support DEI long term is to create a team specifically designed to work on DEI initiatives full-time and preferably make sure that the leader of that team is a member of a minority community.”
Black@Convoy will start making changes within Convoy by creating the space to have tough, but necessary conversations while fostering a community of employees and company leadership that has the knowledge, understanding, and openness to engage in these spaces. This will include panels with diverse tech leaders, networking and recruiting events, career workshops, and more. We want as many people as possible to be a part of this community and to participate in these critical conversations.
The formation of the Black@Convoy ERG is just the beginning of a long road towards racial equity at Convoy. Our intent in announcing this publicly is to maintain external accountability and hopefully inspire other companies within tech and freight to do the same. Convoy is far from perfect in how we have approached racial justice in the past but we are beginning the process of doing better and being better in order to build a more equitable community.
If you are a Black-owned trucking company and would like to learn more about how you can start hauling with Convoy, or if you currently haul with Convoy and would like access to additional opportunities, please reach out to email@example.com or visit our supplier diversity page for more information.