Lately at work, I’ve noticed a wonderful thing. RoC hires team members for their heart; their compassion and enthusiasm to help others. These are traits shared by everyone in the organization. The thing I’ve been noticing recently, though, is our differences. Several countries are represented while 5+ languages are spoken. Some are Colorado natives, others moved here only recently. Yet we’re all united in our mission to improve quality of life for our clients.
Heather, our CEO, may not realize it, but when she brought me onto the team, her decision was rooted in diversity. In RoC’s infancy, I asked her for a volunteering opportunity. “Can you make memes?” she asked over the phone. “I need someone to make memes for Facebook that don’t look like a woman made them using scrapbooking software.” She was the woman, and the pictures she made did look scrapbooky, but they were nice, I thought. Still, Heather recognized a need to reach a wider audience. I didn’t truly understand my responsibility until much later, but I was happy to accept the challenge and make the most informative posts possible with my own distinct design.
At that time, RoC was an all-volunteer workforce. The vast majority were parents or family members of medically fragile loved ones. Even then, I thought we were a diverse bunch, many of us hailing from different parts of the country, dealing with a myriad of serious medical conditions at home. As the team grew, so did our variety. Increasingly, new volunteers weren’t directly affected by a sick family member. They just cared about the cause and wanted to contribute. Our first intern was Canadian and lent her marketing and graphic design skills to improve our image and messaging. A young engineer left his profession and his home state to come volunteer; he’s now our Program Manager.
Every new person brought a different perspective and skill set.
When we were ready to hire staff and move into an office building, we knew diversity was key to our success and we built the team with this in mind. Over two years later, it’s amazing to see them in action. We have 3 multilingual Care Specialists. Our age range has increased, bringing new ideas and wisdom. We’ve sampled new food and drinks with each other. A German and a Dominican spoke Portuguese with each other while getting coffee. A Saudi Arabian interviewed a Kentucky native. We’ve danced the cha-cha and listened to Queen. In a workplace full of inspiration due to how we affect people outside our office, we’re also inspiring each other. RoC is strong because of our shared passion, and stronger still because of our diversity. We all contribute unique skills and experiences, bringing out the best in each other and the organization.