By Daniela Ramirez, Manager of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Dallas Regional Chamber’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Leaders Connect, a group designed for discussion of relevant topics DEI leaders are facing and sharing of knowledge and resources, met on Tuesday, Nov. 15, to hear from American Airlines’ Kevin Williams, Managing Director – People Business Partner, Aviation, to learn how DEI is being embedded in the company’s strategy to enhance reliability and profitability.
As the global leader in commercial aviation, American Airlines is engrossed in connecting with the brightest talent for growth, providing excellent service, and ensuring their workforce reflects the diversity of their global customer base. With 20 global employee business resource groups (EBRG) and 149 local chapters, American Airlines is embracing a wide range of affinities including employees over 40 years of age, living green, as well as various racial and religious identities. EBRGs are closely aligned to American Airlines’ business priorities and embody a key element of how the company is fostering a culture of belonging for everyone. The company is intentionally adopting cultural humility and fully leveraging the valuable work of EBRGs to actively engage team members, provide leadership development, and step into the community through service.
Beyond building cultural understanding and amplifying belonging through internal community building, American Airlines is driving equitable outcomes by working to increase diverse representation across leadership levels and providing tools and education to curtail biases and micro-aggressions. To diversify careers in aviation, American Airlines is partnering with community-based organizations focused on civil rights and equity, and is hosting events to expose younger generations of color to the different professions available at American Airlines. Earlier this year, American Airlines also operated an all-black, all-female crew from Dallas to honor Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman and first Native American to hold a pilot license.
During the open discussion portion of the session, the group of DEI professionals discussed the recent antisemitic comments made by public figures. A few group members spoke about their companies’ crisis communication management and the education they rolled out to quickly denounce the comments and help counter the recent rise of antisemitism, touting the essential work of organizations such as the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.
For more information on DEI and how to get involved at the DRC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.