Diversity and Inclusion
Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
The focus on business processes, work environment, policies and work conditions to achieve greater associate participation and engagement has been identified as “workplace diversity” at OfficeMax. It is one of three major Areas of Influence associated with our overall Diversity and Inclusion initiative.
In 2007, a number of important developments advanced our workplace diversity goals. These include implementation of diversity and inclusion education and awareness training, enhanced Equal Opportunity Commitment statement, and the launching of Cultural Heritage Months at corporate headquarters. These efforts relate to our “workforce” Area of Influence, as well.
Diversity and Inclusion Education and Awareness Training
A cornerstone of our Diversity and Inclusion initiative is educating and training associates, from senior management to entry-level employees. During 2007, we identified a minority, woman-owned business to deliver training for OfficeMax’s executive management team, the Diversity Council and human resources directors and managers.
Diversity Council members participated in training sessions in 2007, with additional training planned for them and the other groups in 2008. The training is an effort to help people understand the perspectives of people who are different than they are, and to underscore the importance of diversity for companies, given shifting demographics.
Also in 2007, our chief diversity officer and our director, Workforce Diversity, conducted a number of internal training sessions. Approximately 300 associates at our Ottawa, IL, Contact Center, which handles customer calls, received a high-level introduction to Diversity and Inclusion at OfficeMax and information on the business case.
Our entire Supply Chain department, two of our Contract sales teams, two of our PowerMax fulfillment centers and one of our customer service centers, also received diversity and inclusion training, totaling over 230 additional associates.
Diversity and Inclusion information was also incorporated into new-hire orientation presentations for our Human Resources function.
Enhanced Equal Opportunity Commitment Statement and Associate Benefits
In keeping with OfficeMax’s progressive definition of diversity, we revised our Equal Opportunity Commitment statement in 2007 to include two additional classifications: gender identity or expression, and religious accommodation. The former extends protection from discrimination to associates whether or not their gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's assigned gender at birth. The later protects associates from discrimination due to religious practices for which OfficeMax may make reasonable accommodations (e.g., flexible scheduling, voluntary substitution, job reassignments and lateral transfers, modification of grooming requirements, etc.).
Also in 2007, OfficeMax elected to extend additional benefits to domestic partners of both homosexual and heterosexual couples. These include:
• Inclusion in relocation expenses
• Bereavement leave
• Family-oriented leave, similar to that provided for in the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act
Cultural Heritage Months Program
In support of our diversity awareness and education efforts in 2007, OfficeMax began a Cultural Heritage Months program at our corporate headquarters. The program recognized an array of cultural backgrounds in month-long celebrations, with activities ranging from communications, displays and cultural videos and documentary films, to external speakers and panel discussions. Heritage celebrations in 2007 included the following:
• Black History Month/Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
• Women’s History Month
• Asian American Heritage Month
• Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month
• Hispanic Heritage Month
• National Disability Employment Awareness Month
• American Indian Heritage Month
Notifications for most of these events were distributed throughout our U.S. Operations. Moving forward, these celebrations will be announced via Advantage TV by a different, randomly selected executive each month.