Driving Sustainable Change Through DEI and Employee Engagement

June 21, 2023 Author: Mario X. Carrasco

June presents organizations with opportunities like Pride and Juneteenth to actively engage with and support diverse communities. But demonstrating a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion requires a consistent and continuous effort at all levels of an organization if it’s to foster an inclusive environment in which people feel valued, seen and heard 365 days a year.

At the heart of that commitment are the individuals within the organization who greatly benefit from a sustained effort to foster inclusivity – employees. Typically, within inclusive cultures, employees are more engaged, which impacts retention and productivity, ultimately benefiting the bottom line. When employees carry the values of diversity and inclusion outside the workplace into the community through volunteerism, for example, they amplify the organization’s commitment, generating positive brand sentiment.

Organizations can also partner with external groups such as nonprofits and civic organizations to develop relationships and implement programming that brings long-term benefits to marginalized groups, not the occasional performative headlines.

Post-2020, there was a rush to quickly onboard DEI programs in fear of public backlash. But many organizations have since learned that doing it right is far better than doing it quickly.

In this episode of The New Mainstream podcast, Sue Schmidlkofer, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at UPS shares DEI best practices for actively engaging employees in driving sustainable change.


Meet Our Guest:

Sue SchmidlkoferSue Schmidlkofer, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, UPS

In this role, she oversees the company’s global strategy centered around its mission statement, ‘You Belong At UPS.’ Monitoring workforce diversity aspirational goals, supporting more than 200 Business Resource Groups, and developing top talent are her key areas of focus in 2023.

Throughout her 28-year career at UPS, Sue has held a variety of roles primarily within Human Resources in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and currently at the global headquarters in Atlanta. Sue serves on the board of the Georgia Diversity Council, the Atlanta Diversity Management Advocacy Group, and The Drake House, a non-profit organization that supports women and their children experiencing homelessness. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Spanish and a master’s in Business Management and HR. Outside of spending time with her family, her interests include reading, writing, baking, and tennis.