Diversity and Inclusion Make Us Better

Photo of Charlon McIntosh

Early in my career, I had the good fortune to work for companies with a really strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. This was well before businesses felt compelled to make statements about DE&I. I think it helped that performance was merit-based. What you did and what you brought to the bottom line mattered, not your race, creed, or gender. It was about making your numbers. I like operations because I like clear goals and objectives. You know what you must do to be successful.

Today, a statement about a company’s commitment to DE&I is expected throughout the business community. But at too many companies, it’s still just words.

That’s not the case at Frontier. As an executive woman in the tech world who happens to be black, I had my choice of employers. I came to Frontier because the new management team and board are committed to making DE&I part of the company’s DNA. In other words, not something you see, but something you are.

I can only speak to my truth, and my belief that our executive leadership is deeply committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. A workforce where:

  • Leaders reflect the workforce, and our workforce reflects the customers we serve.
  • You feel free to bring your true, full self to work.
  • Every teammate is valued and treated equitably — in how they’re rewarded, how they are promoted, and how they’re paid.

It’s not lost on me how challenging it is to be the only person of color in a room. I spent years where I was that person, and I’ve been in call centers filled with people who looked like me but were never led by people who looked like me.

The issue is about more than gender, skin color, nationality, etc. It’s recognizing our different backgrounds and different life experiences. For example, I am the daughter of immigrants. That experience shaped me. It taught me to value hard work, listening, patience, respect, kindness and more. Those things were great preparation for my career path, and they are values we must bring to the customer experience. Our customers ̶ ̶ and our people ̶ ̶ deserve no less.

Diversity gives us creative problem-solving because problems are viewed from different perspectives. People see, hear, and learn differently. We must be as dynamic and faceted as the problems they face, and our solutions must serve them. That’s how we win.

I believe inclusion is as important as diversity. An organization can be diverse without being inclusive.

Inclusion involves creating an environment where everybody can bring their whole self to work, and where everyone can be who they are ̶ ̶ and that’s OK. What’s not OK would be having a diverse workforce but somehow everybody’s forced into the same box.

We want people to come to Frontier, look around, and see themselves. We want them to feel free to express their opinions or perspectives and be who they are. We want them to be welcomed and we want them to feel they belong. That’s when people are successful.

A company that believes in being inclusive is one where employees thrive. It’s a company where people want to be; when they feel that way they show up and are their best.

If you’re feeling you need to conform to some norm that’s been established by the organization, or someone has made you feel “less than,” it hurts you and the company. And it’s fundamentally not right. So don’t spend your energy focused on things like that, because it takes away from your ability to be you, to be great, and make great contributions to the organization.

At Frontier, we want you to come and do your best work because you are not hesitating for one moment to be your authentic self. It’s worked for me, and it can work for you.