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Five Questions with Chief Diversity Officer Errin Braddock

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Meet Errin Braddock, Enterprise Holdings’ first Chief Diversity Officer. Building on the organization’s longstanding commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture, Errin will lead the Office of Diversity and be responsible for bringing the organization’s strategic diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) vision to life.

Promoted from within Enterprise, Errin directly supported, coached and guided Enterprise’s DE&I team since its inception. Specifically, he has engaged in creating and aligning content for DE&I programs and trainings with an eye toward accountability. He has also been a key advisor for HR professionals, General Managers and other senior leaders on difficult issues related to race, age, gender, sexual orientation and disability opportunities.

Errin’s journey to DE&I leadership was built over a lifetime full of lived experience. His early education, elementary and high school, placed him in an environment where he was one of very few students of color in the entire school. He made a conscious effort to change that experience when he decided to attend a Historically Black University, Hampton University.

From there, he attended Washington University School of Law. His experiences there gave him a unique perspective about DE&I and spurred his interest to get involved in the community and bring real, lasting change.

“I realized there was action I could take to help on both sides – to help navigate being in the minority or majority and to help individuals and organizations encountering the same obstacles I faced,” says Errin.

After several years working at a St. Louis law firm, he joined the Enterprise team in 2008 as Employment Counsel, and in 2020 was promoted to Vice President of Labor and Employment.

His perspective and passion for fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture at Enterprise is what inspired Errin to apply for the newly created position of Chief Diversity Officer. Errin’s experience, leadership and passion will help us further embed DE&I in every aspect of our business and ensure that we drive measurable outcomes.

Here, he shares his perspective on his newly minted role and vision for the future:

How will your diverse personal and professional experiences impact your leadership approach as Chief Diversity Officer?

It is imperative to assure diversity, equity and inclusion are focused on diverse populations in particular (be it by gender, race, sexual orientation, veteran status, religion or the differently abled). But everyone must be part of the inclusiveness we ultimately seek. Having experience on both sides, my goal is to bring a balance to the diversity and inclusion experience.

The HR legal team I’ve helped lead for the past 12 years is a diverse department with diverse perspectives, and we were able to have very constructive but rigorous debates on important issues as we helped to guide the organization. We all had the same goal: determine the right thing to do for the business. It was this constructive and meaningful exchange from very different perspectives that allowed us to view every situation through multiple lenses and come up with innovative solutions to difficult issues.

When we are faced with challenges in the DE&I space, we need to look for solutions in as many ways as possible; that will help us identify the best path to pursue. Seeking out employees and supporting them so they feel comfortable expressing their opinion creates a culture of trust , which is imperative to having meaningful discourse and solution based exchanges on topics that are typically seen as uncomfortable.

What signature diversity programs have you championed during your Enterprise Holdings career?

I have been fortunate to work with the Vice President of Strategic Diversity Initiatives and Corporate Inclusion and Diversity Manager over the course of my Enterprise career and have provided direct support, coaching and guidance to the DE&I team since its inception. I’m passionate about training and believe the trainings this team has built are not just for the topics of today, but are lasting and address areas that are imperative for an organization that values DE&I. Strategic training is needed so the organization can holistically make necessary adjustments and meet our diversity goals. I believe it is an important part of the overall strategy to make a lasting impact on how we approach diversity locally and globally.

Why is diversity, equity and inclusion critical to the success of the business?

Enterprise Holdings’ future success is tied to our diversity efforts not simply because it’s the right thing to do, but because future success requires that every employee feels valued and respected for their unique skills, talents and experiences and is motivated to reach their full potential. Our growth and success are inextricably linked to how wisely we shape both our workplace and workforce and how we understand and respond to this richly diverse marketplace.

“Enterprise Holdings’ future success is tied to our diversity efforts not simply because it’s the right thing to do, but because future success requires that every employee feels valued and respected for their unique skills, talents and experiences and is motivated to reach their full potential.”

What advice would you give to employees looking to make a difference in their community?

If you want to get involved, find something you’re passionate about. I choose to spend my time volunteering with community-based organizations that support underserved or underrepresented communities, it’s a passion of mine.  My involvement with organizations such as St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, Girls, Inc., Goodwill Industries, First Tee of Greater St. Louis and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis truly help to fulfill my  desire to make a difference in the community.

This content was originally published here.

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