There’s no doubt that you’ve been inundated with statements and affirmations of equality from companies and organizations recently. The protests and rallies sweeping our country cannot—and should not—be ignored. While public outcry demanding change has been strong at points in recent history, progress toward positive change has been halting and temporary. Now, we hope that current momentum will serve as a tipping point and the beginning of long-term, fundamental change.
While it may sound like Unirac is jumping on the bandwagon by bringing up the subject of racial discrimination and the injustice of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police, I’m willing to take that risk. Why? Because we built a strong multicultural and multiracial community at Unirac upon a belief that talent, intelligence, and human kindness remain the same no matter what form they take on the outside. Recent events have re-opened Americans eyes to the systematic discrimination that is still rampant, even now, against the African-American community where lives are uniquely affected in many ways.
Black lives matter.
Unirac is a globally diverse company with headquarters in Albuquerque, in the beautiful and culturally rich state of New Mexico. Our official state moniker is the Land of Enchantment—a designation easy to understand if you are familiar with the stunning high-desert landscape set among the southern tip of the Rockies, the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. New Mexico is an unusual cross-section of cultures backed by hundreds of years of vibrant history. Families of Spanish, Hispanic, and Native American descent have lived side by side for centuries and have created a uniquely complex culture.
As spectacular and intriguing as New Mexico is, it also reflects the broader inequalities and challenges that Americans face collectively. At times, the disparity is especially stark here due to our low population base. Native Americans and Hispanics make up a large part of our small population and face disadvantages and inequalities that are enhanced for members living at or below the poverty level. As New Mexicans, collectively, we are struggling to find ways to fix our failing public education system, the rising opioid crisis, and a biased judicial system that reinforce these inequalities.
Progress, One Step at a Time
Many of us are aware of these inequalities but may not know how to respond. In this moment in history, it is important to acknowledge them and their harmful consequences. As a company, and as an individual, I’d like to affirm that these inequalities are simply not ok.
We can all take actions, even if they are small, to effect positive change. For example, even as a relatively small company, Unirac ensures that we pay all employees a fair, living wage that allows them to provide comfortably for their families. We pay our female employees according to the exact same pay scale as our male employees. We apply the same approach to personal time off, healthcare, flexible worktime and other benefits that are important to employees. We know that in today’s global culture, work teams are most effective when they incorporate diverse, multicultural points of view and so we recruit and promote our employees accordingly.
Some actions may seem small but together they all add up and create positive momentum. From the very beginning, Unirac has been committed to excellence. We could not be the company we are today without the commitment from excellent employees who hail from diverse backgrounds. Our cross-functional work teams are nimble, effective, and efficient because our differences make us stronger, together.