Global Inclusion Week at PRA Group
Global Inclusion Week is an award-winning annual PRA Group event held during the last week of September, which creates a space to educate, inform and inspire employees to better appreciate the diverse and inclusive environment in which they work.
The initiative was inspired by Inclusive Employers’ National Inclusion Week, which we have recognized throughout our Europe business since 2019, building our own programs to adopt it as our own. The pandemic did not hinder the program; when we returned in-person, Inclusion Week helped us reconnect.
In 2021, we collaborated with our international colleagues to expand the initiative in support of PRA Group’s formal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program, which was launched globally in 2020. The company’s diverse geographic footprint gave PRA Group a unique opportunity to create a program that spanned offices worldwide.
We developed a programming schedule that accommodates diverse time zones and leverages technology to provide a virtual, interactive experience that colleagues across the globe can share. Our aim is to provide employees with platforms to build skills, knowledge, understanding, and relationships. Each year, we plan by leveraging feedback from our annual engagement survey and evaluating socially relevant themes common in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space.
“It’s critical to think about professional development alongside inclusion. In today’s world, learning how to have these conversations in the workplace is a vital part of leadership. That’s why we take a holistic approach to the programming,” said Ashley Stump, human resources director for Europe.
We leverage our employee resource group leaders and Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee to offer thought leadership and engage with participants. Our 2023 programming is exploring becoming an ally to inclusion, addressing unconscious bias, advocating for diverse groups, understanding intersectionality, empowering the disabled community, and more. We invited philanthropic partners like Latinos in Virginia Empowerment Center and Disability Empowerment Center to have an active voice in these discussions.
“I am encouraged by how much Inclusion Week at PRA Group has grown over the past few years. It’s important to ensure every single one of our colleagues feels seen and supported. We’re all a part of making that happen, and Global Inclusion Week is helping us all understand how we can do it well,” said Hannah Hague, communications and engagement business partner for Europe.
Employees can also volunteer to participate in “Coffee Match Meetings,” which pair colleagues around the world at random to learn about their roles, interests, and perspectives.
“The main objective of the Coffee Match is to connect people throughout the business who would not ordinarily meet. These meetings have fostered ensuring long-distance friendships, some of whom have since met up during travel,” added Hague.
One of the highlights of the 2023 programming includes an interactive executive leadership panel, where participating employees will get to know our executive vice president, general counsel, and chief human resources officer LaTisha Tarrant and our president of PRA Group Europe, Martin Sjölund.
Although this is only one week of our year, PRA Group’s efforts to create conversation and build community continue year-round. One example of this is PRA Talks, which were born out of Global Inclusion Week in 2022. PRA Talks are monthly sessions that help us deepen our understanding of the things that make us different and unite us in support of one another.
Another example is Conversation Club, one of our professional development offerings designed to promote inclusivity by helping participants build business English language skills through discussion with native-speaking colleagues. This gives colleagues an opportunity to practice in a very safe environment via mentorship, focused conversations, and formal sessions, which translates into the ability to present confidently during meetings that would normally only be English-speaking.
“Overall, Global Inclusion Week has become an important time to renew our efforts and set our intentions when it comes to fostering an inclusive workplace where everyone can truly be their best. We’re excited to continue building on our progress throughout the rest of 2023 and beyond,” said Tara Borchers, head of DEI and human resources technology.