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What does inclusion look and feel like at the Cleveland Fed?

Diana C. Starks
Diana Starks, Vice President, Human Resources

Ask the Expert | 08.28.2018

Diversity and inclusion are how we do business. And it’s everyone’s business to create an environment where diversity and inclusion are valued, where our differences are our strengths, and where employees feel welcome to be themselves. Inclusion is critical to our being a high-performing organization that creates and ensures opportunity for all.

What this looks like from an employee’s standpoint is that, on every level of our organization, we seek opportunities in the work we do to include people from different backgrounds and perspectives, from all genders, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, abilities, and more. Employees are encouraged to be inclusive in how we approach and perform tasks and in how we work with others across the Bank. I think that by making small adjustments to the ways we work and the ways we lead, each of us—every employee at every level in the organization—creates a more diverse and inclusive environment, and that translates to more opportunities for all of us.

One way we do this is through our employee resource network groups (RNGs). The groups provide an opportunity for employees who share a common purpose or interest to collaborate and to engage in professional development opportunities, and the groups also support learning opportunities for the rest of the Bank. RNGs sponsor programming on a variety of subjects employees care about, including blended families, youth in the process of coming out or transitioning, gender equality in and out of the workplace, veterans support, and lots more.

Many companies acknowledge differences among their workers. The Cleveland Fed takes it seriously: We acknowledge differences, and then we use them as inspiration, for ourselves and for others. We have an environment at the Bank in which we strive to make people feel comfortable being themselves and bringing their perspectives to every interaction. This environment requires care to maintain and improve, and that’s what we do here every single day. There’s always something we can learn from a colleague.

That’s in part why the Cleveland Fed has earned numerous recognitions over the years. We’ve been acknowledged as best-in-class for supplier diversity and as the best large company to work for in Northeast Ohio. For several years running we’ve earned a score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, and this year we were ranked first among large companies by NorthCoast 99.

These recognitions, coming from outside organizations, reinforce what we know as employees: The Cleveland Fed is a great place to work.

We each recognize that none of these awards or acknowledgements would be possible without continued individual and organizational attention to diversity and inclusion. Our work in this space continues.


Diana C. Starks is vice president of human resources at the Cleveland Fed. She’s responsible for the Bank’s diversity and inclusion efforts and employee relations.


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