In 2004, April was officially declared Celebrate Diversity Month to recognize and honor the diversity that surrounds us all. It is a time to reflect, appreciate and learn about the diverse cultures, backgrounds and traditions that are celebrated in the world and all around us.
At Werner, we are passionate about our people and the difference they make each day. We are proud to support and encourage the diverse voices and perspectives of our associates, our customers, and our suppliers continuously. With inclusion and community as two of our core values, Werner is constantly committed to achieving greater diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the Company.
As we honor Celebrate Diversity Month, we want to spotlight our newest members of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team here at Werner, as they share fun and educational opportunities on how you can celebrate this month in your own life.
Meet Our New Team Members
Larissa joined Werner in January 2021 as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Partner. Her passion is rooted in the advocacy of marginalized groups and creating a more equitable society. Her work in DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) extends beyond her most recent role in academia at Creighton University as a Program Coordinator in Multicultural and Community Affairs. Larissa has held board and committee chair positions with both Urban League of Nebraska Young Professionals and the New Leaders Council of Omaha. She also speaks three different languages. Larissa’s DEI focus at Werner is to connect and build relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), while working with the talent acquisition team to enhance our diverse workforce and increase opportunities for community partnerships.
In 2015, Yesenia joined Werner as a Transportation Manager, working with many Spanish-speaking professional drivers out of our Omaha and Laredo offices. She has since held positions in intermodal, learning and development, and change management. Yesenia transitioned to a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Partner role in January of 2021.
Yesenia will concentrate on developing, communicating and facilitating diversity-related learning for all associates, as well as providing support to the Associate Resource Groups.
How to Celebrate Diversity
Larissa and Yesenia bring plenty of innovation, enthusiasm and creativity to our DEI team. We are excited to see what they will accomplish in 2021 and the fresh ideas that they bring. Here are some of their suggestions on how to expand your knowledge and learn something new during Celebrate Diversity Month:
- Try a new recipe. A fantastic way to learn about a place or culture is through trying a new recipe. Many cultures take pride in their diverse cuisine.
- Support a minority–owned business. Whether it is a restaurant or a fun boutique, stop by a local minority-owned business to show your support to the owner. It is never a bad idea to expand your horizons on the businesses you choose to support.
- Check out a cultural art exhibit. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many museums have opened virtual cultural art exhibits.There might be a great museum nearby or you can check out others around the world virtually.
- Make a new playlist. Reach out to some friends and have everyone share examples of music from their own culture or heritage. You may learn something new about yourself and others you care about.
- Take an online course. Reach out to your company’s DEI team today and see if they recommend any online courses you can take as an educational opportunity.
As we continue to honor Celebrate Diversity Month, take some time to educate yourself and others and empower collaboration all around you. To learn more about Werner’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives, click here.