53 Northern Virginia Businesses Recognized as Champions For Accountability of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

TYSONS, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia launched their inaugural Champions for Accountability (Champions) badge and research at an event headlined by journalist Dorothy Gilliam. This unique partnership was created to encourage Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts among Virginia's current and future businesses and non-profits.

Hosted at MITRE, the Champions event was an unveiling of the program's research findings and new badge program identifying 53 regional "Champions" for DEI. Gilliam spoke about social justice in journalism and moderated a discussion of Chief Diversity Officers about DEI within the region. The groundbreaking research – Championing Diversity in Northern Virginia's Leadership – identified a number of DEI-related tools and strategies businesses can employ to improve their workforce.

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Key findings from the report include:
  • Women and non-white leaders account for just 47 percent of executives, despite being 74 percent of the Northern Virginia Workforce. This is especially stark for Black and Hispanic women.
  • A White man is nearly 5x as likely to occupy an executive role in an organization compared to a similarly qualified woman of Color.
  • Over the past 10 years, the demographics of executives have changed in that there is a 36% increase in the number of White men, and a 56% increase in the number of women and executives of Color.
  • 53 organizations completed the application and became "Champions."
  • 69 percent of the 2022 Champions are nonprofits.
  • Self-Identification notes:
    • 100 percent ask employees to self-identify race or ethnicity
    • 98 percent ask employees for sex and gender
    • 56 percent ask about disability status
    • 37 percent ask about LGBTQ+ status

"I want to emphasize that this event and the Champions for Accountability project is part of a much larger strategy. This project and event are just the beginning. We are committed to helping our regional business community grow, learn from one another, and importantly improve our region's outcomes," said Julie Coons, President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Chamber.

"This badging program is one way to encourage and promote more inclusive systems of economic growth in Northern Virginia. By recognizing and uplifting organizations that collect, share, and act on data on their leadership and workforce, we hope to lead and inspire Northern Virginia to build a community that works for everyone," said Eileen Ellsworth, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

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"Northern Virginia Community College supports all efforts to give students from all backgrounds the best chance at succeeding in their education and career goals. This important badging effort by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia reinforces the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion to the future of work in the region. We look forward to sharing best practices that support inclusive excellence," said Nathan Carter, PhD, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Northern Virginia Community College.

"Creating a sense of belonging for all employees is essential to building a more inclusive and diverse workforce. On behalf of MITRE, I am pleased to commend the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce for their leadership in creating the Champions of Accountability and their engagement of the regional business community. As research by the Virginia Community Foundation illustrates, there are many opportunities to strengthen diversity. I'm honored to be working with the many dedicated business executives leading the path forward," said Stephanie E. Turner, MITRE, Vice President, Inclusion, Diversity, and Social Innovation.


Jennifer Williamson

Alex Carey

Filed Under: Business

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