Most of us remember a moment when we were singled out for something we cannot change. Perhaps it was due to skin color or cultural heritage. Maybe you were shorter than everyone else or wore glasses. When we encounter these situations, many of us feel confused and hurt. At WDSrx we embrace differences because it supports our business growth and is the correct thing to do.
Every Order Is Equally Important
Gender diversity receives prominence in the media and is also a significant issue in the warehousing and pharma logistics industry. Females represent 37% of workers in the supply chain industry in 2018. At WDSrx, 42% of our workforce is female, five percent above the industry average.
Encouraging women to pursue a career in pharma logistics requires industry-wide coordination and action in hiring practices including neutralizing gendered language and highlighting flexibility and benefits in job descriptions.
Putting Diversity Policy Into Practice
In addition to gender diversity, other qualities that enhance the work environment include cultural, background, age, experience, geographic and career diversity.
At WDSrx, diversity is a natural extension of long-held hiring practices. Interviewers place a high value on the future potential of job candidates which widens the pool of qualified job-seekers beyond the standard resume listings of past experience and education. This strategy is a proven factor contributing to company diversity goals. Currently, 81.5% of the WDSrx team are ethnic minorities.
WDSrx Accounting Coordinator, Kayla Villatoro, fulfills an important role in our company by assuring clients receive accurate invoices that reflect the services provided each month. Kayla is a ‘natural’ with the personal qualities that make her an outstanding member of our team. If previous qualifications were the most important factor in hiring decisions at WDSrx, Kayla would not have been offered the job, because she was trained as a licensed hairstylist. “I was a bit surprised to be hired for the job I hold,” admits Kayla. “(Vice President) Rob (Gerstein) and others saw the potential beyond my employment history and everyone was proven right.”
“We believe personality and potential indicate future performance,” states WDSrx President Adam Runsdorf. “Kayla is one example of many at WDSrx who made the successful transition from different industries or skills into productive members of our pharma logistics team.”
Strength In Numbers
Agreements between nations are often difficult to negotiate. Politicians could learn best practices by observing the collaboration that occurs at WDSrx between people from different cultures. An informal employee survey revealed that people from 19 nations work together at our facilities.
There are obstacles to overcome: English is a second language for some employees, several must carefully monitor vacation time in order to visit family in distant countries, but sports is the greatest source of discord. International soccer rivalries move off the field and into the pharmaceutical warehouse where good-natured comments highlight the play of both teams. Some in the office breathe a sigh of relief during women’s competitions when the U.S. team is almost a sure bet to win it all.
Recently the WDSrx Employee Handbook was revised to reflect current policies, procedures and benefits. The document includes a strong anti-harassment policy including sexual harassment and states that, “We are committed to providing an atmosphere free of harassment and discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, age, national origin or ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic made unlawful by applicable Federal, state or local laws.”
The handbook converts our belief system into words that show how everyone at WDSrx is judged equally based on their ability to perform their job responsibilities. The goal is to provide the necessary resources: training, equipment, procedures, management, for each of us to fulfill our mission to streamline the supply chain between treatments and patients.
Inclusion and diversity are possible only in an environment that promotes equality. According to Adam, “By making everyone aware of our emphasis on equal treatment, we attract and retain the best people who share our belief that diversity and inclusion make WDSrx better for employees, clients and business success.”