In June 2021, NARAL’s board passed our current Strategic Plan, including our Roadmap to Equity, which memorializes our commitments and lays out our steps forward as we continue to build an inclusive culture, cultivate staff engagement, and ensure transparency.
NARAL Pro-Choice America plays a critical component in the broader reproductive rights, health, and justice movements and a part of rising to meet this moment is being authentic and transparent about how we live out our values that “freedom is for every body.”
At NARAL, every body starts with our people. So, this past fall, we worked with Lake Research Partners to institute an annual employee engagement survey designed to understand the workplace experiences of our staff. This survey is an important tool to hold ourselves accountable to our commitment to provide an inclusive and supportive workplace environment. We share the results of our first survey here.
Some key strengths we uncovered:
- Our staff are passionate about our mission and energized by their colleagues, many saying the knowledge and dedication of their co-workers is the best thing about working at NARAL;
- There is good communication with leadership, on teams, and between departments;
- Most staff feel safe at work and believe they are treated fairly, are respected, and heard.
We also gained a better understanding of some of the areas where we need to continue to improve, including:
- Making the promotion process more clear and transparent and doubling down on efforts to retain staff;
- Building trust between the executive team and the staff, a majority of whom were not confident that the weaknesses identified in the survey would be addressed in a timely manner;
- Changes to the workplace to make it a better place to work — addressing retention issues and turnover rates and ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts rise to the top as priorities, including recruiting and retaining diverse staff (particularly around ability/disability).
Working in partnership with staff through our Inclusive Improvement, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IIDEA) Committee, we will use the results of this survey to continue to inform the concrete ways we continue to improve. Some key priorities that clearly emerged from the survey and which we have some immediate next steps on are:
- Hiring the Chief Diversity Officer position to sit on the executive team and report to the president and ensure the highest-level priority to our critical work around diversity, equity, and inclusion;
- Clarifying and sharing policies around promotion and our salary bands (including the results of the salary scan we recently commissioned to benchmark salary standards in our industry);
- Continuing to invest in meaningful professional development for our staff;
- And assessing and potentially restructuring our staff review process.
As we move into this pivotal year and with the leadership of our new president Mini Timmaraju, we are committed to continuing to do the hard work of prioritizing diversity and equity as a key strategy to further our mission and improve our workplace culture.
Specifically, we are determined to tangibly improve processes around recruitment and retention and take actionable steps to create needed change and enhance what we are doing that’s working, in partnership with our staff and stakeholders. Each day we are committed to lean into our Roadmap to Equity and to continue to prioritize our work to make NARAL an inclusive and supportive workplace for each and every one of our staff.