VGS is committed to fostering an environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and just for all. We enrich our communities, employees, customers and state when we welcome diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds of all kinds. We know that a statement outlining our commitment to end racial injustice and advance equity at VGS is only the first step. We must take bold actions in everything we do for both employees and customers, including examining and changing our policies, programs, hiring practices and Company culture, to dismantle systems of oppression that continue to exist in our society.
VGS is committed to begin work immediately on the following steps:
- Develop and adopt an anti-racist policy with zero tolerance for any acts or behaviors rooted in racism, discrimination, harassment or bias.
- Incorporate Racial Equity and Bystander trainings for all new employees during onboarding and current employees as part of on-going training.
- Ensure pay equity regardless of race, color, gender, gender identity, age, religion, sexual orientation or any other legally protected status.
- Review and modernize recruitment and hiring practices, including removal of identifiers on employment applications that might unfairly bias the employer against an applicant.
- Foster a comfortable and mindful work environment where we acknowledge and celebrate differences.
- Support participation in democracy by encouraging and enabling participation in civic engagement activities such has Town Meeting Day, Primary Day, Election Day or in the participation of other forms of civic engagement.
- VGS Leadership will hold itself accountable by presenting these commitments to the Board of Directors for their review and approval, and thereafter provide to the Board regular progress reports and findings of VGS’ annual equity audit.
VGS has already completed the following steps:
- Provide paid parental leave and sick leave for all its full-time and part-time employees.
- Pay all its employees at least a livable wage as determined by the Vermont statute.
- Provide a safe, anonymous forum for employees to report any instances of discrimination through our confidential third-party ethics hotline.
- Sanction a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team made up of individuals representing a cross-section of backgrounds, work functions and leadership levels across the organization.
These steps are just the beginning. This will be a dedicated work-in-progress to ensure that VGS is an actively antiracist and fully welcoming organization that is respectful, empathetic, equitable and inclusive. VGS is committed to continuous learning, improvement and development over time. As such, you can expect our diversity and inclusion statement, and associated policies, to evolve over time.
Version last updated: July 21, 2020