Aptima IDEA Initiative
We have all witnessed how marginalized communities have been dehumanized, criminalized, and subjected to horrific acts of violence, including police brutality. We believe we need to do our part to address both the symptoms and causes of intolerance and systemic racism.
To make Aptima as inclusive, diverse, equitable, and antiracist a workplace as possible, we are effecting collective and transformative changes in terms of awareness, learning, and corporate policy.
This ongoing effort is of utmost importance, and its success is being tracked and measured on our corporate scorecard alongside revenue, customer satisfaction, and other indices. Aptima is fully committed, at both the corporate and community level, to making equity and inclusion part of the company’s core identity and a driver of corporate policies.
To address this need, Aptima formed the IDEA Committee in 2020.
The current IDEA roadmap includes five thrusts:
1. Executive Commitment: Leading the discussion, empowering others, directing resources, and visibly demonstrating support for our strategic diversity agenda.
Example effort: Hiring of external consultants for an independent assessment of company climate and recommendations for IDEA initiatives and priorities
2. Culture Differences: Embedding IDEA as standard operating procedure across the company and as an integral part of all Aptima activities
Example effort: Development of IDEA mission and vision statements, core principles, and roadmap to guide company-wide efforts
3. Idea to Action: Communicating and implementing IDEA strategy, plans for ongoing education, goals, and accountability measures
Example effort: Standing up and resourcing the IDEA Committee to lead and facilitate IDEA efforts and the development of a company-wide communications program
4. Recruitment, Retention, Engagement: Finding, hiring, engaging, and retaining diverse talent, and building a culture in which all team members feel seen, heard, valued, and respected
Example effort: Review of and recommendations to update recruitment, hiring, and employee retainment policies and practices as they relate to IDEA
5. Closing Gaps: Achieving diverse and inclusive representation at all levels of the organization
Example effort: Development of affinity groups (e.g., the Aptima Queer Alliance) and employee resource groups at Aptima.
Ten Early Successes
- Launched AQUA, the Aptima Queer Alliance, as our first affinity group supporting LGBTQ+ employees
- Established ongoing support to the professional association, Blacks in I/O, through the funding of an annual scholarship grant
- Generated core privacy principles to guide the IDEA work
- Initiated annual demographics and inclusion surveys to assess ourselves and measure our progress
- Customized the Army Inclusion Climate Tool for use by our leaders and managers
- Created the Mary Golda Ross Mentorship Program to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students
- Held company Town Halls and hosted external IDEA speakers
- Initiated a monthly newsletter providing updates and calls to action
- Set up an anonymous system for employee feedback across the company
- Acknowledged and learned from our mistakes to grow and serve Aptimists better!
Aptima Affinity Groups
In addition to Aptima’s IDEA Team, our Affinity Groups work to promote the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. They also enable networking, mentorship, and other opportunities for professional and personal development.
The Aptima Queer Alliance is a safe space for LGBTQ+ Aptimists to come together and:
– Develop a strong community of peers
– Discuss our experiences personally, in the company, and as a group
– Find opportunities to be active members in our field of work
– Create inclusive policies and recommendations for the company
– Foster mentorship relationships for personal development
– And more!
Our Women LEAD Affinity Group is a place for female-identified (F-ID) Aptimists, as well as non-binary Aptimists who feel more comfortable having candid conversations with a majority F-ID group, to discuss and nurture opportunities around Leadership, Education, Awareness, and Development.
Women LEAD also periodically hosts “all-hands” meetings, where we welcome male-identified and non-binary allies to join in the conversation.