When Mechelle King became Transact Campus’ first VP of Inclusion, Diversity & Engagement last year, she hit the ground running. She quickly jumped into her role by assessing the existing climate, looking at past organizational initiatives, and developing a strategy that made sense for the organization.
King came to Transact with more than 30 years of HR experience, with specialized expertise in DE&I initiatives. A self-described “one-woman show,” King receives support from the Transact DE&I Engagement Council, a small group of internal volunteers that help with all engagement activities and events.
“It’s important for us to rally around a vision that represents 'One Transact.’ We must clearly define our core values of “who we are” and build an inclusive culture at Transact and stay true to that. Once defined, we’ll align different strategies and initiatives to help us stay focused and committed as we shape the culture for organizational excellence,” said King.
A few highlights from King’s 2022 DE&I goals included:
Focusing on education awareness with the opportunity to build a foundation of policies and programs to foster conscious Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace
Leveraging the connection between a diverse and inclusive workplace with a mindset for innovation, adaptability, and growth
Strong sponsorship, support, and advocacy across the leadership team
Encouraging everyone in the organization to contribute how we shape and define our culture
Sharing differences, knowledge, life experiences, and talent that makes us great!
According to King, a positive DE&I environment helps to improve overall organizational performance, with benefits such as improving client and investor relations, building brand value and reputation, and fostering an empowered, engaged workforce.
To align with Transact’s 2022-2023 DE&I goals, newly formed Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) help to encourage a variety of employee perspectives as well as an environment of collaboration and a sense of belonging.
Transact’s Women’s Interest Network, or T-WIN, was the first ERG to launch. The group was formed for both women and their allies to join for activities including networking, mentoring and to interact with the community through speaking engagements and other events.
“T-WIN has taken a life of its own with great committee leaders and members leading the charge. We had over 100 people attend the kickoff, and over 70 expressing an interest in becoming a member. Right now, we’re working on a 2023 roadmap that outlines its calendar of events. The timing couldn’t be any better… we plan on attending our Transact 360 event in March, and in observance of International Women’s Day in March, we will host a community volunteer activity to support a local women’s organization,” said King.
Other ERGs on the horizon include groups for multi-ethnic, military Veterans and LGBTQ+ members.
“These groups offer support for career growth opportunities, contribute to personal and professional development, and are open to all Transact employees,” she said.
King is grateful to be working for a woman-led business with CEO Nancy Langer at the helm.
“Nancy is a transformational leader. Because of her vision and commitment to having a diverse, inclusive work environment, we can build a forward-thinking strategy to position the organization for innovation and growth.”
Events to promote workplace engagement are also being planned, such as DE&I interactive learning/ heritage social events and community engagement and employee volunteerism opportunities. Guest speakers will also be featured via virtual presentations on special occasions. This past Veterans Day, Dan McSparran, retired president, and COO of AT&T Veterans, spoke to employees about his experience in the U.S. Navy and Veterans-focused volunteer initiatives.
“We also want to encourage people to volunteer in their spare time, help underserved communities, and share their stories,” she said.
A new DE&I landing page on the intranet and informational hub, corporate partnerships and social responsibility initiatives, and client engagement opportunities are also in the works for the coming year.
King, a first-generation college graduate, comes from humble beginnings and was raised by a single mom who always stressed the importance of an education.
“I knew education would change the path of my life, so I worked hard and sent myself to college. I was the first black woman in a leadership role in a prior position and was called to be an agent of change. I want to show up and serve others.”
“Thanks in large part to Mechelle’s work, Transact has made meaningful strides regarding diversity and inclusion, from launching our first employee resource groups to company-wide education opportunities. We have a lot more work to do as we affirm our commitment to corporate responsibility in 2023, but we have made great progress toward establishing a solid foundation from which to build,” said Dean Newton, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel at Transact.
To learn more about Inclusion, Diversity & Engagement at Transact, email firstname.lastname@example.org.