Fostering a Culture of DiversitySara Meade
Industrial Supply Company has received recognition for its emphasis on diversity and inclusion by winning the Utah Business Diversity Award. The award was presented by Utah Diversity Connections, a group of employers in Utah working to help transform the Utah workplace and community to create an inclusive culture.
The award was established as a way to recognize businesses in Utah who embrace diversity as a fundamental element of their organization. To qualify, nominated companies must demonstrate special efforts toward achieving a work environment that recognizes, promotes, and encourages a diverse workforce at all levels throughout the organization.
While aspects such as exceptional customer service and industry expertise differentiate Industrial Supply from competitors, there is one crucial element that often gets overlooked, and that is the company’s strong commitment to diversity. Having a diverse workforce is the absolute core of the business, and has become a proud tradition that has been enriching the company for decades. With 70% of Industrial Supply employees belonging to a protected minority class, it is clear that the business places a high value on fostering a diverse workplace. Additionally, 27% of those employees are female. In an industry that is often dominated by white males, Industrial Supply is doing its part to overcome traditional workplace barriers.
Aside from having one of the most diverse staffs in the field, Industrial Supply is also committed to providing a variety of services and products that reach diverse audiences. It does this by offering Spanish customer service, bilingual signage for the workplace, and bilingual training, as 25% of Industrial Supply’s employees are Hispanic.
For several decades, the company was a woman-owned business. Today, its current 8-member executive leadership team includes two women, two African-Americans, and one Hispanic member. In fact, Industrial Supply’s very own Jessica Yurgaitis (Vice President of Product Management and Marketing) was recognized by Utah Business magazine in 2014 as one of “30 Women to Watch.” The company understands that no two people are alike, and in order to achieve success, it is vital to include a variety of perspectives and ideas.
Many members of the company’s leadership team make an effort to stay involved with several other organizations that focus on diversity, in order to continue fostering a work environment that is supportive and representative of the team. For instance, Shawn Newell, (Vice President of Business Development) serves as Vice President of the Salt Lake Branch of the NAACP. He is also a member of the Martin Luther King Commission for Human Rights of the Utah Office of Multicultural Affairs, working to promote diversity, equity, and human rights.
Industrial Supply takes an active role in the community. One reason its workforce is among Utah’s most culturally diverse is it actively provides employment opportunities to underrepresented groups. The business works closely with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development––specifically the Mentor Protégé Program, focusing its efforts on assisting minority-owned and women-owned businesses to become 8-A certified. This, in turn, encourages greater gender and minority representation within the business sector.
As a business that considers the impact on not just its employees, but its community as well, diversity has become the foundation of Industrial Supply's company culture.
Watch our video below to learn more about our diversity story.