By Kayla Green, Vizient
When Monica Davy, senior vice president and chief culture, diversity & inclusion officer, joined Vizient, she not only built a team to further Vizient's new diversity initiatives but also challenged her team to rethink the Diversity Networking Associations (DNAs). She and her team wanted these groups to go beyond hosting events and find ways to further incorporate the DNAs into the Vizient fold where they could make a significant and lasting impact at the company.
Using a deliberate play on words and a callout to Vizient's commitment to healthcare, the DNAs operate under the 4C Model, which is already inspiring innovation here at the company.
"We're not just a group of people who get together to meet," said Lionel Carter, manager, analytics and chair of Veterans@Vizient. "We influence the business on the commerce side and were recently able to foster a relationship with a veteran-owned business, and now we have a contract with them. That was something that we weren't able to do before."
Using the new model, Vizient's six DNAs are empowered to strategically support and influence the areas of culture, career, commerce and community. The DNAs include Ability@Vizient, Black@Vizient, Dimensions@Vizient, Pride@Vizient, Veterans@Vizient and Women@Vizient, with two more expected to launch soon for the Latinx and Asian American, Pacific Islander and Desi American (APIDA) communities.
Three of the DNAs, Veterans@Vizient, Women@Vizient and Dimensions@Vizient, started in 2017, organically gathering for speaker events, lunches and meetings. Eventually, each became an official employee resource group, leading the way for future groups, and ultimately, what would become the Vizient DNAs.
The 4C model
The 4C Model provides a way to organize DNA work to help ensure it will have the most strategic impact on our employees, the business, our members and the community. It also allows DNAs to measure their current health, impact and effectiveness.
"We wanted the DNAs to more directly align with our overarching diversity and inclusion efforts," said Brenda Kitchen, senior director, diversity & inclusion. "Under this new model, the DNAs offer us an opportunity to develop people who are committed to learning and growing into leaders."
Each DNA has a chair or co-chairs alongside roles in Culture, Community, Commerce and Career as well as an events coordinator, chapter liaisons, executive sponsor and a network champion. Both roles are filled by top-level Vizient leadership who provide support and guidance as well as help expand the strength and visibility of the DNA. It also ensures the DNAs are included in, and at the forefront of, company initiatives and goals.