Weaving Strong Connections at Iconex
“Iconex is dedicated to fostering a culture of inclusion. Innovation, ingenuity and progress are possible when people from all walks of life, with varying backgrounds, experiences and expertise come together. We can’t, and don’t expect to solve the world’s problems; but we will do our part to make things better.”
– Craig Gunckel, Chief Executive Officer, Iconex
In the spirit of the company’s philosophy, “One Iconex,” CEO Craig Gunckel has been sharing regular video updates with the entire Iconex team to foster unity and provide encouragement since early in the pandemic. As the national conversation evolved toward a discourse on social justice, Craig decided that Iconex would welcome the discussion of this challenging topic. His view was Iconex needed to live its One Iconex philosophy, which is founded on One Strategy, One Culture, One Team. To be One Iconex, the team must be free to embrace their differences and speak freely about their values. In response to this charge, the Iconex Inclusion Council was born. It is their foundational belief that if you prioritize inclusion, diversity is inevitable.
The Inclusion Council is Iconex’s first of many Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Led by company associates with support from the Leadership Team and funded by the company, ERGs provide a venue for employees to rally around a cause they believe in, educate themselves and their peers, and support their community. The purpose of the Inclusion Council is to help Iconex team members break down barriers to enable more effective communication, and in doing so, not only be better coworkers, but also better family members, friends and members of their communities. In tandem with this initiative, Iconex is matching up to $50,000 in employee donations to organizations that support inclusion.
“We know change is hard. And it’s even more difficult when change involves topics that continue to be characterized as ‘too sensitive’ or ‘too awkward’ to discuss. If we can’t find ways to have meaningful, honest, respectful dialogue about tough subject matter, things probably won’t change very much. The Inclusion Council is our first coworker resource group at Iconex. We hope conversations will be sparked that lead to discovery and deeper understanding of our differences; and more importantly, our similarities,” shared Nicole Ashe, Chief Human Resources Officer of Iconex.
The Inclusion Council was introduced on Craig’s video update following Memorial Day weekend. Immediately, more than 20 associates opted to participate, which has now grown to 30 members. The Council was launched on a virtual town hall where Craig and Nicole Ashe, Chief HR Officer, each shared a few photos from childhood. The point was to open a dialogue – to acknowledge how different life experiences and different points of view can contribute to productive conversation and foster empathy. This exercise was the first installment of the “This Is Who I Am” video series, which features members of the Iconex team, helping the company get to know them better on live video meetings. Ultimately, this series will be chronicled on the internal company blog, “This Is Who We Are – One Culture, One Team, One Iconex.”