Company: Visionworks
Diversity Team Name: DE&I Council
Diversity Team Leader(s): Shane Rayford

What Makes this Diversity Team Stand Out

The DE&I Council—endorsed by Visionwork’s executive leadership team and led by our director of learning & development and creative communications manager—is the driving force of our DE&I approach. The Council includes 30 associates from different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. They have built a strategy to help shed light on what it means to embrace diversity and foster an environment of equity and inclusion, while supporting our values: Be Simple. Be Human. Be Bold.

Here are some of their DE&I achievements:

  • SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT: To create a safe space for people to tackle difficult conversations, we created an internal social media channel to build an open forum where content could be shared, so we could better understand the needs of our workforce. With this social page we have been able to educate, raise awareness, launch surveys and polls and create diverse conversations. From this page we can measure engagement, growth and share stories that matter.
  • SEEN CAMPAIGN: To encourage a safe and comfortable environment in which associates can speak freely about issues involving DE&I, we created the SEEN video campaign. We asked associates if they were willing to share their diversity story. Stories were shared internally in video format.
  • WORK STREAMS: The DE&I Council created the pillars to our approach, based on stages of the Associate Experience (AX)—from inquire to retire. We analyzed every aspect of the associate journey and developed “Work Streams” to identify areas where we could do better. DE&I Council members organized teams for each Work Stream. Focus areas include: Attract & Recruit, Onboard, Learning & Development, Rewards, Recognition & Benefits, Engagement, Progress & Performance, Retain and Exit.
  • WORKSHOPS: To enhance our DE&I strategy and AX, our Learning and Development team created (and are still creating) a series of DE&I Workshops. These workshops are offered to all associates and are included in the onboarding process. The purpose is to help associates understand our approach, embrace our DE&I culture, and eliminate unconscious bias. Today, our workshops include:
    • THE HUMAN ELEMENT: Intro DE&I— Understanding where our beliefs come from and how they are reflected in our behavior.
    • UNCONCIOUS BIAS: We are sometimes unaware of our biases, so they can unconsciously affect how we think, feel, and behave.
    • BUSINESS RESOURCE GROUPS (BRGs): BRGs give a voice to those underrepresented at work by helping build communities among people with shared identities and experiences. Each group has its own executive sponsor, leaders, and members who use an internal social page to participate in activities and sponsorships that help each diverse group. Our BRGs include Women in Leadership, Black Heritage, Hispanic/Latino, Military/ Veterans, and LGBT+


  • Top workplace in San Antonio, 2019
  • Forbes Best Employers for Women, 2020
  • Forbes Best Employers for Diversity, 2020