I work at Elsevier because diversity and inclusion are my top requirements
December 7, 2020
By Phylicia Harvey
“I am so proud to work for an employer that respects my contributions and allows me to be my authentic self.”
Phylicia Harvey is a Continuing Education Specialist and a Champion for Elsevier Enabled. She is based in Philadelphia.
I come from a very diverse and unique background. My mother is Japanese, and my father is half African American and Caucasian. My father served in the military for over 24 years and met my mother while stationed in Japan. My family (parents, older brother and I) would move every three years due to military obligations. I was born in Hawaii but also experienced living in California, Japan, Virginia, Illinois, New Jersey, and I now reside in Pennsylvania.
I grew up in a bilingual household and have been exposed to various ethnicities and cultural experiences throughout my life. I love and truly embrace these experiences. My background is unique, but I’m not the only one with such a diverse background. I am so proud to work for a company like Elsevier that is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and one that’s making a positive impact on society and customers through so many unique contributions. From an employee angle, I truly believe that diversity and inclusion are in the heart of Elsevier culture. The company understands the importance of having people engaged from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and ideas to achieve real innovation for our customers globally.
Elsevier has more than 35 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). The individuals in these ERGs are volunteers who share common interests to ensure a more inclusive environment. I am a Champion for one of the ERGs: Elsevier Enabled. Our mission is to promote disability awareness within the wider Elsevier organization and to provide a supportive environment to discuss disability-related issues with colleagues. All members of Elsevier Enabled are passionate about empowering people with disabilities at Elsevier.
Our amazing and fearless CEO, Kumsal Bayazit, understands the importance of I&D and has created a strategy to translate our vision into practical action. She and the leadership team have continued their commitment to working with employees by listening, understanding, learning and taking actions in areas that help promote inclusivity.
Here are some highlights of our diversity and inclusion initiatives:
Starting this year, employees from Elsevier and other RELX businesses are eligible to take two days of paid time off per calendar year to participate in our ERGs. The added ERG hours that employees have received across RELX was one of the tasks the African Ancestry Network ERG brought to leadership over the summer when we were all trying to navigate how to respond to the civil uprising. The company understands that all employees involved in an ERG are volunteers balancing their full-time work with projects to help create a more inclusive environment. I was personally thrilled when I heard this news!
It brings me great pride to witness Elsevier’s condemnation of racism and discrimination, our acknowledgement that Black Lives Matter(opens in new tab/window), and actions to shed light on racial and social equity. Also, a new series on our intranet, In My Skin, gives employees in minority groups an opportunity to share their personal experiences.
Language and symbols used in society are an important first step to changing culture because they have a huge impact on how we feel and interpret behavior. Elsevier has done some interesting work to promote inclusive language(opens in new tab/window) and phase out inappropriate terms that were deemed racist or non-inclusive on various platforms.
We have a partnership with Black Women in Science and Engineering (BWISE)(opens in new tab/window) to bridge the leadership gap for Black women in STEM. This is an exciting opportunity to see underrepresented women help us inspire tomorrow’s great discoveries in science, research and healthcare.
Elsevier is guiding managers and teams on how to create a more psychologically safe work environment, and by creating Officevibe Inclusion Polls to gather quantitative and qualitative insight into how employees perceive inclusion.
As an equal opportunity employer, Elsevier and our I&D Council is constantly working to drive accountability and sponsoring diversity dimensions. They are committed to making our workplace a more inclusive, engaged and psychologically safe place to work. I am so proud to work for an employer that respects my contributions, allows me to be my authentic self and provides me with the platform to express some of the top must-have requirements in an employer.