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Equity as Our Cornerstone

As we advance on our equity journey, we focused last year on ensuring equity for our global employees through new Total Rewards benefits. These changes reached 1,230 staff working in 46 countries. Moving forward, they will be able to take advantage of one global healthcare plan and enjoy expanded sick leave in countries that don’t provide a minimum amount of leave.

Equity-Centered Benefits

In the U.S., after the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion ruling paved the way for states to restrict women’s access to the procedure, Abt implemented a medical travel benefit for travel expenses related to medical treatment obtained more than 100 miles from home. Employees can use the plan to pay for transportation and lodging related to obtaining medical care, including care for transgender adults and youth, with up to a $4,000 lifetime maximum.

Talent Management

Advancing an equity agenda among our staff requires reflecting inward. To that end, Abt has rolled out mandatory equity training courses for all Abt staff around the world. The training deals with a host of important topics: transgender and gender diverse identities, casteism, colorism, and ableism.

To create more equity in our professional development benefits, we changed our policy to provide in-service education benefits to staff who work fewer than 40 hours. This will particularly help people who identify as female, who most often are those who work fewer than 40 hours.

For the second year in a row, we sponsored project management certifications for more than 50 employees to become Project Management Professionals (PMPs) and Project DPro Practitioners—the world’s leading project management certifications. We select the employees with an eye toward diversity and equity.

Our mentoring program is unique and we use different mentor dynamics to meet different employee needs. The approaches include peer-to-peer, reverse, and group mentoring, as well as hour-long sessions of four 15-minute interviews with different potential mentors to achieve the right match. To date we have hosted two activities, with a total of 155 attendees, and 70 staff connected with a partner in an official ongoing mentoring relationship. Mentoring is a proven approach for providing skills-development and networking opportunities for underrepresented employees to minimize challenges they face as they make their way into leadership positions or new responsibilities.

Reflecting Inward

Our Reflecting Inward assessment and learning program looks at how equity considerations play out in our internal culture, policies, and practices. 2022 saw an expansion of mandatory Reflecting Inward training series by covering the topics of ableism, casteism, and colorism. Intersectionality is critical to Abt’s perspectives of and approach to equity, which led to a fourth training course on transgender and gender diverse identities. With increasing invalidating legislation around the world and throughout the United States, it is the responsibility of Abt and all our employees to support one another in creating a more equitable world within and outside of Abt.

Employee Networking Groups (ENGs)

Last year saw the welcoming of the latest ENG, Disability Pride at Abt, committed to centering people with disabilities and people caring for those with disabilities at Abt. The Abt ENGs officially became One Global Abt groups representing and providing activities for staff around the globe.

Abt recognizes ENGs as the cultural epicenter of the organization. They give those from historically excluded identities the chance to meet and discuss ways to create learning experiences for colleagues about their group.

Each ENG also celebrated an awareness month: U.S. Black History Month (Black at Abt), U.S. Women’s History Month (Women at Abt), Mental Health Awareness Month (Well-being at Abt), Pride Month (PRISM), U.S. Hispanic Heritage Month (Somos Abt), and U.S. Career Development Month (Emerging Leaders).

Hundreds of Abt employees have joined ENGs. Women at Abt is the largest, with 229 members, followed by Well-being at Abt (233), Black at Abt (186), PRISM (158), Somos Abt (107), and Disability Pride (84).

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