CARY, N.C. — RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, is a 2019 recipient of the Triangle Business Journal’s Leaders in Diversity award. The Leaders in Diversity Awards program, now in its seventh year, recognizes the accomplishments of Triangle businesses, individuals, and nonprofits who have woven a diverse foundational fabric into the heart of the local community.
RTI was recognized at a Sept. 23 ceremony at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, N.C., along with eight other organizations and eight individuals in industries such as technology, finance, education and life sciences. The winners were acknowledged for having demonstrated respect for inclusive treatment of others, advocacy for underrepresented groups and multicultural marketing.
“This year’s group of winners are at the front and center of changing their organization’s vision, values and principles — all along keeping equality in mind,” said Jason Christie, publisher of the Triangle Business Journal. “We are glad to have created a forum to celebrate the achievements of these individuals and corporations.”
During the awards event, winners were asked to respond to the question “What do you think has been the most effective diversity-inclusivity program you've been involved with?” Director of Organization Development and Learning Kristina Brunelle, chair of RTI’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, responded, “RTI’s Employee Resource Groups are the most impactful part of our Diversity and Inclusion program. In one year, we grew from zero to 12 diverse groups that currently include 1,300-plus discrete members.
“RTI continues to make strides in diversity and inclusion,” she said. “And that is largely because of all the hard work and energy our ERG leaders and members have poured into creating a culture that is open, transparent, and diverse, where people can bring their ‘whole selves’ to work. Receiving this award is a testament to this imperative and the impact of our initiatives—programs that create a meaningful difference for our staff where we don't just include them but empower them."
Earlier this year, Forbes magazine included RTI among its 2019 list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. RTI ranked number 359 out of 500 companies independently surveyed from a large sample of U.S. companies and employees representing 24 of America’s leading industries in Forbes’ second year of its annual list.