It’s starting to become widely understood that 2020 will go down in history as a year of infamy. The tragic impact of COVID-19 and how it has changed our way of life will be something that future generations read in history books. Similarly, we as a nation and as a global community have had a reckoning accelerated by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans at the hands of people in power.

In the years to come, younger generations will ask us what it was like to live through these events, much like we asked our previous generations how they survived. The recent passing of Representative John Lewis has reminded us of this, of how some amazing figures made tremendous, courageous sacrifices in their time in response to crises that we can scarcely imagine, even today.

If you’re like me, you have asked yourself, how will I answer “What did I do?” when my grandchildren ask me what part I played. Attending protests, volunteering for causes, and donating to organizations are helpful and important acts, but alone, they are not enough. I want to be able to look back with pride at being part of a long-term change in our culture and world. I believe, in my heart, that who we are as humans is not limited to the time we spend outside of our workday. We must ensure that our personal and professional lives both reflect our struggle for improvement.

To that end, I am proud that my company, Challenger, has set in stone our dedication to being part of the many companies and organizations committed to helping our world better itself.

Like any company, we are not perfect. We have much to learn and many ways that we will need to grow to ensure that we are improving our world. To codify our commitment to helping the values that we wish to see take root across our society, we have set forth a mission statement that declares our accountabilities in this mission.

Challenger is a people organization founded on principles enabled by diverse thought and practice, and we believe in the power of a diverse team. We strive to be a positive influence in the world, to build a community where all people are valued and respected.

We do this by endeavoring to create a workforce whose diversity reflects the richness of the communities in which we operate, by ensuring that all of our insights and products reflect a diversity of thought, and by championing the values that we wish to see in the world.

Ours is a community where Authentic Collaboration and Bold Ideas are prized and founded on trust and mutual respect. We recognize that it takes the humility of Lifelong Learning to be an effective ally, and a dedication to Uncompromised Quality helps us to continually look for opportunities to better ourselves and the companies we serve.

Three Accountabilities:

  1. Create a workforce whose diversity reflects the richness of the communities in which we operate and fosters an inclusive workplace
  2. Ensure that all of our insights and products reflect a diversity of thought
  3. Champion the values that we wish to see in the world

This is not an end in itself, nor will this statement by itself make meaningful change. This is a manifesto for the journey that we will undertake as an organization over time to be a part of the solution. This statement signals that we as individuals are committed, personally and professionally, to social justice and equity.
When I look back years from now and tell my family about the events of this year, I hope to be able to say that I was committed and true to my beliefs in all parts of my life.

Ben Arendt

Ben Arendt

Ben Arendt is a Senior Director at Challenger, leading a team that helps dozens of organizations transform their sales operations. In addition to helping leaders drive business impact, he is passionate about management and creating communities where all people can be celebrated and truly succeed.