The Clorox Change Makers initiative spotlights people who actively celebrate diversity and create a more inclusive culture, making a positive impact on our business and culture. This week we focus on Elizabeth Hackbarth, associate director and Human Insights lead in our Marketing function.
Elizabeth has always had to balance her duality. A daughter of an Asian mother and white father, she had to reckon with being Asian yet treated as white. The only girl in the family, she found a place for both empathy and power. Through it all, the lessons her mother taught her about focusing on the collective whole helped her see, appreciate and celebrate the complexities — the dualities — in others.
Can you share how you think about I&D and what shaped this for you?
There’s a cross section of my own identity — who the world was telling me to be versus who I was growing up. We feel so much pressure about who we are and how we look. Coming out with your authentic self is hard. I don’t want people to struggle with confidence in who they are. They never get to be their full self. They suffer, and we all lose out.
Tell me about the I&D work you’ve done that you’re proud of.
I co-lead the culture initiative driving I&D within the marketing function, and that’s hard — after all, how do you define the culture of a function? I work in Insights, so I naturally wanted to first assess where we were before knowing where we where we want to go. We set a baseline of our culture and where we stand — the good and the bad. We then set glide paths and focused on where we need to make substantial change.
How have you seen our culture change around I&D?
The more we talk about it, the more it gets engrained in our day-to-day thinking. You see it come up in our plans, marketing creative, monthly business updates. We’re also asking the right questions: Do we have the right people making the call? Are we getting the right input? When you build a culture of talking about it more and asking questions, it comes up naturally, and our work is better because of it.
What gives you the support to keep driving I&D?
We have great people and support groups at Clorox. People build “villages” to support one and other and make connections to help others. I have the most diverse friends since high school.
Our CMO is really invested, too. When we did baseline research, she read every question and helped make it better. It showed how much the importance of being your authentic self meant to her.
Any advice for others?
Inclusion and diversity shows up in the little things day to day. Help someone who feels like they’re not included or may be new. You want to create a sense of belonging — then comes inclusion and then diversity. That’s when you build villages and make these connections, and fight similarity bias. Just set up a coffee with someone new, someone different than you.
I&D at Clorox
To live our purpose and values, we must build a workplace where every person can feel respected, valued and fully able to participate in our Clorox community. We aim to lead by example, at every level within the company, and to continually challenge ourselves to do better. Learn more about our inclusion and diversity efforts here.