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 Christina McDonald, a senior manager in the accounting function.
Growing up in in the South, Christina was used to being an “other,” often finding herself the only Black girl in her class and school through primary school. In high school she was surrounded by people who looked like her and had similar experiences. Here she could be her authentic self, feel included and thrive. When she started her career in accounting, the “other” feeling started to creep in again. She was determined to help her field and company build and foster a diverse and inclusive community so others wouldn’t have to feel the way she did.
Can you share how you think about inclusion and diversity and what it means for you?
I’ve frequently been an “other” and felt like I had to filter myself in places to be successful. I don’t want people to ever feel that way and want to change things so everyone feels comfortable, supported and valued in being their authentic self. Others have done it for me, and I want to do it for others.
Can you tell me about some of your work on the finance and accounting team’s I&D task force and what you’re proud of on this team?
I participated in the recruiting and interview process for interns and college grads, and a goal of our function was to attract diverse talent. The I&D task force and I thought there was an opportunity to make changes to the recruiting process to help us meet that goal. I spoke with my managers and function leaders about this and challenged where and how candidates move through the process. This includes changing the universities and organizations where we actively recruit our applicant pool, challenging how we review candidate applications (including adjusting how we think about extracurricular qualifications since not everyone can be a member of clubs or teams if they have to work to support themselves ), updating our internal interview guides, refreshing our interview evaluation criteria, and taking stock of where our personal biases exist in the review and interview process. We’ve started to ask the right questions and stay on them through the whole process, and we’re going in the right direction.
How have you seen our culture change as a result your I&D work?
We’ve done things like Cups of Understanding and Breaking Bias that have made and maintained a consistent space for our people to express themselves on topics not typically discussed in a work environment and serve as an avenue to bring their full authentic self to work. We are continuing to build a culture of being who you authentically are versus one that requires code switching.
Speaking up and making change isn’t easy. What has helped give you the courage and motivation?
It started when I spoke up — the spark is talking to others, and that lights a fire. It took a while to be comfortable doing this, but I find when you start the conversation others tend support and want to help. The unrest over the last two years has been a spark, and people are genuinely listening, want to make changes and are looking for ways to act.
I&D shows up in big and small ways. Do you have advice on how to bring I&D into the everyday?
I find the most meaningful actions happen on a one-on-one basis — just have a conversation with new people. Talk about the world and your lives outside of work, listen and learn, and figure out how to act. We get the most when we’re in moments of transparency. Then, keep the interactions going and work together to make meaningful change.
I also find energy in being an advocate for others. Knowing their interests and strengths, and taking the step to speak up on their behalf, connect, or get them with people or opportunities to further support their development, is so impactful and necessary.
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.