The Clorox Change Makers initiative spotlights people who actively celebrate diversity, promote inclusion and practice allyship, making a positive impact on our business and culture. This week, we focus on Tamara Marshall, a distribution center operations specialist in our Supply Chain organization.
Being an athletic competitor for most of her life, Tamara has always embraced the challenge of bettering herself through knowledge amid adversity. Since starting her career in manufacturing — a field where women are disproportionately underrepresented — she has used her voice to not only advocate for her own professional development but also for the needs and best interests of her peers. Tamara’s personal accountability, initiative, dedication and enthusiasm have led her to drive engaging programs promoting greater inclusion, diversity, equity and allyship — referred to collectively at Clorox as IDEA.
What experiences created an awareness and interest in IDEA for you?
The things I have experienced as a Black woman throughout my career have greatly shaped my awareness and investment in IDEA at Clorox. Like many women, I understand what it’s like to feel or be considered “small,” and how inclusion and diversity have the power to shape modern-day activism and champion human rights.
Clorox actively engages with IDEA across the entire organization, and my awareness and investment in this space is a credit to the people who have encouraged me to show up authentically over the years. Participating in SHOW and other employee resource groups has helped me identify ways to show up for myself and those navigating similar experiences to mine. These groups illustrate the power of having leaders and colleagues coming together based on their passion for something other than their day-to-day work, and have inspired me to find opportunities to spread awareness in my community. I am thankful Clorox is agile and actively engaged in this work.
Can you tell me about an accomplishment you’re proud of?
During Women’s History Month, the SHOW leadership team wanted all the women in this company to feel seen and heard as a message of solidarity, and to remember that we’re capable of making history every day. I was thrilled when they gave me the opportunity to lead a “HerStory in the Making” event to accomplish just that.
I’m incredibly proud to have worked with fellow SHOW teammates to highlight women at Clorox and beyond around the globe who have or are currently making “her-story” with their service to justice, equity and allyship. Throughout the event we told the stories of contemporary women activists, like disability activist Judy Huemann and climate campaigner Kimiko Harata. We also heard from several women leaders throughout Clorox who inspire others through their service and activism.
What has helped enable you to be a Change Maker?
My journey has had some trials and some triumphs, but in every corner of this company — from my teammates, managers and leadership to Clorox’s resource groups — I have found an ally that goes above and beyond to encourage me and others, and reminds me to never settle for the status quo.
Leading the Southeast SHOW Book Club was a fun way for me to engage with others and get to know my teammates more through reading self-discovery and professional development literature. Additionally, being a member of other Clorox groups like Mental Health Champions, Well-Being Champions and W.O.W. Agents has been instrumental for me to be the best teammate I can be. I bring learnings, tips and resources shared within these groups back to my team to help promote wellness throughout my organization. I’ve been so moved by the level of involvement from our leaders to help enrich these conversations that tackle complex and often emotional topics.
Do you have advice on small actions others can take to bring inclusivity into the everyday?
- Never stop being an advocate for well-being. For my peers at Clorox, I can’t recommend enrolling and participating in Virgin Pulse enough. It’s such a helpful tool for working on your unique mindfulness journey and maintaining healthy habits, which in turn helps you be a better peer and ally to those who need it. All leaders (at Clorox and beyond) can be more inclusive in their daily lives by reminding their teams to prioritize their mental and physical wellness, especially during times of stressful change and uncertainty.
- Expose your own bias. Implicit biases can hinder us from truly connecting and forming authentic relationships. Create invitations to uncover bias by joining an employee resource group and turn allyship into action.
- Consider reading “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield. It covers several psychological and spiritual ideas that unpack how people claim space in a room or conversation, and what intentions or motivations might be driving that energy. For me, that insight is powerful because I’m able to understand what role I should (or should not) play in order to have a productive dialogue and achieve shared success.
- Channel sawubona every single day. Sawubona is a Swahili term that literally translates as “I see you” but is understood as recognizing another person’s holistic experiences and value. Make a habit of taking the time to ask your teammates how they are and mean it! Being present in your interactions is one of the best ways you can foster inclusion and build more meaningful connections with the people in your life.
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.