At Verdesian Life Sciences, we talk often (and openly) about creating a culture of good stewardship. And while that philosophy was born out of the idea that we develop technologies designed around environmental stewardship, that pursuit of doing what’s right extends beyond just the farm and the soil. Stewardship should permeate everything that we do at Verdesian. It should also relate to how we treat each other – and it does.
“Every single employee matters here at Verdesian,” says Susan Barnes Waldo, VP, Global Human Resources. “We want to foster a culture of acceptance and celebration. We have so many talented people throughout our company with a variety of life stories, experiences and skills that need to be nurtured.”
To that end, Verdesian created in 2022 the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) Council, which is part of the company’s Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) platform. The mission of the DEIB Council is to “improve diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging across our business by promoting dialogue, providing information, and fostering respect for all employees, contractors, and our vendor partners.”
The DEIB Council is a natural offspring of the Verdesian Core Values of Alignment, Ownership, Excellence, Accountability and Integrity.
“We must create a culture and environment where everyone feels that they belong, where all are welcome, and all have the confidence to speak out, share ideas and be listened to,” says Waldo.
Specifically, the Council works to:
1. Develop strategies to strengthen diversity initiatives to support and foster employees and partners
2. Examine the corporate climate with a broad definition of diversity including, but not limited to, race/ethnicity, gender, ability, sexual orientation, economic status, and/or religious and spiritual practices
3. Take initiative to communicate to our employees and leadership on issues of diversity and provide training and tools to promote more inclusive and equitable interactions
4. Seek feedback from colleagues and partners to inform decision making and highlight areas of improvement
5. Comment on policy-related issues including ways in which current policy strengthens or detracts from the diversity of the composition of the organization
6. Present recommendations to the Executive Team that include strategies, individuals responsible for specific actions, timelines for implementation, and measurable outcomes that reflect continuous improvement of our corporate climate and diversity
“We are proud of those Verdesian employees who are taking the time to serve on the DEIB Council,” says Waldo. “Their efforts will make Verdesian a better place to work for years to come.”
Members of the Verdesian DEIB Council
Teresa Vannatta, Chief Information Officer/VP, Supply Chain Operations – Executive Sponsor
Amy Burton, Senior Director of Product Development – Council Chair
Enrique Valenzuela, Plant Manager
Jenni Durlacher, Master Production Planner
Apurva Bhargava, Senior Scientist, Molecular Biology
Chris Ferreira, Director of Marketing and Business Development, LATAM
Jeff Thompson, Assistant Maintenance Manager
Trevá Perry, Customer Service Manager – Council Secretary
Melanie Martinez, Internal Logistics Coordinator Jennifer Carson, QC & Site Safety Manager
Jennifer Carson, QC and Site Safety Manager