At Challenger, Gray & Christmas, we are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. We strive to build a company that is truly diverse, not only to introduce different ideas and unique perspectives, but also because it inspires innovation. It reflects the diversity of our clients and customers at a time when they need the empathy and connection that a plethora of backgrounds and experiences offer.
Challenger is an ally for racial, age, gender, LGBTQ+, religious, and neuro differences that shape and color our world. Challenger works to create a sense of belonging in all our team members and anyone who partners with us.
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cornell College, 1962.
“I hope that inside our own community, and amongst our colleagues and friends, we will strive to work together in ways that unify us. Inside these walls, let’s make our company culture one where we respect and embrace our differences, where we empathize with each other’s individual circumstances, and where we build each other up by working together to resolve our conflicts.
Since 2005, Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been a holiday here at Challenger, Gray & Christmas. We decided to make this day a company holiday after I read a Martin Luther King biography. It struck me then that Martin Luther King dedicated his life to defending the fundamental principle that makes our country unique in human history. We believe that all people have a right to the same freedoms. We all want to live in a country where we will be accepted by others as individuals and not by some false category.
Despite the pandemic and the division, real potential exists now for our society to become one in which our children ‘will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’ ‘Color of skin’ or race is a dimension of diversity just as ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age and religion are dimensions of diversity. Let’s make this the first principle of how we treat each other here at Challenger, Gray & Christmas.”
Following the death of George Floyd and the racial justice protests that occurred during the summer of 2020, Challenger initiated ongoing webinars led by Sharon E. Jones, a Harvard-trained attorney, co-founder of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago among other accolades, and expert in the field of diversity and inclusion, to augment our diversity policy already in place.
Challenger is providing coaching support and solutions.
In 2017, our CEO John Challenger testified to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as the agency examined age discrimination on the 50th anniversary of the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). His recommendations on how and why companies should avoid age discrimination were highlighted along with testimony from Laurie McCann, the senior attorney for the AARP, Jacqueline James, the co-director for the Center on Aging and Work at Boston College, Sara Czaja, the Director of CREATE (Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement), and Patrick Button, an assistant professor from Tulane University.
“Too often, hiring managers view older job seekers as lacking the technological skills necessary to perform basic work functions. They do not consider older workers for certain jobs believing they will be too expensive in compensation and health care costs. Still others believe older workers will not ‘fit in’ modern workplace cultures or that they will be less productive than their younger counterparts. These stereotypes not only keep workers in this age cohort from working later in life, but rob employers of the opportunity to hire knowledgeable, experienced talent. If more skilled workers over 60 stayed in the workforce, it would make a significant impact on reducing the skilled worker shortage in the United States,” he added.
In 2021, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) hosted a number of events for its 100th anniversary. Challenger partnered with the organization by being a sponsor for the organization’s “Centennial Conversations.” The AFB has spent the last century building a more inclusive world.
In 2015, Challenger was a proud sponsor of the Special Olympic World Games held that year in Los Angeles. Our CEO John Challenger attended the opening ceremony.