APA’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The APA strives to create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable workplace for all employees, volunteers, and community members. We know across the country, animal welfare is lacking in diversity. Several animal welfare organizations are working to change that, including us.

Let’s look at the steps we are taking to embed this effort across our organization.

With the support of Purina, the APA embarked on its DEI journey in 2021. A consultant was hired to assess where we are around DEI and establish a baseline. From there, we developed a Core Team of employees and Board members whose focus was assessing our organization and establishing initiatives to help us create a more welcoming and diverse space.

One of our latest accomplishments was our CEO and Director of People & Culture completed a 100+ hour intensive training program through the National Council for Community and Justice of STL (NCCJ) thanks to PetSmart Charities for providing the funding. Last week, they both earned credentials as Certified Diversity FaciliTrainers (CDFT). They are now qualified to develop and lead diversity training programs for the APA and our community.

Additional efforts include:

  • Ensure marketing materials and website are diverse and reflective of the communities we serve
  • Completed a compensation study to ensure our pay levels are equitable and consistent within our organization and aligned with animal welfare and the non-profit sector
  • Require that every job posting includes compensation information
  • Offer technology so adopters can easily see available animals from a tablet if they prefer to read about them or do not want to enter the kennel space, which can be loud if sensory issues exist
  • Provide individuals with hearing impairments with a quiet space to complete adoptions so they can hear better
  • Identify and utilize minority-owned businesses as vendors when possible
  • Provide all employees with Unconscious Bias training
  • Provide employees with Psychological Safety training
  • Created space where DEI resources and educational opportunities are shared with all employees
  • Culture and diversity statements on the website
  • Incorporated expectations and needs around DEI into the Board recruitment tool
  • Pronouns used on name tags, business cards, and email signatures

The APA’s work is intentional and ongoing. We look forward to sharing our progress with the community.

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