Brittany Decker tells people she gets to talk on the phone for a living – and enjoys it. As one of our Talent Acquisition Specialists, she’s the first person a potential Continental employee meets. Here’s what an engineer of our culture has to say about it.
I was recruited by Continental’s head of Talent Acquisition through an external recruiting service, which is funny because I used to recruit for Continental at a previous company. I learned about the culture and benefits and I made a point to say I want to work for them some day. It’s almost like I put it in the universe. It’ll be two years with the company this September. I’ve been in the automotive recruiting industry for 10 years.
A big part of Talent Acquisition’s responsibility is to help hire the right candidate, but also to ensure we are building a diverse and inclusive team. We’re always working to improve our diversity recruiting and eliminate unconscious biases, and as someone who is a part of the LGBTQ community, it’s something I’m especially passionate about. When we’re talking about diversity and inclusion, it’s more than ethnicity or sexual orientation, it’s an ever-evolving thing. It’s how employees feel coming to work every day.
Even though this is the biggest company I’ve ever worked for, I don’t feel like a number. Everyone is professional, yet open and human. My team and I were sitting at the lunch table one time and our CEO came and sat with us. We were talking about dogs and boats. It’s the small things like this that contribute to a culture of inclusion.
One of the ways we’re promoting diversity and inclusion is through Continental Young Professionals – an idea a colleague of mine and I had and started a year ago. Now, we already have around 250 members. We get a lot of the “Well, I’m not young. I don’t fit into that category.”
But we have a saying: If you feel young, you look young, you want to be young, or you’re young at heart, we want you to join. We can’t have a full, diverse resource group – or company – if we don’t also include people who are further along in their careers.
We have a few things we really like to focus on. One is career development. Another is community outreach. There’s a networking aspect, too. Our kickoff was a bowling event. We had 60 available slots and they filled up within 48 hours. We also team up closely with the Continental Women’s Network to host events.
I mentioned earlier that our culture is very open and human, and I feel that every day – and it goes beyond my immediate colleagues. Last June, our CHRO raised rainbow flags alongside our Continental flags at our global headquarters and is now a Pride month tradition. For the automotive industry, this was a progressive statement and meant a lot to me that our executive leadership wanted to be a part of it.
Being a part of the LGBTQ community is just one aspect of who I am, my colleagues respect me for my hard work and knowledge. I have always been accepted amongst my team and throughout the organization.
I am not an engineer, well maybe one at heart. One day during a meeting, I was talking to some of my engineering colleagues about the Ford F-150, because I drive one. They were telling me about some of the technology in my truck. They spoke with me like I was one of the team, even though I only know enough to be dangerous to explain the role to a new candidate. It’s so cool to learn from the people who are creating the technology.