Team, value, and respect: These three pillars are the foundation of our inclusive environment at Southwest.
Our People are (and always have been) our most valued assets. We rely on our Team for collaboration to achieve our common goal. We value our Employees and empower them to be their authentic selves while meeting Southwest’s expectations for Employees to Live and Work the Southwest Way. We show respect to our Fellow Employees every day.
Each of our more than 58,000 Employees brings unique talents and perspectives to Southwest. Recognizing, respecting, and valuing our Employees for their diversity and uniqueness is vital to Southwest’s continued success. Fostering an environment where all Employees feel valued and included is crucial to our Culture, so we emphasize the importance of our Diversity and Inclusion pillars in everything we do.
We seek to foster a Culture where all Employees feel valued and included. Together, we believe that diversity results in better Teamwork and innovation, and allows us to better serve our Customers. The collaboration of more than 58,000 backgrounds and experiences can help us live out our Purpose and achieve our goals as One Team.
Diversity and Inclusion at Southwest
To help cultivate an environment that fuels our unity, our Diversity and Inclusion Department hosts a variety of events throughout the year. These events, which range from day-long conferences to lunch seminars, focus on bringing our Employees together to celebrate what makes us all unique.
In 2018, the Diversity and Inclusion Team hosted monthly Power of Inclusion events. Each event featured guest speakers and gave our Employees the opportunity to get together and celebrate our unique perspectives. Each event celebrated a monthly theme, such as Black History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and LGBTQ Pride Month.
Diverse Backgrounds at Work
When Employees become part of our Team, they bring their skills, perspectives, and personal experiences with them. We empower our People to be themselves—as we believe that Employees are best equipped to serve People when it comes from the Heart. By embracing and utilizing diversity and uniqueness, our Employees can address People’s needs with warmth, friendliness, and a sense of individual pride.
A Common Language
Last year, Flight Attendant Tammy Myers got to draw on her unique background while extending a bit of our trademark Southwest Hospitality to a Customer on a Mother’s Day flight out of Phoenix. Prior to joining Southwest, Tammy had retired from the Texas School for the Deaf, and was fluent in American Sign Language. When Tammy met Customer Dolores Gonzales, she immediately sensed that Dolores might know how to sign. Dolores was surprised and delighted. After the Captain wished the Customers a happy Mother’s Day, Tammy signed “Happy Mother’s Day” to Dolores, to ensure that she wasn’t left out of the celebration.
To Honor & Serve
Similarly, Call Center Team Leader Julio Salazar’s experience serving in the U.S. Navy has allowed him to serve the needs of deployed service men and women around the world. When Julio joined Southwest three years ago, he had served in the Navy for 24 years. So he brought with him a deep understanding of the importance of getting mail while deployed. Julio has helped organize an effort that sends handwritten letters and care packages to deployed service men and women to show them that we are grateful for their service. Patriotism runs deep at Southwest, and we’re proud of the more than 8,000 Employees who have served or are actively serving, and the 1,300 military spouses currently in our Southwest Family.
Tammy and Julio both serve as a reminder of the importance of the Diversity of our Team. When Employees are free to draw on their own personal experiences to serve others, they are more capable of living out our Purpose—connecting People to what’s most important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.