I became involved with Mosaic before it was Mosaic. We had our first LGBTQ meeting and the rules were it had to be offsite and you couldn't talk about it back at the office. About a year later, this group formed Mosaic with people who were out – including myself.
When I first
started my D&I journey, I wasn't really invested in it and didn't think it
had value for the company. But as I began working in that space, I realized how
disengaged I was as an employee because I couldn't bring myself to work. The
more I was able to be who I am - the more I was able to speak what was on my
mind and hear what others had to say - the more passionate I became about
working at Altria. It also became really clear that the value for the company
was huge. D&I at the surface sounds like it's talking about being gay,
about being female, about being African American. But really it’s practice at
being consumer-centric and hearing good ideas wherever they come from, which
leads right to innovation.