A message from Bob Courteau, CEO, to all Altus Group employees
As we are all no doubt aware, the George Floyd tragedy in Minneapolis, has set off protests around the world calling for justice for George and the many black people who came before him – victims of police brutality, systemic racism and violence. These protests are only the latest expressions of pain, rage and grief. Given my privileges, I recognize that I cannot fully understand the depth of feelings and motivations behind these demonstrations and related expressions of outrage. This is a time to listen and to seek understanding. And, it is important to turn inward for personal reflection.
The stories that have been written by many black people about how they have felt or have been treated have been heartbreaking and enlightening. These personal accounts have further opened my eyes and will reinforce my personal commitment to thwart unconscious biases and to seek the changes I can make personally, as well as how we as a company can be striving for better. We must remember that our history and our future are informed by the values that guide us and the ideals that shape us – honour, integrity, respect, and selfless service to each other and all of those around us.
As an executive team, we have consistently believed that a principle of inclusiveness is not only the right thing to do, but that creating an environment of diversity and inclusion at Altus Group strengthens how we approach and serve the needs of our clients through a foundation of varied, wide ranging perspectives and experience. It also creates the opportunity to work alongside a diverse group of colleagues sharing and creating unique insights. We will continue to uphold this ideal, working towards an even more diverse team, continuing our ongoing training on unconscious bias in the workplace, and supporting all of our employees.
I believe that racism is institutionalized in most countries, and that we must do all we can to combat it and break down existing barriers. We must do better. Let’s start by being open to listening and learning, by examining our own unconscious biases not just in the workplace but in all aspects of our lives, and by recognizing the privilege many of us have experienced simply because of the colour of our skin. I pledge to continue to explore ways to make a difference in my community and I encourage you to do the same.
We at Altus will continue to work together to find ways to engage across all our offices. Altus is a safe space for you and we support you – I am here and I am listening. It is up to each of us, every day, to take steps to improve our company, our communities and ourselves. My small step is to have made a personal donation to the NAACP and I will find more ways to help. Together we can improve the lives of many.
Chief Executive Officer