Sr. Group Manager Erik Thomas discusses Hyundai’s commitment to LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion

It's about recognition, and communicating to the buyer base, in a respectful way, says Erik Thomas.

As organizations continue efforts for more diverse and inclusive cultures, the LGBTQ+ community is asking for much more than a rainbow logo during Pride month. On today’s show, we’re checking in with Hyundai Motor America to learn about their commitment to diversity and inclusion. We’re pleased to welcome Erik Thomas, Senior Group Manager of Experiential Marketing Sponsorship & Multicultural Marketing for Hyundai Motor America. 

Hyundai has taken a leadership role, by looking internally says Thomas. They wanted to know, what were their opportunities, their weaknesses were, and how to get better. Consecutively for the last five years, Hyundai received 100% for the Corporate Equality Index with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Thomas says they have an inclusive environment that’s reflected at the top levels. He says it’s part of the regular conversation and the ideas and contributions are in every decision that they make. Thomas says it matters because when someone new enters into the industry, they may see themselves the way they couldn’t five or even ten years ago.

Earlier this year, Hyundai announced its African American Marketing Agency of Record culture brands. Thomas says he’s in the final stages of a new Hispanic Agency of Record, where they haven’t had one for more than a decade. He says it’s about recognition, and communicating to the buyer base, in a respectful way.

Related: Chief Enthusiasm Officer Kenya Rutland on how to build diversity and inclusion in your dealership

There are so many opportunities to contribute and do the right thing says Thomas. Hyundai’s strategy is to give voice to the LGBTQ+ community and promote that voice. They’ve partnered with GLAAD Media Awards, sponsorships with Outfest LA and NewFest Film Festival, and Outfest Fusion. Thomas says we have to make sure we’re putting dollars to support those who support us. It matters very much.

Hyundai has the highest percentage of minority dealers. There’s still much work to do says Thomas. He says Hyundai is committed to that. Thomas is proud that they’re leading the industry but most importantly he’s proud of the leadership continuing that fight.

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