DULUTH, Ga.—Several companies across the optical industry have expressed their support to embrace, learn and develop diversity and inclusion initiatives at their companies. National Vision Holdings, Inc. (NVI) (NASDAQ: EYE), one of the nation’s largest optical retailers, is one of these, augmenting its existing support of the goals by naming several new corporate board members this year.

Earlier this month, NVI also announced that its CEO, Reade Fahs, has become a signatory to the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion (CEO Action) pledge. National Vision is the first optical retailer represented in the growing coalition of nearly 2,000 business leaders across 85 industries committed to advancing diversity and inclusion goals in the workplace, the company’s announcement said.

“I am proud that over 50 percent of National Vision’s total associates and 45 percent of optometrists in our network identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC). We feel it is important for patients and customers to feel represented and included when they come to our stores and entrust us with their vision, so we want to continue to attract diverse perspectives and talents and be a great place to work for everyone who comes to the optical industry,” said Fahs.

“Signing the CEO Action pledge is a public acknowledgement of how serious these efforts are to our mission and values, and our intention to continue taking meaningful action on these commitments going forward.”

In the pledge, National Vision committed to a series of actions related to diversity, equity and inclusion across its company, industry and communities, on many of which National Vision has already made progress.

The DEI efforts include:

• Created a new department, including dedicated staff and leadership, tasked with leading company-wide DEI efforts.

• Formed the National Vision DEI Council, which strategically guides DEI efforts in four focus areas: Employment Branding/Recruitment, Training & Education, Mentoring & Career Development, and Community Services.

• Implemented a company-wide Diversity Calendar to create a hub for intentional conversation opportunities, training and resources around highlighted observations throughout the year.

• Reviewed recruitment and hiring practices to increase opportunities to attract, support, and retain a diverse pipeline of talent.

• Committed more than $425,000 in scholarships, grants, and philanthropic donations focused on supporting BIPOC students and students from communities with historical underrepresentation in the optical industry.

• Increased minority representation and achieved a gender balance among the independent directors on the board of directors.

• Built DEI efforts into the core framework of National Vision’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, which is designed to extend and formalize the company’s commitments to DEI initiatives.

Jacqueline Grove, National Vision’s senior vice president of talent development, culture, DEI, and philanthropy, has led the development of these ongoing initiatives. “It’s important that we are intentionally striving to create an inclusive environment that respects and celebrates differences, and engages the full value these many perspectives bring to the table. We have work ahead of us, and I’m proud that our CEO Action pledge publicizes our commitment to staying on this journey.”