A white woman and a black woman shake hands
By Shelley Eades | February 09, 2023

Inclusion and Diversity Action Report: How and Why We’re Championing the 4C Model

One’s culture, career, customers and community are no longer siloed. Their overlapping influence requires us to change our vernacular and actions when it comes to matters of inclusion and diversity.

In a recent blog post, several Zebra employees debated what inclusion and diversity (I&D) efforts should and should not look like in corporate settings. Their perspectives caused me to pause and consider the purpose and potential impact of I&D-focused programming, goals and investments here at Zebra and even within our customer, supplier and partner organizations. 

As I have settled into my new role as Zebra’s Senior Director of Inclusion and Diversity and HR Transformation these past few months, I have seen the profound impact that progressive I&D efforts have made on Zebra Nation and people within the local communities in which we live and work around the world. 

I have spent the last 13 years here at Zebra driving diversity initiatives both inside and outside of the company, albeit in a different role. I have also been actively partnering with outreach and charity organizations to enable exposure, development and employment opportunities for underrepresented and disadvantaged groups. This has included work with organizations providing employment skills to young adults on the autistic spectrum, access to our EMEA Zebra Experience Centre for students considering careers in STEM and supporting virtual work experience platforms to engage engineering undergraduates from diverse backgrounds. I have also partnered with local Zebra Inclusion Network Leads to help influence decisions on internal benefits and policies. 

But sometimes when you step back and look at something from the outside in, and you invite others to show you a different perspective on a matter that you feel you know well, it becomes clear that there may be a different – possibly better – way to approach that matter. That’s what happened recently within my team. We were debriefing on Zebra’s I&D efforts the past few years when we realized that I&D isn’t as cut and dry as creating a culture of belonging. We also realized that organizational culture and individual careers aren’t one in the same, and that customers influence both. Furthermore, we started to understand how local communities were really influencing our corporate community and vice versa – and how there should be more partnership versus one-way philanthropic giving. 

After these realizations, it became clear that we may need to create some space to rethink how we’re upholding our commitment to I&D, so we did. That’s how we arrived at the 4C Model, which defines Culture, Career, Customers and Community as our cornerstones of I&D.  

So, in our latest I&D Action Report, I thought it would be good to talk publicly about… 

  • The growing list of reasons why we’re encouraging Zebra employees, partners and even customers to consider the 4Cs, and how doing so will foster greater inclusion and diversity across Zebra Nation and our local communities globally. 

  • Why we felt it was important to separate culture and career when talking about I&D despite their inherent overlap, consider and involve our customers more in our efforts, and better articulate what we mean by “community” when working toward I&D goals.

  • The importance of global value alignment but local activation for all I&D initiatives led by businesses.

  • What more can be done within organizations, including Zebra, to create and nurture a more inclusive culture for a diverse group of employees, partners, suppliers, and customers. 

  • Why companies’ community centric I&D ambitions must go beyond philanthropic support of charitable organizations.

  • Why we’re seeing some companies criticized for advancing their social policies and advocating for greater inclusivity and diversity within their organizations – and why companies can’t underestimate their social impact when deciding if and how to engage in conversations about I&D both publicly and internally.  

  • Why it’s so important for companies like Zebra to continue prioritizing I&D, and why companies can no longer separate I&D from other business operations.


Want to see the progression of Zebra’s I&D efforts? Curious what others feel is the right way to integrate I&D into corporate or societal cultures? Start here:

Did You Know?
Zebra was just named one of the greatest workplaces in America for diversity. Learn more.
Corporate Social Responsibility, Best Practices, Inside Zebra Nation, Podcast,
Shelley Eades
Shelley Eades

Shelley Eades is responsible for Inclusion & Diversity and Human Resources at Zebra and has worked for Zebra for a collective period of 13 years. During her tenure, Shelley has completed a Masters Degree in Organisational Development and held a post managing Organisational & People Development in the EMEA region.  Recently, Shelley was HR Director at a UK start-up, WaveOptics, and was the first in this position to develop their longer-term people strategy.  

Most of Shelley’s Human Resources, Organisational & People Development career has been in the technology industry, with roles earlier in her career at Tektronix and Xerox. Shelley’s experience of organisations has involved many mergers & acquisitions, which has inspired her focus on culture as an enabler for organisational success.

Zebra Developer Blog
Zebra Developer Blog

Are you a Zebra Developer? Find more technical discussions on our Developer Portal blog.

Zebra Story Hub
Zebra Story Hub

Looking for more expert insights? Visit the Zebra Story Hub for more interviews, news, and industry trend analysis.

Search the Blog
Search the Blog

Use the below link to search all of our blog posts.