CBE’s weaves Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts into the fabric of their organization  –

As an organization that has built its success on “doing the right thing”, we are diligently working to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into every department, process, and decision at our company as it naturally becomes an integrally woven part of our company’s culture. Just like some of the strongest and most unique fabrics are made by weaving fibers together, such is our goal for DEI at CBE.

Planning for Success

Early on in CBE’s DEI efforts, we knew that we would need to make more than just surface-level changes. We understood that employees want to be acknowledged and included in their company in ways that make them feel they are valued and that they belong. But first, our company needed to understand the status of our current DEI landscape, identify where we needed to pivot our efforts, and figure out a plan that would help us move toward goals.

CBE sought assistance from a best-in-class consulting firm to survey and assess employees at all levels on their DEI workplace experience; this ongoing collaboration allowed us to establish a plan that not only enhances the environment for our employees and our company, but for our communities as well. While our DEI efforts are ongoing and we’ll never complete our tapestry masterwork, CBE has made substantial progress toward a more positive future for employees and communities alike.


CBE has created internal systems and policies that allow diversity, equity, and inclusion to grow and flourish. These systems include a DEI Committee & Advisory Committee, DEI framework, and employee resource groups. These groups have begun a deep dive into our HR processes and established measurable goals and clearly defined key performance indicators. Additionally, CBE has implemented a cultural holiday that gives every full-time US employee eight paid hours each year they can take to celebrate culture however they choose.

Investing in our communities

  • In 2020, CBE donated $50,000 to start the Racial Equality Training Fund in conjunction with the Waterloo Community Foundation. Established in support of Waterloo Police efforts to improve race relations and address equality challenges in our local community, the goal is to raise $250,000 to fund various trainings for the Waterloo Police Department.
  • On a broader community scale, each CBE location is working closely with community partners to support local initiatives through our employee-funded Casual for a Cause program, which donates almost $50,000 annually to local organizations and charities that serve to support, clothe, feed, heal, and protect those in the need.
  • CBE was also instrumental in helping establish Leader Valley, a business-education partnership to bring the Leader in Me initiative, founded on Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, to all of the Cedar Valley schools. Leader in Me creates opportunity for all students to learn leadership and employability skills regardless of their race, social-economic, or religious backgrounds.
  • The Leader Valley Leadership & Legacy Scholars Program, established by CBE’s founder Tom Penaluna, will fund and award annual scholarships and provide leadership training to minority youth in Black Hawk County. This program promotes our company’s values of leadership, integrity, respect, innovation and continuous improvement, and further serves our commitment to providing diverse and inclusive opportunities to traditionally under-served groups.

Creating a rich and treasured tapestry isn’t straightforward, but the results are well worth the effort. To make it happen, we show up each day determined to make DEI an essential part of CBE’s culture. When we succeed it is our community, our company, and—most of all—our employees who win.


Founded in 1933, CBE Companies is a global provider of outsourced contact center solutions. For more than 85 years CBE has continued to invest in developing and nurturing leaders throughout the organization by creating an environment in which individuals thrive, creativity is valued, and organic growth is achieved. Recognized in 2021 and 2022 as a Top Workplace in the USA and a Cedar Valley Employer of Choice, CBE employs nearly 1,200 people in 3 locations globally, including a large work-from-home community.

For more about CBE Companies or information on how to join our team, please visit www.cbecompanies.com or email Marketing@cbecompanies.com. Follow CBE on Facebook (@CBEcompanies) and LinkedIn (@cbe-companies) to stay informed of company events, employment opportunities, philanthropic and community updates, and exciting announcements celebrating CBE’s extraordinary staff!