Blog maker

Meet the changemaker: Todd Stracke

people and culture

The Clorox Change Makers initiative shines a light on people who are actively celebrating diversity and creating a more inclusive culture, which positively impacts our business and our culture. This week, we’re focusing on Todd Stracke, a senior project manager in our product sourcing organization.

ERG membership has skyrocketed over the past two years, with the majority of the growth being among allies. The statistics highlight a clear commitment from the Clorox community to learning and supporting diversity.

Todd Stracke is one of those people. An ally turned advocate, Todd became an active and engaged member of the leadership team of BELIEVE, our ERG representing black employees. He uses his project management skills and unique perspective as an ally to help support the ERG. Here, he shares what continues to motivate him to contribute to cultural change at Clorox and beyond.

How long have you been an ally?

I became more involved about two years ago when social injustices began to escalate nationwide and wanted to learn more. Attending some of the Cup of Understanding sessions at Clorox, it was the personal stories my friends and colleagues shared that really opened my eyes. Honestly, it shocked me that my friends had so many horrible and racist experiences, when I was completely oblivious to it happening that often. Events that get national attention are very unsettling, but hearing first-hand experiences just struck me in a more personal way. It helped me realize that there is so much more to knowing than the tragedies that have captured national attention, and that the daily lives of people of color can be very different from mine.

How has your experience with BELIEVE shaped or influenced your life outside of Clorox?

I work to have conversations with my friends and family, trying to increase their awareness. Usually these conversations start after a comment I disagree with. I was surprised at how difficult these discussions can be. Many people struggle to “get it” because they only have their own experiences and haven’t made the effort to understand how different life is for people of color.

What motivates you to be an ally? What drives you to show off?

Above all, I want to do my part to hopefully make a difference and help drive change…no matter how small. My personal involvement with BELIEVE is a small thing, but I hope I can encourage others to make the effort to understand a little more – to empathize, to listen and to understand. If you are white and you think the life of a person of color is not so different from yours, I challenge you to learn and understand. There are really huge differences that we don’t know about.

How do you think we could help those who want to know more?

There have been great learning opportunities at work, and it would be helpful to be able to share this information to help raise awareness at home. This is something that other companies have for their employees after racial incidents in the country or within their own company.

What have you learned as an ally?

How different people are treated. It makes me wonder: if I was black, how different would I feel to be pulled over by the police? Or how difficult would it have been to have the same job opportunities?

Do you think the people you are allied with are responsible for educating allies?

No, but I think it’s very important for people of color to have a safe space to share their personal experiences with their white friends and with anyone who is willing to listen. Maybe it will have the same impact on them as it did on me. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of white people to take steps to understand or at least make an effort to listen, not the responsibility of the black community to bear the burden of educating others. Without it, we will continue to move blindly towards injustices, as we have done for too long.

What core values ​​do you think contribute to your alliance?

Empathy and perspective. During my I&D journey, I came across a quote believed to be from Benjamin Franklin that has stuck with me: “Justice will not be done until those unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” I think this applies well to racial issues in the United States, and that’s why it’s important for white people to do more because, in many ways, we are the “unaffected.” There are actually quite a few allies that are part of BELIEVE, but it would be even better if more actively participated. I was initially hesitant to join the BELIEVE steering committee because I wasn’t sure if I would be welcome to participate at this level as a white male for a black ERG, but I’m really glad I did. . I continue to learn, and it was a great and welcoming experience.

I&D at Clorox

To live our Purpose and Values, we must build a workplace where every person can feel respected, valued, and fully able to participate in our Clorox community. Our goal is to lead by example, at all levels of the company, and to continually challenge ourselves to do better. Learn more about our inclusion and diversity efforts here.

people and culture

employee resource groups, inclusion and diversity