How did you get into your work?
I was born into DEI, and I say that because I come from a multiracial, multigenerational, multiregional background, so I was lucky enough to have my parents and my grandparents in the house with us. I got to really understand that people view things very differently based on their experiences, so understanding and learning how to message each person individually and also how to receive thoughts and feedback that is different from my own is integrated into how I grew up.
I spent some time working in human resources, working in marketing and sales throughout my career, and had some experience with DEI from the HR perspective but also understood that being able to communicate in a way that is inclusive for all people is so important. And especially as our society becomes more diverse, we need to understand how to properly communicate with everyone we are speaking to.
So what exactly is The Diversity Movement?
The Diversity Movement is an organization that was started by CEOs, entrepreneurs, business executives, and DEI professionals who have come together to create an organization where we can help organizations put their people first. That means their employees, clients, customers.
As our society becomes more diverse, we are able to better lead with better methods and communication. We are consultants, so we do consult. We also have e-learning, basically online learning, where it’s self-paced, accessible, and meets you wherever you are on your DEI journey.
We use all the tools we have available to not only educate but reinforce that “people first” mind-set. In doing so we find that organizations perform better. They are more profitable and their employees are more productive. It can transform your business.
What are the biggest obstacles companies face when implementing DEI practices?
When we are talking about DEI, you are talking about changing the way people talk and engage with each other, and that’s difficult. Understanding where people are in that journey, understanding how to lead from where they are, and how to engage them from the start and move them in the right direction is a challenge for organizations that don’t have the right support and tools to do that.
What are the benefits of implementing DEI in the workplace?
Studies have shown that organizations that do well with their DEI practice—it’s not a program, it’s not an initiative, it’s something that’s integrated into your business, all the way through strategic planning to the way you work day to day—create 19 percent more revenue through innovation. That’s because when you have more voices at the table and more people that feel that they can contribute and have value to add, the more ideas you are going to get.
Another study showed that employees that are happy are 13 percent more productive. That boils down to basically an entire day of additional productivity a week per employee. So when you are really creating an environment and a culture where your employees are happy—they feel safe, supported, and valued in the workplace—they are more productive.
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