The Fielding School of Public Health
I think in a space of teaching and learning, we have to call people in, we have to give space especially for growth in learning. And that's the approach I take at UCLA.
If we're leaving people behind in our conversations, then how are we getting to this liberation that we're trying to really achieve? I don't think we achieve liberation unless we're trying to bring everyone along.
We can't lose our personal connection and passion. And sometimes we have to go outside of ourselves to find that passion and to continue to fuel that awareness that we have.
Special School District of St. Louis County
Students have to feel connected. They got to feel connected to the curriculum, they have to feel connected to the mission and the vision to see themselves. They have to feel like there is a connection to the soul.
Being able to see the a woman ERG partner with a black ERG, thinking about the intersectionality they're thinking about how black women are experiencing something different than women alone, or someone identifying as black alone.
My goal as your leader is to show up and begin having conversations about what's happening in the world because I recognize that is impacting you, and it's certainly impacting me.
It is more powerful when a university on an official capacity creates an intentional space for LGBTQ plus students to be able to gather and just build community to share their stories. What is it like to be on a Christian campus and be out or be closeted?
School District of Clayton
A big part of equity and inclusion is voice and what I think a specific group needs may not be what they want or what they know they need. So really kind of letting the students and letting the parents kind of tell me exactly what it is they feel they need to be successful.
Being able to have a growth mindset is being open to knowing that change and innovation is important and valuable part of their strategies, right? And so young people, millennials, also want to come in and understand that their leaders are thinking about things in that capacity, that they're not rigid, that they're open to things to change, to shift, to be new, to be innovative.
I think that the reason why we got to this point is that we became so afraid of feeling uncomfortable. No one died from being uncomfortable, right? And discomfort is actually how we grow. And so, by actually not even naming that discomfort or staying silent or not asking the questions, we actually don't even provide a starting point to even grow in the first place.
Bucks County Community College
I think the reward system probably needs to be redefined from rewarding those who work the longest, who come in earliest and leave the latest, but focus more on productivity and those sorts of things. I think this is a time for higher education to make a critical, I will call, reassessment of what higher education is and how it's going to serve students and how it's going to manage its workforce.
We've been very, very diligent about training on unconscious bias, specifically within the realm of performance management. So my hope is that we introduced that in a more comprehensive way this year. And so that next year, we see less inequity in the way that our nine box placement looks right and the way that our employees are distributed and how they're evaluated based on not only their performance but their potential at the company.
Ohio State University
The biggest thing about philanthropy is opening opportunities at any point, and enabling people to continue to understand that we're all very much the same, regardless of our backgrounds, regardless of future choices and what paths we take. We all want, for the most part, better for ourselves and better for our families. The importance of philanthropy is that it helps ensure that financial resources are not a barrier to people being able to maximize their potential.
Just the multiple extra layers of barriers that exist from everything from actually getting into law school, getting those first entry-level positions, and then moving up the ladder. There are more systemic barriers, and they kind of come together.
Treat diversity, equity, and inclusion as a strategic priority - It has financial impacts, versus a program that is just here to please a few employees.
Staples Promotional Products
It goes back to the point of giving everyone an opportunity and getting those unique perspectives, which have become so critical to decision-making.
Stanford University Graduate School of Business
We use a lot more doubt-raising words like managed to, she managed to lead a good team versus she led a good team. We use a lot more of these doubt-raising statements with women. And we also use a lot more of what I'll call collaborative language, the language that conveys warmth, or our connection to others with women. Now, if we value that connection with everyone, why would we use that language more with one gender and not with the other?
You also have to look at it culturally to see how people are truly being engaged. Because we talk about doing the work of DEI but very often, people kind of gravitate towards the superficial.
TD Bank Group
It is important for me that all of my team members are productive. So whatever I need to do to accommodate them outside of the realms of my authority, and leadership capability, I'm going to make those pivots to do so. When employees aren't feeling that type of support from the organization or from their leaders, they leave.
Havas New York
It's not just about ensuring that we have people who are from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds represented both in the office and in the work that we produce. But it's also about creating an environment where those folks want to come and work for us who they want to either work in our spaces or they want to be featured in the work that we produce.
BRGs really should be at the center of what the company does. And I say that, because I think BRGs are so uniquely positioned to serve as focus groups for the company.
I love thinking about redefining a company's idea of what success might look like, or redefining a company's idea of what culture can look like.
Privilege is this thing where everybody thinks immediately of White Privilege and we all immediately think that it's a bad thing, Privilege is a thing. We all have some form of it, some more than others, it shifts depending upon the room you walk into. If we approach Privilege, and we took some of the heat and some of the emotion out of that word, we could create a space where there was more belonging and that would be a value.
This is not going to be a one-and-done, this is not going to be over a two-year timeframe that it's going to be something that's going to take the right attention, dedication, and resourcing to make it successful all the way around.
Options Clearing Corporation
Why was the fence there anyway? And that is the question that we can ask ourselves in our own roles at our own respective workplaces. What is that unintentional barrier that maybe we're so accustomed to, but we never realized that it disadvantages someone?
Because we, as a world really are continuing to evolve and learn and understand and hear more sides of the stories than we've heard before, we can talk about the current book banning extravaganza that is going on, you know, or the rephrasing of terms so that particular groups don't feel bad for historical facts. But I think it's important that we give the opportunities to hear the voices, not just from the allies, but from members of the groups themselves, so that we're not imagining more supposing what their experiences are like, right.
The work is slow and incremental and the only way to make it stick is to take one step at a time in a methodical strategic way. And know everything that you do is not going to work, things are going to break, people are going to push back, you're going to pivot, like all of those things are part of the process. And they're really a valuable part of the process
The thing is that policies, procedures and practices these organizations have are not inclusive. So they aren't paying equitably, they're assigning work assigning what you call more administrative duties to women and people of color or the intersection thereof, and they aren't utilizing their technical skills and abilities, which means it's more difficult for them to move up to a management role or technical senior level role as they spend more and more years in corporate. And so what do they do, they end up leaving.
Systems have to be transformed and transformation,to me looks like dismantling and rebuilding, because in most cases, the existing systems we have historically and inherently have been built on inequity, whether intentional or not.
It takes constant vigilance, to recognize not when you're doing it right, but when you get it wrong.
When you start to even turn power dynamics on their head based on being in let's say, a very boring, mostly homogenous room, or then being invited in that room, you're able to use that to your advantage and say, you know, I have a different idea than all of you in this room.
I think the key thing is the human component of ensuring you're supporting everybody in the organization that you have.”
HBCUs are a valuable resource for educating underrepresented groups, not only as healthcare professionals but administrative care professionals, I would say that they are also a source for how we build and think about the communities that we serve.
Amazon Prime Video & Studios
Start with yourself, process the event or the incident for yourself, then think about what this means for your team, depending on your role for your department, depending on your role for the broader organization.
I spend a lot of my time in the gray trying to figure out right versus fair versus good for business, good for people.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
I educate students to prepare them to be world-class engineers. I can be a support to make your classrooms more inclusive, and effective, and get better innovative outcomes.
Wishing Out Loud LLC
I'm always telling the CEOs you know, that vulnerability you share with me when you say I'm woefully inadequate at this, I wish you would be comfortable saying that in front of your staff, because that makes you human.”
IMPACT Leadership Partners
Many times people have this one image and they want the entire organization to look like that leader. That's not diversity. That's one leader and a whole bunch of mini me's, right?
Less than 2% of America's public school teachers identify as Asian. Clearly, there are more than 2% of students in our public school system who identify themselves as Asian American. So the question that immediately comes up to me is how do those kids feel not having access to seeing teachers who look like them?
A more diverse workplace shows a more effective workplace - hiring underrepresented groups, bringing in new ideas, and ultimately bringing success to the company.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion truly actually are a part of every single thing that happens every single day, every conversation, every intention.
When a company is operating globally there is another layer of complexity - each country, each city, each town, each office is in a different spot on their journey of diversity. You really have to do a lot of initiatives, and a lot of digging to see what really diversity means.
University of Arizona Athletics
It just provides that representation for the student-athletes who are pouring their hearts and souls and blood, sweat, and tears into their sport, knowing that there are people who look like them, who was advocating for them in these rooms and being able to create spaces that they can be their authentic selves. And that's just a beautiful sight to see.
The Equality Institute
The reality is that people don't change behavior because they are shamed, or they're ridiculed. They change behavior because they feel like they have been listened to, and they feel like they've been cared for. They feel like they've been understood in a way. That's what makes people change behavior.
Oswego Community Unit School District 308
At the end of the day, for me, I don't feel comfortable watching other people fail, especially if I feel like there's something that I can do, I don't feel comfortable being in an educational system where I see kids going through a school to prison pipeline. And we're just continuing to capitalize off those failures.
Chicago Public Schools
Looking at all of this data looking very big picture and saying like, this is our problem, which is that black male students are performing significantly less than their counterparts. Why? Why is this happening? What are the factors? And how can we change that
A lot of times the assessment especially if it's not a very diverse organization, the assessment will look great because they're looking at the majority numbers push for them to look at the minority numbers pusher them to look at because it's great is it's all men and one woman and you know, the men are like, Oh, this place is great. We love it. But we pay attention to that one woman's assessment of person that this place is not great.
Maybe I have a room for prayer the same way I would have a room for nursing, right, maybe I have a dedicated space so that my employees know that I was thinking of them. And it may seem something, you know, small to an employer, but to that employee, even if it's just one, I said, 75%. But even if it's just one, even if it's just one employee, where you've taken time to dedicate a space for them to do something that's personal to them and mean something to them, that's an actionable initiative, you have made someone feel like they belong at your company, which is the ultimate goal.
Underrepresented talent is actually looking for organizations that are signaling value on equity and inclusion. So if you're an organization that's doing great work in the DEI space, you got to tell that story and your employer branding materials, so that you're actually drawing underrepresented talent, you become a magnet for values-driven or purpose-driven talent.
Leaders also want the best for their companies. But sometimes they're so far removed from the day-to-day reality of their people that they don't know what's best for them. But when they hear firsthand, that really helps to connect, and that gives them a strong way to say, Okay, we're going to change, we're going to make some changes here.
University of Michigan, Rackham Graduate School
A full third of my students, and again, students are low income, first generation students with disabilities, often students that are on the margins of just being able to qualify for admission. So they're underprepared relative to their peers, a full third of them made it on the Dean's List of having a 3.5 or higher, and 80% of them had a three point over better. And so the students that came in with a, you know, most underprepared with the fewest resources, were responding to that living learning community in the same way that you would anticipate your honor students responding to the kind of quality of education that was provided to them.
We've been socialized in a world that teaches us different things about different communities of people. And it's our responsibility to kind of unlearn those things.
Alliant Insurance Services
You are trying to create change, and you are talking about creating change. But if it is not being tracked, not being communicated, then people don't feel like there is a sense of accountability. And when people don't feel like there is a sense of accountability, you are failing in the inclusion and belonging space.
University of Chicago
I think we should assume positive intent, but I don't think we should allow people to get away with anything - Intent with accountability.
Kent State University
Having a seat at that table is awesome. But if we don't actually feel like we belong at that table, if we don't feel heard, if we don't feel valued, if we don't feel like an important contributing member of our community, of our organization, of our institution. Then inclusion really is just lip service.
If you want to be a part of this fight, you have to expect it to come with resistance, and you have to expect that it's not going to be easy. But if you really want to be a part of creating change and doing the work, then you need to come onto the playing field and do it. Otherwise, step aside.
It was kind of unfortunate that it happened in the aftermath of George Floyd. But I will say that that change was necessary and should have happened prior but at least it's happening now. They now recognize that I can go into other spaces and my voice does matter. And people do need to listen to me because I matter.
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
I want you to respect me, regardless of my sexuality, my sexual identity, my religion, my color. I don't want you identify me any other way than the way I would like for you to identify me. And it's not up to you.
Guest: Janae Hubbard (Director at the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion @ The Fielding School of Public Health)
Guest: Cornell Verdeja-Woodson (Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging @ Headspace Health)
Guest: Robin Johnson (Director of Diversity and Inclusion @ Cottage Health)
Guest: Dr. Michael Maclin (Executive Director of DEIA @ the Special School District of St. Louis County)
Guest: Guishard Revan (Global Diversity & Inclusion Manager @ Expedia Group)
Guest: Jyl Feliciano (Global Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging @ Highspot)
Guest: Michael Nixon (Chief Diversity Officer @ Andrews University)
Guest: Cameron Poole (Chief DEI Officer @ School District of Clayton)
Guest: Bernita Dillard (Global Head of DEI Recruiting Enablement @ DoorDash)
Guest: Tiffany Yu (CEO @ Diversability)
Guest: Kevin Antoine (Chief Diversity Officer @ Bucks County Community College)
Guest: Miguel Poblete (Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging Manager @ Procore Technologies)
Guest: Jera Oliver (Director of Development at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion @ Ohio State University)
Guest: Melissa Berry (Director of Professional Development and Diversity @ Lane Powell)
Guest: Kamilah Mahon (Inclusion and Diversity Program Manager @ Distill Ventures)
Guest: Celso Afonseca (Supplier Diversity Business Partner @ Staples Promotional Products)
Guest: Lori Mackenzie (Lead Strategist for DEI @ Stanford University Graduate School of Business)
Guest: Authentic Inclusion Beyond Communications and PR – Abenaa Hayes (Founder & CEO @ Elysee Consulting)
Guest: Comprehensive Equitable Talent Programs – John D. Patton (Vice President – Head of U.S. Diversity & Inclusion at TD Bank Group)
Guest: Authentic Representation – DEI for the People and the Product – Necko L. Fanning (Director of DEI at Havas New York)
Guest: ERGs and BRGs – Organization and Impact – Camila Whyte (Global DEI Program Manager at Nielsen)
Guest: Lines of Ethics and Grappling with what Success Means – Amie Ninh (Head of DEI at Clever Inc.)
Guest: Jarrod Harden (DEI Program Manager for Cloud Marketing at Google)
Guest: Alysha Campbell (CEO @ CultureShift)
Guest: Alison Bodor (Executive Director of DEI @ Options Clearing Corporation)
Guest: Dionn Schaffner (Chief Diversity Officer @ Aurea Software)
Guest: Nick LaRoche (Global DEI Business Partner @ Klaviyo)
Guest: Michele Heyward (Founder @ PositiveHire)
Guest: Amira Barger (Executive Vice President at Edleman)
Guest: Nancy Geenen (CEO at Flexability)
Guest: Adam Boone (Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Program Manager at PagerDuty)
Data Utilization in DEI
Guest: Matthew Coons (Senior Manager, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Xero)
Partnering with HBCUs
Guest: Hillary Davis (Regional Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Ochner Health)
Leading Through Crisis
Guest: Jainaba Seckan (Senior DEI Program Manager at Amazon Prime Video & Studios)
Spending Time in the Grey: A Unique Perspective on Belonging
Guest: Juan Taveras (Director of HR and DEI at Petsmart Charities)
Reflecting on Diversity & Inclusion in Higher Ed.
Guest: Nick Davis (Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology)
A closer look at the DEIB Practitioner Experience
Guest: Lisa M. Ong PCC, CPA (President & Founder of Wishing Out Loud LLC)
Inclusive Leadership & Self Care
Guest: Anu Mandapati (CEO @ IMPACT Leadership Partners)
Reviewing the Asian American Identity
Guest: Richard Leong – DEI Consultant & Leadership/Career Coach for Asian Americans
The Philosophical and Systems based approach to DEI
Guest: Chris Warren – Director of DEI and Community Partnerships at Jabil
DEI and the Employee Life Cycle
Guest: Cordelia Seidel – Director of DEI & Employee Experience at Medix
Being Proactive and Customizing DEI Programming
Guest: Lindsey Novak – Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Videojet
DEI & Engagement in Collegiate Athletics
Guest: Thomas Harris – Associate Athletic Director of D&I at the University of Arizona Athletics
Addressing Micro-aggressions with the ARC Method from Inclusive 360
Guest: Bernadette Smith – CEO @ The Equality Institute
A Roadmap for DEI Investments and Human Flourishing
Guest: Vijay Pendakur – Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer @ Zynga
Success for Underserved Students in Higher Ed
Guest: Ethriam Brammer – Assistant Dean, DEI Implementation Lead @ University of Michigan, Rackham Graduate School
How Leadership can Approach the Burnout Cycle
Guest: Matatea Changuy – DEI Consultant @ Good Works
Myth vs Truths – Strategic Planning for being Authentic and Inclusive at the workplace
Guest: Constance Wilson – Global Head of Belonging, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion @ Udemy
Shifting Perspectives on Accountability and HSBCU
Guest: Amy Cole-Smith – Director of Diversity-Partnerships @ The Institutes
Cultivating Culturally Responsive Teaching
Guest: Dr. Jadon Waller – Director of DEI and Family Engagement @ Oswego Community Unit School District 308
Equity and Access in Education
Guest: Monique Smith – Director of DEI at Chicago Public Schools
Intersectionality, Feedback, and Leadership
Guest: Matthew Soto – Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Manager at BuzzFeed
Systemic DEI and Change Management
Guest: Aaisha Hamid – AVP and DE&I Manager at Alliant Insurance Services
Rhetoric and Perceptions of Blackness
Guest: Kimberly Singletary – DEI Manager at University of Chicago
Strategic Planning towards Belonging
Guest: AJ Conway – Diversity & Career Development Director @ Kent State University
Approaching Change with Peace
Guest: Justin Oliver – Lead Diversity Officer @ UC Berkley
Solution-oriented Inclusion in the Educational Sector
Guest: Priscilla Smith – DEI Facilitator @ KIPP NYC
Actions for Inclusive Leadership & Culture
Guest: Alexandria Ray – DEI Manager @ Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Are you interested in building a more diverse workforce? Join us as we delve into the experiences of well-known DEI experts in implementing DEI programs at leading organizations. Listen to get inspired on how to roll out DEI initiatives in your organization.
Jolene has over 7 years of experience in the mental health field as a coach, trainer, teacher, and thought leader. With her experience serving on DEI & B councils, she aims to foster a space that brings people closer to genuine human connection and gain mutual understanding. She’s a promoter of spectrum thinking, a growth mindset, and open-mindedness. Jolene considers herself a lifelong learner and welcomes challenges as an opportunity for growth. During her free time, she enjoys hiking, nature, and teaching her rabbit tricks.
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At Diverseek, we help our clients take the first step towards building a more diverse workforce. We use a combination of data-driven insights, expert-led evaluations, and assessments by our dedicated team to improve the hiring experiences and outcomes.