265: Blended – DEI in the Workplace – Not Just The Smart Thing To Do, But The Right Thing To Do


It’s episode 20 of Blended: I’m joined by another fantastic panel of guests and we’re talking about the business benefits of DEI. Previously on the show, we’ve talked to underrepresented groups and specific communities – whether it be women, people of color, trans folks – and, as part of our discussions, we’ve heard them passionately share their stories and illustrate why, of course, they’re such an integral part of successful teams. So we thought it was time to really put a focus on that and dedicate a whole show to the importance of embracing DEI in your business.

Today, our guests will be exploring what DEI means to them; sharing their own personal experiences; reflecting on issues such as creating safe spaces, ongoing education and authenticity; and discussing the importance of supplier diversity.

IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:

 

[00.49] Introductions to our Blended panelists.

“DEI encompasses the relationship, philosophy and culture of acknowledging, embracing, supporting and accepting those of all racial, sexual, gender, religious and socio-economic backgrounds (among other differentiators).” Gennifer

  • Shay – Senior Event Manager at S&P Global
  • Asheley – Director of Customer Success at Flowspace
  • Gennifer – Founder/Executive Director at TransNewYork
  • Amani – Director Of Operations at Malao Logistics

[06.41] The group discusses DEI: what it means; why it’s important; the challenges; and real-life examples of who’s doing it right and who’s doing it wrong.

“Companies that adapt their strategies and their policies around the different groups of people they have working in their organization and don’t treat it just like a blanket initiative, and really get down into the details of who their people are and what challenges they face… that’s when you can really look at whether your environment is inclusive or not.” Shay

  • Creating the right environment and culture
  • Accepting people for who they are
  • Representation
  • Burden of tokenism
  • Impact of Gen Z
  • Education and training
  • Budgets and investment
  • Advocacy and mentorship
  • Creating safe spaces
  • Celebrating awareness days and months, and finding the right balance
  • Intention and authenticity
  • Consistency

“It’s not about just the [awareness] month – because I’m going to be black every single day, not just in February!” Asheley

[01.10.21] The panel takes a closer look at both the obstacles and benefits of supplier diversity.

  • Increasing customer demand for diversity
  • Barriers for small businesses, eg extended payment terms, expensive tables at events etc
  • Making it equitable

[01.20.19] The group sum-up their learnings from today’s discussion.

“It’s a way of living, it’s a collective thing. If I want people to know my culture, I also need to show my culture… if I know my team isn’t super aware, it’s also my job to educate.” Amani

 

RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED:

 

You can connect with Shay, Asheley, Gennifer and Amani over on LinkedIn.

If you found this episode interesting, you might enjoy Episode 1,What’s In A Word or Episode 7, Equality vs Diversity: What’s The Difference?.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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