Moving Forward: DEI Trends and Focus areas for 2022

November DEI Virtual Meetup: Moving Forward- DEI Trends and Focus Areas for 2022

In Blog, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Events by She+ Geeks Out

The issues affecting our world and workplaces have forced us to critically think about what is not only needed, but also possible for our organizations and employees to thrive. From changes to office structures, hiring, engagement and strategic plans, many companies continue to center diversity, equity and inclusion in all efforts. Through these changes, we’ve learned a lot about organizational strengths and challenges from clients and thought partners alike. As the DEI landscape continues to shift and evolve, we want to spend some time reflecting on important DEI themes from this year while also exploring possibilities and focus areas for 2022.

We invite you to watch this virtual meetup where we chat with Lisa Russell to discuss:

  • Organizational triumphs and challenges from this year
  • Ways to successfully center, implement and measure DEI work
  • Predictions, reimaginations and focus areas for 2022
  • Tips for individual and collective care and accountability

Speakers:

Lisa Russell, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Aleria

Moderator:

Fatima Dainkeh, Learning and Development Manager, She+ Geeks Out


Fatima: Welcome everyone, wherever you’re calling in from. It’s evening where I’m logging in. So grateful to share virtual space with you today, especially since this is our last DEI meetup for the year. I’m really excited to be talking with Lisa today. And before we get started, I’m just going to do some housekeeping, some intros, especially if you’re new. If you’re new, feel free to say, “hello, I’m new,” so we can give you a warm welcome for those of you who are new. And if this is your first time, yes, this is She+ Geeks Out, one of our virtual events that we hold quarterly to talk about DEI issues in the workplace, out of the workplace, and how we can continue to make our workplaces better.

So our mission is abolishing inequity in the workplace, and so we do a lot of workshops for some of our clients. And then we also support our community members who are trying to figure out, well, how do I implement being myself, or just DEI strategies in general? So if this is your first time welcome, you are in an awesome space. And I’m not just saying that because I’m proud of the SGO team. So as you can probably see, I’m the L&D manager at SGO, my pronouns are she/her/hers. I love that action is already happening in the chat. I’m a true facilitator, so, you know, I’m going to ask: please share who you are in the chat. You can share your name, a little bit about yourself, whatever you want to share- a career passion project, whatever it is you want folks to know tonight.

And then also where you’re calling in from, I got to talk to someone who was calling in from another state. So it’s always nice to mingle with people who are from different spaces. So go ahead and share that in the chat, if you haven’t already. And as you all are doing that, I just want to make sure that we all know all the ways to work this magical platform. So you made it here, which means that for the most part, you knew how to get here. But just a quick note, when you first arrived, you probably noticed that there were some tables that you got to sit at. Those tables will be available after my fireside chat with Lisa. So feel free to go back to them. And then also we’ll try to make sure that we have at least 30 minutes to have a conversation, Lisa and I, and then we’ll open it up for some Q&A.

So what you’ll see on your panel is your chat button, which you all are already showing some excitement in the chat. I love it. You’ll also see something that says Q&A. So if you want to ask a question during my fireside chat with Lisa, feel free to put that there. And the cool thing about that option is if more people have the same question, you can upvote it. So it’ll upvote and then I’ll ask the question to Lisa as we close out. So those are the few main things I want you to know about. Before we officially get started, because we do this work as DEI practitioners or advocates, one of the most important things for me to do right now is a land acknowledgement. If you aren’t familiar with this, feel free to just take note or just witness my ability to acknowledge where I’m calling in from.

And even though I’m calling in virtually, I’m physically somewhere, right? So the first thing I’m going to say is I want to acknowledge that SGO was originally founded on territory of the Massachusetts and Pawtucket tribe. And what this means is that I wouldn’t be here if the folks before me weren’t great stewards of the land. I want to recognize those folks, and their resilience in protecting this land. And hopefully we can aspire to uphold our responsibilities wherever we might be calling from. Also acknowledging that a lot of havoc happened for SGO to be founded where it was founded, in terms of indigenous communities. And so as much as we recognize the strength and the resilience, it’s also important to recognize the stories that we don’t always talk about. So if you can just take a moment to join me in just being present in your body and recognizing where you might be physically and what that might mean for you right now.

Thank you so much for joining me in that. If this is your first time learning about land acknowledgement, I just went ahead and dropped the link in the chat. If you’re interested to know where you’re calling in from, and I see some folks already sharing there, the indigenous folk who lived in currently live on the land that they’re at. So I’m calling in from the DC, Maryland area, and I’m specifically giving a shout out and recognition to the Piscataway people. All right. So let’s see, we have folks all up in the chat, people from Texas and New Jersey, love in North Carolina, Portland, Oregon, Boston, Brooklyn, Nashville. Oh my gosh. This is amazing. This is so amazing. Once upon a time, we only had people from the Boston Patucket Massachusetts land, and now we’re all over the place. So welcome. Welcome. Feel free to share in the chat if you haven’t already, and as you all are doing so, I’m going to go ahead and prep us for our amazing wonderful speaker. Her name is Lisa Russell, and I’m going to say a little bit about Lisa before she joins me on the stage.

Lisa Russell passionately tackles rural work problems with innovative and impactful solutions. After several years in the financial services industries, Lisa gained extensive entrepreneurial experience holding key positions on the founding teams of tech startups. Over the years, she has been recognized for her commitment to community and the impact of her efforts focused on mentorship, education, and creating opportunities for women in marginalized communities. Currently, she leverages her passions and expertise to help take the guesswork out of diversity and inclusion as the co-founder and CEO of Aleria. Lisa, please join me on the stage. I love when this happens. Y’all’s like drum roll.

Lisa: Hello everyone. Thank you so much.

Fatima: Yes. You’re getting all the love right now. I can see the applause.

Lisa: Sometimes technology is hard.

Fatima: Yes, totally fine. So Lisa, before we even jump into our fireside chat, how are you doing? How are you showing up today?

Lisa: I’m doing great. I’m doing great. I’m showing up a little scattered, admittedly. I was just explaining to Fatima earlier that we, as a company, are starting an accelerator program. The announcement is actually official today. We’ll be a part of what’s called the Equitech Techstars, which is all mission aligned. And you’ll learn more about me and what that means here shortly, but it’s so exciting. And so I am both excited and thankful that I can have  additional ways to move forward in this work.

Fatima: Absolutely. And congrats again to you and your team. Best of luck in terms of that process. And if folks aren’t familiar with that, maybe we’ll drop a link for them, if you have something to share with the love. Awesome. Awesome. All right. So Lisa, some folks might be new to you and the work you do at Aleria. So can you give us a quick elevator pitch and why inclusion as a focus area?

Lisa: Of course. So as you briefly heard a bit in my bio there, my name is Lisa. I am co-founder and CEO of Aleria (pronouns she/her.) And we as an organization are an HR tech company that says that we’re taking the guesswork out of diversity and inclusion. But what that means in our work is that we’re really measuring inclusion and aiming to pinpoint where organizations, where business leaders, can focus to really drive greater inclusion, greater diversity, greater employee satisfaction, ultimately greater business performance. If we’re looking at why inclusion, that’s such a great question. There’s a really great quote that I like to reference, and we reference it often in our workshops. It’s by the NeuroLeadership Institute and it says diversity without inclusion is a revolving door of talent. And it’s this great short, but very visual quote that really kind of encompasses the issues and some of the challenges that we’re seeing in this work.

We refer to it as the DEI disconnect. You know, the fact that a lot of folks are out in the world and they’re talking about DEI or D&I, I&D, whatever the acronyms might be, there’s so many these days. But the reality is that most of the studies, most of the initiatives are really focused on diversity metrics only, and really just representation metrics. We’re seeing folks set goals that are things like let’s move the needle 1% in terms of representation of women in the organization, or let’s make sure that we’re going to hire or recruit 2% more black employees or whatever it might be that they need to work on internally. But the reality is that that’s not enough and that’s not setting those folks up for success within the organization. And it’s not truly creating an inclusive and equitable work environment. And so we’re focused on inclusion mostly because our research, our experiences show that by creating a more inclusive work environment, we are able to then benefit and truly attain greater diversity and greater employee satisfaction. Which is a beautiful ripple effect across the organization and its potential for success.

Fatima: Ah, I love that. Yes. Snaps to all of that, I already see the love you’re getting from someone who says they subscribed to the Aleria newsletter, I’m subscribed as well. So you all are really insightful things around DEI work, but also highlighting inclusion.

Lisa: Thank you so much. We’ll plug the link to the newsletter here in the chat. I swear we don’t go anywhere without somebody mentioning our newsletter, and it’s such a point of pride for us. My co-founder and business partner puts that together every single week. Can’t take any credit for it, but we love to hear that you’re enjoying it. So thank you.

Fatima: Love it. Love it. Thank you. And I see someone talking, bringing in that metaphor that Verna Myers talks about when we talk about DEI, right? Diversity is being invited to the dance, inclusion is being asked to dance. And I’ve seen that so many times and people have definitely played with it, right? Some people talk about, you know, being asked about what kind of music to be played or what kind of food and all these things. So keep it going in the chat, as we keep chatting. But a lot has happened, right? So you gave us this awesome pitch and I’m here for it. And it’s like, okay, these past 18 months were wild, especially in the DEI world. When we think about what do we need to focus on? How do we do this work? How do we implement, certain strategies intentionally? And so one of the things I would love for you to do before we dig into, like, the details is, can you just share some of the top two to three- I know that’s not enough- but the top two to three successful trends you’re seeing within companies and why those trends are successful.

Lisa: Yeah, we’re going to start with the good stuff- what’s working. That’s always great. I will say, the first one right away is just a combination of what doesn’t and does work. So bear with me. It is a do, but I think we have to acknowledge that there isn’t a silver bullet to this work, right? So what is working is that increasingly organizations are going beyond simple representation metrics and generic training, and they’re starting to listen to their employees to understand where the real opportunities are. What do my employees need? How can I actually help them feel as if they are better supported in their work on a day to day basis? That they’re included that they have access to the things they need to be able to excel in their role.

And so, the first thing is definitely this shift from out of the box training and study-based improvement metrics and really generic processes that have, time and time again, over the last 40 plus years, failed us. But rather saying, Hey, let me just actually listen and see what folks are saying they need, and deliver on that. It sounds simple, but it makes such a big difference, in terms of creating that inclusive and equitable space. The second one would really be the idea of creating clear focus areas. The other thing about diversity, equity, and inclusion is that we have all these business leaders out in the world, particularly in 2020, that made these big promises, or these commitments to change. But the reality is they don’t know how to do that.

They’re not experts in this work. And so they made these promises and now they’re like, oh, what do we do now? And the reality is that they can’t do everything. They’re not going to be able to move the needle in all directions. This work encompasses things like recruiting. It encompasses things like retention, employee satisfaction, supplier diversity, the list goes on in ways that you could focus and try to improve. And if you try to do them all at the same time, you’re just not going to move the needle significantly in any direction. And so we find that it’s most powerful. What is working is by saying, Hey, after we’ve listened to our employees, let’s really get clear on what our goals are for the next six months, year. And let’s be super transparent about that.

This year, we’re going to look to move the needle by doing X, Y, and Z. These are our three goals. Here’s how we’re going to accomplish them. And by being super clear on where you’re going to focus and how you’re going to change, as it relates to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we’re now all speaking the same language. We don’t have expectations that are misaligned to the initiatives we’re actually investing in. I think that by saying, Hey, we’re going to really focus on diversity, equity and inclusion this year, nobody knows what to actually expect. So by being clear and saying, we’re going to create mentorship programs and reverse mentorship programs so that everyone has access to understanding other folks’ roles and being super clear- that’s just an example, right. But by being clear, now folks have expectations that are in line with the work that you’re doing. They can hold you accountable for that work. 

But ultimately the great thing is that we can all work together towards that goal. So now it’s like you’re unlocking everyone’s day-to-day behaviors to head in that direction because they’re thinking, oh right, we’re working towards this. Or, oh right, I need to prioritize this because that is the goal of the organization. So clear areas of focus and key metrics of success for that certainly my preference is like day-to-day data. And then the final one is just increased transparency. We’re seeing that both internally across the organizations and externally there’s an increased interest and accountability around transparency. And by being clear on those goals, increasing transparency across the organization, we’re now able to see that, Hey, we can not only move the needle, get everybody on board, hold people accountable, but we can make sure that we’re all aligned in this work. And I think that those three are the things that are really going to change the way that we go about this work in organizations.

Fatima: Yes. Love all of that, that you listed. Right. And for us, since we do facilitate workshops, we definitely are seeing some of the same trends. I love what you said around moving from out of box training. It’s not a one size fits all. What might work for one company might not work for another. Obviously you can keep the intention behind the DEI work, but it’s also like, how are you even assessing to see what the company needs. I love the clear focus areas. What I heard also is not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk. So yes, people made a lot of promises, especially the last year, as we think about all that has happened from the death of George Floyd, to anti-Asian discrimination, to border patrol, to immigration, and I could keep going. 

And just thinking about how does that even connect in the workplace? Or recognizing that sometimes our personal isn’t separate from the professional. Increased transparency is such an interesting point because we’ve had a lot of companies ask, what does that look like? What is that process? Who do I talk to? Do I say certain things to certain people, do I not? And so while all those things are working, I think on the flip side, what I’m interested in hearing, is what’s not working. Can you talk a little bit about your research and the different ways people are feeling excluded in the workplace?

Lisa: Absolutely. One thing that just popped in my head, if I may, just before answering that, is that point about transparency that you just made. It’s amazing how hard and uncomfortable transparency can be. And I completely acknowledge that it’s terrifying to think, oh, we’re going to admit areas of where we need improvement and we’re going to have people in a position to hold us accountable for that. And there are different ways that you can tackle that. Certainly a whole conversation for another time, but I will tell you, what’s really sad is that we have, in our work, come across organizations that have data- we’ll collect some really powerful data for them and they’ll say, no, I don’t want to know, or I can’t have that report because they’re afraid of the risk of knowing that information or acknowledging that information.

And so we are in this interesting time in the world where we definitely are seeing organizations that are on both sides of that. Where some are truly embracing it and stepping into that discomfort and allowing their values to be prioritized over the risks that are involved, rather than really say, no, that’s going to remain a closed book. No, thank you. So if you are in one of those latter organizations, yeah, it’s, it’s really hard to do this work. 

But to answer the actual new question. Our research and what we’re seeing in terms of exclusion, let me take a step back maybe to contextualize the type of information and type of research we conduct to help folks understand that question and its intention. We measure inclusion and we do that specifically in the workplace by collecting specific moments of exclusion that employees and different members in the community face.

And so when we’re hosting workshops or coming into organizations to measure inclusion with them on an ongoing basis, what we’re provided is not only information around identity, representation, satisfaction, role, and some of that metric diversity type data. But we’re attaching to that, information around those specific moments that are causing folks to feel excluded or barriers that they’re facing, that they feel like they’re facing unfairly. And in their own words, they’re describing those moments. Not only are they describing those moments, but they’re letting us know who or what they feel is the source of exclusion in that moment. So if you were saying, Hey, I often get interrupted in meetings, which is a pretty common one we hear, we can say, okay, who or what in that moment is causing you to feel excluded. Like, oh, it’s my direct manager all the time, or it’s my peers. Or if we’re talking about, I don’t have access to growth opportunities here, it’s like, what’s preventing you. Is it a policy? Is it a manager? Is it the leadership team? We get to really understand what the barriers they believe they’re facing are, from their unique experiences.

The other important piece of this is that we’re categorizing those experiences of exclusion. The employees themselves get to say in this framework. So we have categories of inclusion framework, happy to send you all the information about how we think about that, how we organize it. You’re welcome to use it. But it’s a framework of nine categories of which we’re thinking about common types of experiences and not only common types of experiences, but like the initiatives that can empower those changes that we need in that category. It’s a way to both organize data on our side, but also organize the way that we’re thinking about moving forward.

An analogy is often helpful. Here, whereas when you go into the doctor’s office and you’re having to fill out all those forms that you’re like, I swear, I’m giving you this information a hundred times. Why am I filling out this form again? You’re checking off the symptoms and various things that you’re experiencing, and why are you here today? What are you feeling? What are the things you’ve faced in the last year? Whatever it might be. It’s that long list of words that, half of them, I can’t pronounce. Half of them I’ve never seen before. Those symptoms end up being how they understand and come up with a diagnosis for you. So they’re able to say, oh, this is what you’re experiencing. Okay. Here’s what I think. Here’s the diagnosis, and here’s the custom treatment plan based on those symptoms. 

The experiences of exclusion, for us, are the symptoms. We’re coming into organizations to say, based on these symptoms, here’s what we think is happening. Here’s your diagnosis. Here’s what we think you should do going forward- your treatment plan if you will. That was a lot of information, but just to say, that’s kind of how we get data. Over the last few years we’ve been going into organizations and we’ve captured thousands of different experiences of exclusion. They’re from organizations that range from small tech startups, all the way to global fortune 100 companies. Across nonprofits and for-profits, across communities and government and regulatory bodies. We have a wide range of information that really gives us a sense of what’s happening today in the workplace. What is causing people to feel excluded? So I would love to rattle off a couple of the things that we’re seeing, if that makes sense, but any questions up to there?

Fatima: Not at all. We love a good chat engagement. So folks are like, I already know the first one, or I can tell you what I’ve seen. Please feel free to put it, add your own moments of exclusion or what you were seeing in the workplace. And I see someone saying they love your framework. I do too. As we think about the ways people are excluded, but yes, please, please go ahead and share. Yeah.

Lisa: So it may not surprise you that 2020 and 2021 have been interesting. We’ve seen some shifts in terms of what’s happening in the workplace. We’ve seen increases in the types of experiences of exclusion in certain categories and decreases in others. As an example, recognition is one of our categories of inclusion. Bear with me, I’m actually reading this. So if you see my eyes shift it’s because I’m making sure I give you the right stats. For recognition, 32% of all of the folks that we’ve engaged with have shared at least one experience of exclusion that had to do with recognition. And that’s summed up to being 20% of all experiences of exclusion that we’ve ever captured. So 20% – that is massive when we’re thinking of nine categories. 20% of all experiences of exclusion had to do with recognition.

And that’s because, in part- these are assumptions. I’m not going to say that I know that all 20% are linked this way- but we’re all moving to hybrid working models and remote working and folks no longer have that easy, pass-you-in-the-hallway, “Hey, good work” situation to help reiterate their appreciation for one another. You’re no longer meeting face-to-face to be able to get that sense of value in folks’ quick conversations. And so we have to intentionally create space to recognize people in their work and to ensure that they understand that we value them. So the types of experience of exclusion that we’re seeing here are things like people having their ideas ignored, or folks taking credit for your ideas. Introverted and quiet people feel as if they are not getting recognized or called upon for their opinion as often- some ideas around what we’re seeing around recognition. 

Similarly we’re seeing work-life balance, which is another category of inclusion, is becoming more complicated in the last year and a half. Twenty-five percent of all folks that shared an experience of exclusion with us shared at least one experience that had to do with work-life balance, and it ends up being about 12% of all experiences that we have collected have to do with work-life balance. These are things like, again, just types of exclusion that we’re seeing, not having one’s needs taken into account when scheduling meetings, or salaried employees saying, hey, for whatever reason, I’m expected to be on call and available twenty-four/seven. And that’s unacceptable and not reasonable, and not having flex options and those types of opportunities available equitably across the entire organization. We’re seeing a lot of certain roles or certain levels of organizations have a little bit more flexibility than others. And that’s something we really need to look at. I could give you more. Do you want some more?

Fatima: How are you all feeling about this? I’m already taking notes. That framework tells me all the things. Maybe two more. So we have work-life balance and maybe two more and then we’ll, we’ll move on to the next question.

Lisa: That works for me. Okay. So I think one of the next biggest areas that we try to get folks to pay attention to is learning and growth. And so learning and growth to us are opportunities to grow within the organization so that you’re not having to hop from company to company to move up. We’re seeing that 23% of all employees in organizations that we’ve worked with have had at least one learning and growth experience that they share with us relating to exclusion. It ends up being about 12% of all of our experiences of exclusion. And so to give you a sense, often what we’re seeing in the learning and growth category is just simply folks not feeling like they have equitable access to professional development, coaching opportunities, mentorship, attending conferences, these types of opportunities that really allow you to further your education, your awareness, your expertise in the organization and so that you do have the ability to work your way up. Learning and growth is a big one to pay attention to, and you should take a look at your organization to see if things are really being provided equitably. 

Finally, this one’s going to be no shock to anyone, but just to acknowledge it, compensation and benefits is a category. It’s interesting because when we look at compensation and benefits, we have to look at our data a little bit differently, because it may not be that you have compensation and benefits on your mind every single day, when it comes to respect and recognition, those are the kinds of things that grind on you. You’re thinking about them every single day. And you’re like, these people are really just on my nerves or whatever. But when it comes to compensation and benefits, you may only be thinking about it once a year during your promotion period, or you see somebody else get a raise or get offered a position that you didn’t, whatever it might be. Those are those moments where you’re kind of paying attention. And those are promotion opportunities. Those are slightly different, but compensation related, promotion, certainly. They just don’t happen as frequently. So the statistics get a little skewed because when you talk about like the percentage of experiences, it’s not as many experiences, it’s just, it’s about 15% of all experiences of exclusion. So it’s not low, but it’s not as significant as folks think. It ends up being a lot of people.

So about 30% of all folks that we have collected experiences of exclusion have mentioned something relating to compensation and benefits. Oftentimes it’s a lack of clarity around how pay is determined. Is there transparency? That is a big thing. It’s offering clarity around, how do I get a little bit more pay? How do I work my way up in this way? Is a pay increase even possible? Are the folks around me making a lot more money than me? I have no idea. That lack of transparency in process and just access is really important. But also thinking about it in perspective of benefits, because pay isn’t the only factor here. We often see that there’s inequitable access to benefits across organizations. So folks at the top not only get paid the most, but also have access to additional benefits.

And so taking a look at benefits as a piece of your compensation and seeing if it’s also being provided in an equitable way across the entire organization. So that would just be another one that I would add. If you’re interested in learning about all nine categories and all these types of stats, Arshiya, who I mentioned earlier also publishes as our newsletter every week. She is currently publishing a blog post series that is analyzing all of our data in this way. I’m looking at every single category. And I think like seven of the nine, we have blog posts out so far, but definitely you can take a look at those. She does a deep dive into what we’re seeing in each category.

Fatima: Yeah. Awesome. Thank you so much, Lisa, such rich, rich insight, and I see you all asking questions in the chat. I’m trying my best to copy and paste them in the Q&A, so they won’t get lost in the chat. So feel free to move to the Q&A just to make sure your question is there. And if it’s not, please put your questions there so we can bombard Lisa with all of our questions. Thank you so much for sharing that because we often give our clients a survey a lot of times, if they’re not sure where they are, or if there’s some distrust or harm has been done prior to us facilitating our workshops. And so we have our equity tool analysis and, or we do a full assessment where we’re trying to understand, like, where are they as a company?

What are some of the strengths that they have, because that’s important to highlight, but then also where are the opportunities for growth and three of what you mentioned, work-life balance, professional development, compensation and benefits come up a lot. But when we double click on that data, we recognize that there is a difference for people with marginalized identities. So we often see women, people of color people, within the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, and so forth, finding themselves, not having as much clarity or feeling like they don’t feel included. Maybe take a couple seconds or a minute to say anything about that. I’m curious if your data looks at demographics to really show some of these areas of exclusion.

Lisa: Yeah. I mean, there’s a number of reasons we partner and why we’re so aligned. Yes, absolutely. I wish I could paint the charts for you all, but just visualize with me. And if you’d like to see an example later, certainly reach out. But the way that we look at the data at a high level is first and foremost, as I mentioned, we’re kind of taking a look at what are we seeing? Where are we seeing the most frequent experiences of exclusion as it relates to categories, but also as it relates to source, meaning those, “is it my business,” leadership team policies, direct managers, peers, customers, whomever it might be or whatever it might be that’s causing it.

And that gives us a heat map of the types of experiences throughout the organization. But that is clearly not enough to understand what actually needs to happen to drive to the right initiatives and change internally within the organization. So really the next level is very much in line with what you were just describing. We take a look to see if there’s any differences or what are the differences in experiences as it relates to identity. As an example, we may take a look and say, okay, as it relates to compensation and benefits- so again, contextualizing in the categories for clarity, for our purpose. Within that category, if folks say that they have an invisible or visible disability, does that mean that they have more experiences of exclusion, less, or about the same? And so we start to rate the experiences of exclusion in each category based on identity metrics as well, to see if there’s a gap in experience and wherever we see those large gaps is where we’re going to make recommendations.

So it’s not always just around, Hey, we really see that folks really need to work on recognition because that’s where the most experiences of exclusion are across your organization. Like great, that’s one recommendation. But also we noticed that, as an example, in a law firm that we recently worked with, we found exactly that. We found that folks that had an invisible or visible disability, or folks that just identified with having a disability had- how to contextualize this- had many more experiences of exclusion as it related to work-life balance than other groups, than folks that did not identify as having a disability. So in this organization, these are law firms, they’re like, of course we have a work-life balance issue. Like they’re going to brush that off really quickly, but we’re like, hold on. Yes, you have a work-life balance issue. You knew that, but more importantly, folks with a disability have even more experiences of exclusion as it relates to work-life balance. So can we at least bring them up to par with everyone else and make sure that they aren’t having additional experiences beyond everyone else as it relates to exclusion? So we are definitely looking at that gap as well. It’s tricky to explain that in the data sometimes, and to map it out visually. So that’s something we’re certainly working on simplifying, but it is how we prioritize our recommendations internally.

Fatima: Yeah, no, that’s perfect. And I think it’s important to highlight that in the data, especially with companies who sometimes need the numbers or need to understand that research, but I also think there’s something powerful about not to say that worship of the written word, as we often talk about white supremacy culture is the only way. And I think having both quantitative and qualitative information really does create a strong pamphlet, as you would say, to say, Hey, this is, this isn’t working. This isn’t working for your company. It’s not specifically working for these folks, what’s happening there? Because we don’t always face our biases. Or we might say, Hey, we’re doing great. We’re an inclusive company. But when we look at the data that doesn’t necessarily align for everyone, specifically those with marginalized identities. So thanks so much for highlighting that.

So folks, we’re going to take about five more minutes as we have this chat. Feel free to put your questions in the Q&A panel, and then we’ll turn it over after five minutes. All right. So we talked a bit about some of the trends. We talked a bit about what’s working and what’s not working. Now I want to shift gears to think more about how we successfully bake DEI into everything we do as companies or organizations. I know when we were finding you on the stage, somebody put in the chat like, Hey, we’re trying to figure out how we even start or do DEI work at a small company. And some of y’all might be consultants, some of you might work at a small company, a large company. So whatever tips might help. I know that these companies might need different things, but in a general sense, from your experience in your research and what you’ve seen, how can people successfully bake DEI into everything they do as a company?

Lisa: Yeah, it’s a complex question, but we’re here for it. My first tip, particularly as it relates to those smaller organizations that you’re referencing, is to not wait until you’re big or wait until you are large enough to hire an HR person. It’s one of the biggest things that we see, particularly in early-stage tech startups or in small consulting firms, that they overlook the responsibility of setting those mission and values and norms within their organization from day one. Whether or not you’re doing this work, you are setting expectations and behaviors around it. I would just urge you all to not wait, just because you’re too small. To start to put the foundations of where you see this work, how you see it playing out in your organization and prioritizing that, and particularly as it relates to recruiting and how you engage with the current employees. Now beyond that, it’s really, really important to seamlessly integrate DEI work into the day-to-day work of our teams.

And so what I mean by that is you absolutely have to remove it as an HR function. That is not the way that we see this work. It is the way that it exists currently, but hopefully we’re kind of pulling it further and further out of that bucket. It should be a strategic lens in which you’re viewing all initiatives, all work. It should be mentioned in every meeting and every decision should be thought through from that perspective. It needs to be built into performance reviews and bonuses and promotion considerations. And there needs to be systems of accountability. The only way to do that is to make sure that your company is living and breathing and practicing this work on a day-to-day basis.

It’s not easy, but the more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes. Whether that’s creating a way or format of meetings so that you’re making sure that in every meeting, we hit these certain things or certain topics or lenses that we need to ask around whatever decisions we’re making, right. Whatever that might be, just making sure that- it differs on a day-to-day basis, depending on what your role is or your function, but particularly when decisions are getting made, when folks are getting invited to things, when we’re looking at who’s getting invited to work on various projects, things like this. My goodness, those simple decisions on a day-to-day basis makes such a difference in the outcome of the sense of inclusion and just the overall success of an organization.

Thinking through it that way and making sure that everyone understands where the organization’s headed, but also understands that they’re a big part of that. You know, one of the big things that we talk about in our work is that, yes, we’re coming at this work in a lot of different ways. We’re looking at it from the systemic changes that need to occur. The government policy changes that need to occur, the corporate behaviors that need to change. But also there are individual day-to-day things that are influencing folks’ sense of inclusion. And so when we look at all of our data- as an example, another little tidbit to take away from our research- what we found is that it’s people not policy. Very rarely are folks pointing to policy at the source of exclusion in the moments that are making them feel excluded.

It is people, time and time again. When you think about that, it’s like, right. It’s the individual interactions you’re having with the folks around you that are making you feel included or excluded. Even more, it’s most often direct managers and leadership teams. And so there’s this shift where it’s like, leaders have to take ownership of that responsibility. Not only are we saying as business leaders, yes, this is now our priority for our organization. Yes, I will write the check to do that work. Many business leaders stop there. What we’re having to do when we come into these organizations is to say, hold on, hold on, hold on. You’re actually a big part of the problem. Let us show you, and we need you to be open-minded to hearing that feedback. So we’re preparing them to be basically told that they are part of the problem and they have to shift their behaviors as well.

In terms of baking it in, I think that it starts from the top. Leadership teams have to model inclusive behaviors, inclusive language, they have to set healthy boundaries. And when they fail to do that, they need to be humble and be allowed to be held accountable and create the space for that. But then you also just have to, from a structural perspective, dig it out of HR and make sure that we’re thinking of it more as a lens and a company-wide initiative.

Fatima: Lisa. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I’m literally sitting here and being like, okay, relax, because this is recorded. This is shared and you’re all doing all these movements. Folks can be like, what’s going with Fatima, but right. Even what you said, starting from the beginning, I think that’s what makes it harder because a lot of companies or workplaces weren’t designed to center diversity, equity, inclusion. Most of us weren’t even supposed to be in the workplace or be leaders. So we are literally trying to flip the script in a company, an organization, that has catered towards certain identities. And what you’re telling us is so important because it’s not just about what’s not working, but you’re also telling us what’s working. We either do what’s working or some of our companies and organizations won’t last. Because day and night, every time we look at any research survey that comes out, from two years ago to now, everyone says, if the company isn’t inclusive, I’m leaving. That inclusion piece is key. 

My last question for you, and feel free to answer it in a minute or less before we move on to Q&A. No, I love all your answers. I just want to make sure we get to the audience so they won’t fight me after this. I’m going to switch up the last question a bit, because I think you’ve already done an amazing job answering some of the questions I was going to ask. So hopefully this isn’t a scary surprise. Our main topic today is focus areas for 2022. And I know a lot of folks are like, okay, so what do I need to be paying attention to come December 31st? Or maybe I need to start planning now so I’m already ready for January 1st. But if you had your top three things that companies should really focus on or think about for 2022, what would those things be?

Lisa: The first step is to create a sense of the goals that you’re going to have for the next year and get buy-in for that. That’s the very first thing you should do. You should be having those conversations now about what you want to accomplish in 2022. And if you can’t get buy-in from everyone, maybe it’s just like you and your team are doing this, and that’s fine. You can do it in your bubble to start. Just know that that is an okay way to start this work. You don’t have to have everyone on board. You can do the work internally to a team or department. We often collaborate in that way with organizations, but whatever size or sliver of an organization you’re working with, decide what you’re going to work on, what you want to accomplish and why. That’s the first thing.

The second thing is determining how you’re going to measure success and you know how you’re going to report that out. So just say, hey, you know, these were our goals. Here’s how we’re going to know that we were successful. And here’s how frequently we’re going to take a look at this. Here’s what we think we’re going to do as a step one to see if that does or doesn’t work now. The other thing, and I mentioned this previously, is you have to get feedback from the folks that are going to be impacted. Whether that’s an employee survey or doing an assessment or whatever it might be, we need to find a way to get the employees voice on their experiences, their interests, their needs, the best, the better ways to support them.

Let me just provide a word of caution. I did not follow the directions about a minute. A word of caution here. We often find that a lot of surveys are on a scale of one to five, do you feel X, and the problem with that is it doesn’t tell you what needs to happen. Just the way that our minds work is you’re going to be terrified to hit five, terrified to hit one. So we’re really looking at five points on the scale, most people are going to, unless they’re really, really happy or really, really upset. They’re probably going to pick two, three or four. And whether you’re an average of a 2.3 or 3.3, that tells you nothing, literally nothing. So you can compare those metrics year over year, but you don’t know what to focus on or what to shift from that. And so when we say employee voice, you have to go beyond those types of metric surveys, they’re just not serving you well. I’ll throw that out there. I’ll let you look at your own surveys and see what’s problematic, but I’m certainly happy to chat about that further. But just employee voice and aligned goals is what I would urge you to start with.

Fatima: Thank you, Lisa. You are amazing. Ah, yes. Magic. So, you know, the first question here is how do we make space for the individual values? Oh, that just went down. Someone just voted another question. Okay. I’ll read that, because it won’t be good. So how do we make space for the individual values of a company? When we talk about diversity, how do we handle the limitations of personal values? And I’m going to go ahead and show it on the stage in case people need that question, but any thoughts or answers to this question, Lisa?

Lisa: I have so many questions about this question. Let me know if you think this is different, Fatima, in terms of framing, do you think that we’re looking at where personal values are not aligned with company values, or personal values conflict with company values? Is that what we’re looking at?

Fatima: That’s how I understood the question and if the person wants to put in a chat that we’re interpreting incorrectly, please let us know. But yeah, that’s exactly how I’m understanding that question.

Lisa: I think increasingly, and you kind of hinted to this earlier, but increasingly, potential employees, candidates are coming into interviews to specifically say, what are your company values? How are you making a difference? How do you make decisions internally? And I think that increasingly, that’s going to help us get away from this problem hopefully. But did you get clarity yet?

Fatima: Yeah, you saw my thinking face. I have a hand up, so we’ll quickly, I think Teresa wants to clarify. So if you can, just in a few seconds, that’ll be awesome.

Teresa: Uh, okay. Can y’all hear me?

Fatima: Yes. Hi Teresa!

Teresa: Okay. So what comes to mind is like Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby- like religion. How the religion of that company is in their framework, but the values of that company by nature, and because of their religion, and because of what they value, by nature, it excludes certain people. That’s what I was talking about. I was saying, how do you navigate that? And how do you make space for that? Because to me, what I’m starting to understand diversity to be, is that it’s making space for a person’s individual experience, but in the same way, there’s also limitations because your personal experience could be harmful to me. So I guess the question is how do you navigate that? Am I asking the right question?

Fatima: Awesome. Thank you so much for the clarity.

Teresa: No problem.

Lisa: Okay. So, a lot of thoughts come to mind. I will start by saying that a lot of times organizations and the values that are developed are developed by people in power, meaning they’re developed by a bunch of white folks. They’re developed by people who have privilege. They’re developed by folks that are in a normative majority group and have that comfort and cushion, right? And so, the reality is the outcome means that they have this ability to justify those types of decisions by surrounding themselves with folks that agree. In the way that we approach this work we are not saying, does this behavior align with the company values? Instead, we’re saying, what is making people feel excluded? And no one is more important than the other person, and we aren’t always bringing to the surface things that are most prevalent. We’re sometimes bringing the things that are more importantly impacting those who are more often impacted by experiences of exclusion, right?

And so we, as an organization, have the responsibility to surface the right opportunities for change that needs to occur. And so we carry that weight heavily. It’s something that we think about a lot in terms of how we navigate what we share with organizations, because it’s very easy sometimes to fall into the trap of validating the things that they need. To continue to exist with the behaviors that are in place. That’s a long-winded answer, but I do think that the end result ends up being that individuals whose values don’t align with an organization are not going to be able to do their best work. They’re not going to be happy. They’re not going to support. They’re not gonna be the most creative, the most collaborative, all the things that you look for, they’re just not going to be able to do that. My hope is that more and more individuals find that alignment with their employers. It’s a big ask and certainly a privilege, but I’m hoping that we shift more that direction.

Fatima: Yeah. Thanks so much, Lisa. And you know, one thing another thing I’ll add to that is also what is our responsibility as consumers? I love that Theresa gave an example of Chick-fil-A and whatnot. And part of the question is how do we offset that balance? Because oftentimes companies don’t feel like they need to do better or leaders don’t feel like they need to do better if their company is successful enough. So everything that Lisa said, like, yeah, people won’t be as creative or as innovative as the next company and people are also sometimes okay with just where they’re at. And so I think the follow-up question is, what are we also doing on an individual level to either support or not support folks who don’t align with our values that will make them question, how do I show up differently if I choose to do so at all?

Lisa: Yeah. It’s an interesting thing. Just a small interesting tidbit is like our organization and many organizations that we know of that are kind of in this space are now forming organizations as public benefit corporations. We’re not a nonprofit. We’re certainly out here to make money. But the idea is that we want to be very clear that we are prioritizing impact and meaningful impact. And that gets prioritized over profit, meaning we want to make sure we’re existing in the world as a mission-driven company. And I think that many organizations have to answer that question, like, who are you accountable for? How are you defining success as a company? Hopefully more and more companies start stepping into that mission-driven space.

Fatima: Yeah, for sure. I’m always like how this does not align to your vision? Your mission is this, but your actions don’t align. So let’s figure that out. Thank you so much for that question. So our next question is “what is your intake process when working with the new company, do you start with representation metrics, then move on to surveys and interviews? How long does this all take?”

Lisa: Oh, I love this question. Thank you. I’m like, sure, I’ll talk about what we do. Certainly. Thank you, Roxanne. It’s a little bit different than that. We are a tech company, however, we are human centric in our approach, meaning that when we do inclusion assessments initially, the way that we’re onboarding folks into our technology is through workshops. And so we’ll host, typically for an organization, let’s say there’s an organization with a couple thousand folks. We might have four different onboarding workshops. So that way, we want to make sure everyone has access. During that workshop, we’re giving folks the language and awareness around why inclusion is important, how the decisions unfold at a company level, how they unfold at the individual level. We give them context of our framework. We build up that trust and really give them a sense of how we’re going to use this data, how we commit to not using this data.

Really it’s just our way, our, our opportunity, to engage with them to say, we’re here for you and we want to hear your voice in this process. Throughout that workshop, they can ask questions, but then the important piece is that we guide them through an exercise where they interact with our technology and really it’s three key things. The first one is essentially a Madlib-format story that they tell about themselves. We don’t ask them for their name or their email address, but we ask them to share information like their gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, whether they identify as having a disability, their age bracket, different information. Worth noting, it’s always optional. They can always self-describe if they feel limited by the dropdown, they don’t have to provide us any of that information, but it provides additional context for the next step, which is where we get those experiences of exclusion that we described earlier, where it’s literally a brainstorming session where they just type and describe moments that have made them feel excluded.

And then we ask them a couple of questions like, Hey, which category does this relate to? Who or what was causing you to feel excluded at this moment? How frequently does this happen? We get that data and then we analyze it as I was describing earlier. That allows us to uncover the biggest opportunities in each organization, that they aren’t looking for silver bullet solutions, but rather are understanding the day-to-day experience of their employees and where they can actually start. So we don’t really do representation metrics for every single person in the organization. It’s like, who shows up, who wants to provide it- great. What are the experiences of exclusion? And that is the most important piece is really understanding those behaviors and moments that are causing folks to feel excluded.

Fatima: Yeah. Thanks for sharing that process, because I don’t think I knew every single step. So shouts to Roxanne for this question. I’m going to go ahead and mark it as answered so we can probably have time for two more questions. Is that fine with you? Lisa.

Lisa: Works for me. Yeah.

Fatima: Awesome. Awesome. All right. So what are some trends for DEI advocacy in 2022?

Lisa: Advocacy meaning how are we moving the needle in this work and what are the topics? I guess that’s kind of a generic question as well, but Melissa, if you have any clarity, certainly let me know. In terms of trends for 2022, I think we’re going to see a lot more, as mentioned earlier, folks adopting actual departments or teams- hiring folks to do this work outside of HR. We’re seeing that increasingly. So we’ll continue to see those hiring and actual budgets go towards the work, but also increased accountability, meaning stakeholders, meaning stockholders, investors, consumers, are holding companies more and more accountable. And so they’re having to be more transparent. And so we’re seeing an increase of companies being really public about, “here’s where we land in terms of representation metrics. Here’s where we land in terms of our goals for the year. Here’s where we can make some improvements.” 

Now, most of those we see are really surface level and basic and they could do a lot more, but it’s a step in the right direction in terms of transparency. We’re seeing an increase of that, but we’re also seeing an increase in leveraging actual data and metrics, which is a big step. It’s confusing, because everyone’s telling you to track different metrics. But the reality is that data is good. Any sort of measurement is a step in the right direction and allows us to understand how we’re making progress. Even if it’s not the metrics that I would like to see everywhere, it’s a step in the right direction. So I think that’s a big one across most organizations as well.

Fatima: Yeah. Thanks so much for sharing that. On our end, as a company that facilitates workshops, we’ve been seeing a lot of our clients trying to find folks who are doing the DEI work internally. So you have a lot of companies who were like, “Hey, we don’t know how to do this work. Let’s find someone external.” But if we remember Lisa’s three points of what’s working, one of them was not just finding what works for people, but also being really clear about focus areas. People are realizing that in order for them to do really great work, they need someone internally to do that work. I can only do so much as a consultant or as a coach or as a trainer, but you also have to be really clear about your goals. And so that trend is happening. I just say, if we’re hiring folks, amazing, but please give them a good budget, so they have something to work with. And a team, because DEI work is not easy. It ain’t for the weak, as they often say, right? Don’t hire someone expecting them to change your whole company or organization without supporting them with the tools that they need. So that’s what I also wanted to add.

Lisa: I just saw a tweet today and I wish I knew who tweeted it. I’ll go find it and retweet it so that everyone can find it, but, essentially it was saying that the best way, because you know, there’s a shortage of folks doing this work that are available, and that have the experience. They were saying the best way to recruit folks into this role is tell them they can take the first two months off because they’re all tired and worn down and burnt out and they just need a minute before they can come back in and really be able to commit the space and the energy that it takes to be successful in this work. And I was like, that is real.

Fatima: So real. And that’s like the trend for every other job. People are like, Hey, I’m worth more than just getting work done. I’m more than my productivity. That trend is all over. We talked about the great resignation, people leaving jobs during the pandemic says a lot, right about how we’re valuing ourselves, our time, and our ability to do our magical superpowers and what we have expertise in. So thank you. Thank you. All right. So this is our last question for tonight. Forgive us if we weren’t able to get to your question, but our last question, Lisa, is what are some examples for bringing DEI into the everyday meetings at all functions to encourage more and more people to be active and thoughtful about this?

Lisa: Yeah, that’s a great question, Sarah. Thank you. It’s interesting. So one of our clients from early last year, it was an insight that we found and we’ve literally been glued to it ever since. It was a financial services company, but we realized that over 20% of the experiences of exclusion in this one organization had the word meeting in it. We often use that as a very relevant and familiar example for everyone because this is prevalent. Everyone gets it. Everyone has had an experience in a meeting that has caused them to feel excluded. Based on the experiences that we’re seeing, the ways that you can create more inclusive, meaning practices start from just considering folks agenda and personal needs when you’re scheduling a meeting, particularly now that we’re increasingly global and remote folks are sometimes inconsiderate around time zones or just the fact that like, Hey, you know, I’d like to drop my kids off at school before I have to get on a zoom call. Can you give me a 30 minute buffer to do that? Just really allowing that flexibility and consideration to occur when we’re scheduling meetings is really important. Considering religious holidays and things like this really can go a long way. Beyond that initial scheduling, thinking through who is in a meeting, who is given the power to be heard in those meetings, who is getting to show up. Because what we find is repeatedly, folks that are key contacts on an account or have expertise in the topic of the meeting aren’t getting invited to those meetings. And so they feel like they’re undervalued, under-recognized, and aren’t able to contribute at the level that they would like to.

Being really thoughtful. Nobody wants their schedule stacked with meetings, but at the same time, they want to feel like they have the ability to show up and add value where they can. And so even if it’s just saying, Hey, no pressure if you’re not available, but we’d love to hear your opinion in this meeting, if you have time. That goes a long way. Just letting people know that you would like to hear their opinion, you want their insight, you want them to show up. And having that modeled throughout the way that the meeting goes down. The other thing is agendas in advance of meetings so folks can prepare if they’re someone who’s not always comfortable speaking up, being able to prepare for what they think or seeing the documents in advance goes a long way for making sure that the same voices aren’t heard every single time.

I’m pretty good at spitting random answers off in the moment. But the reality is I will have a very different answer if you give me an hour to think about it. So just creating that value in that meeting by sending the agenda in advance goes a long way as well. And finally, in the end again, I feel like these are all common sense, but we have to think about them. Finally, it’s in the actual engagement, making sure that you are saying, Hey, what about you? What’s your thought? I think that you might have something valuable to add here, or Hey, I know your expertise is X, what do you think here? Or, Hey, so-and-so was talking, let’s let her finish. Just making sure that everyone has the chance to be heard and contribute is really powerful. And then wrapping up a meeting in a way that shows that you’re thankful for everyone’s contributions and that you valued their time is going to go a long way as well. It’s funny, because sometimes being inclusive is just the simple things, but by being thoughtful and making sure that we’re building those into our practices and making sure that that’s how things go down every single time, it’s incredibly impactful. It moves the needle. 

Fatima: I love all of these tips like, yes. Okay, Lisa, you can come co-facilitate a workshop with us. And plus one to everything that I’m seeing in the chat. I think another thing that we notice as well, or a lot of people come to us and they say, Hey, I work on a team that’s mostly men. And as a woman, I’m always interrupted. And/or when I give a suggestion, it’s not heard, or people don’t acknowledge it, but when my colleague who’s a man give that same suggestion or similar suggestion, they’re acknowledged. Or we talk a lot about office housework versus glamour work, right? So when a meeting starts, who’s asked to take notes? And is it consistently women of color, or women? Do we have a ritual where we’re taking turns while we’re taking notes? That always comes up and we literally have to do scenarios with our clients to talk about, well, everything that you just said, and then also maybe taking turns leading a meeting to disrupt that hierarchy that oftentimes happens. Who wants to sit in a virtual meeting and one person is just talking at you. Getting people more engaged is spot on. So I wanted to add those two things that we always see in our work.

Lisa: Same. Yeah. Those are great. It’s incredible. If you send an agenda out in advance, the reality is you shouldn’t have to run a meeting. It should be a conversation, as long as everyone knows what the goal of the meeting is. I think that was great.

Fatima: Yeah. Agreed. All right. So full transparency, I know the agenda says we’ll be answering questions until 6:45, but because we started early, I said we were on our last question. So for those of y’all who are like, “answer my question, Fatima!” Lisa, how are you feeling? Do you have time to answer the last few questions?

Lisa: Sure, let’s go,

Fatima: We got time. Okay. Awesome. So a question specifically for you, are there any data points or findings specific to municipality orgs versus private or nonprofit? Let me show the question on the stage.

Lisa: Yes. I would be doing you a disservice if I tried to just pull those out of my brain. Just to be honest. That being said, I’m happy to do that. Specifically, one thing that comes to mind is that we worked with two organizations that really gave us insight into what’s happening in communities differently than workplaces. And so one of those was through an organization called Traverse Connects, which is an organization that is trying to fuel small businesses in a five county region in Northern Michigan. We really got to see the lens of which they were thinking about driving increased diversity and inclusion, but in a community, through small businesses. That was really interesting. I have a lot of interesting data points from that.

I won’t, again, try to rattle them off from the top of my head, but I’m happy to share some of it. We’ll be revisiting them in March to see how far they’ve come, which will be super interesting. The other organization that we were able to look at that was interesting like that was a regulatory body that is regulating financial services organizations. If either of those feels aligned or interesting, certainly reach out and I’m happy to share. I think one thing I’ll say is that respect ends up being really, really high. That’s not uncommon across most organizations, but increasingly so in those settings.

Fatima: Awesome. Perfect. I already like the connection that’s possible for people if you have more questions for Lisa. So thanks for answering that question. All right. Our final and last question is, does the framework or tool that you mentioned helped to track instances of microaggressions?

Lisa: Yeah, it does in that most microaggressions are moments that cause folks to feel excluded. I think experiences of exclusion is just our language to be a broader bucket. And so we’re often having to contextualize and define that, when we’re in that onboarding experience with folks. But we are often looking through all of the experiences of exclusion to understand where the microaggressions are and we’re flagging those in our initial report on where they should focus. Because the types of initiatives and shifts that need to occur are different when we’re seeing microaggression stack in a category. So the answer is yes. We do our best to, through narratives in our workshops, pull those out and give folks examples of what we’re looking for. Our hope is that we are actively targeting and addressing those.

Fatima: Awesome. Thank you so much for your wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and practice. I feel like we had to have a dramatic silence. Like how awesome, right? I see people in the chat are appreciating all that you shared today. If folks want to react by just giving Lisa some love with our virtual applause, for your time here with us, and really just taking a moment to help us understand not just what inclusion looks like in data, but some practical examples of what we can be doing in our day to day and things that we can be looking to and thinking about in 2022.

Lisa: These hearts and claps feel so good. This platform was designed so well. Oh my gosh. It feels amazing. Thank you so much.

Fatima: It really was. We’re trying to recreate that in-person feel, and I think we got to work with what we have. I’m glad that’s doing that for you. If folks want to stay on longer, once we end the session, you can go back to the tables and chat with one another. What I’m going to do is share where you can stay in touch with SGO. One of the things we often say is in order for you to know what we’re doing or when we’re holding our virtual events, is to sign up for our newsletter. So after you sign up for Aleria’s, because, listen, it is amazing, feel free to go and stay in touch with us. We have two newsletters. One is for our community where we really help women and allies and non-binary folk have some empowering events.

And then we have our corporate work, which is what we’re doing here, our formal and informal events. So subscribe to both, if you like, but up to you. And then Lisa just shared her contact info, where to find her. So her email is there. And then also if you want to connect with Lisa via LinkedIn, that’s also there for you. We’ll be sure to send all of this via email. So if you’re like where’s the framework? Don’t worry, we’ll send the recording, the email and all of that. All right. Lisa, final thoughts or feels before we let folks go?

Lisa: Thank you so much for the time, everyone for the conversation and the incredible questions. Fatima, thank you so much for being such an incredible facilitator.If you’re interested in that newsletter or an ebook about our framework or any other resources that could be helpful to you, if you’re trying to start these conversations internal to your organization, just know that I do have resources for you for free. So just reach out, let me know. I’m happy to help. I’m also happy to share more about our work, if that’s of interest. I hope to stay in touch.

Fatima: Awesome. I’m so excited. I know you and congratulations again to you and Aleria for the great work that you’re doing. Folks I’ll be on for a little while, so feel free to engage if you have time at the end of this. All right. Good night.


Lisa: Bye yall!


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