During our third fully virtual event of the year on November 17, we were extremely excited to host Morgan Matthews, Manager, Diversity, Equity and Belonging at Peloton and Kennedy Ihezie, Senior Director, Global Diversity, Inclusion & Equity at AIG, for a fireside chat on the state of diversity, equity and inclusion in and outside of the workplace, the shift in D&I concepts and terminology and eliminating bias and advancing Black and diverse talent. No topic was off limits during this intimate conversation which brought to life challenges DEI professionals face today: data, storytelling, explorations of what it is at stake, interventions that work and the path forward.
The workplace is a unique environment. It’s one of the few places where different genders, races, nationalities, sexual orientations and other identities are present. We learned that racism can be manifested through beliefs, policies, attitudes, and actions and that racism comes in several forms, including: Individual or internalized racism, interpersonal racism, institutional racism, structural racism. The spotlight in 2020 has been on being Black in America and on the centuries of racial divide in this country. But DEI is a big bucket where we very often group together people of color, gender diversity, lgbtq+ diversity. As CSR practitioners we must work to move forward with a mindfulness of employees’ differences and intersectionality while acknowledging the uncomfortable and emotionally charged reality that there is a disproportionate impact for BIPOC Americans which was amplified during the pandemic.
At the end of the conversation we were left to ponder: Is this going to be a movement or a moment?