This is one of a series of articles and posts about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace based on material from the AmplifyDEI 2020 Summit
Let’s Humanize the Workplace Podcaster Vivian Acquah wants her son to live in a world where employers and employees are not only inspired and inspiring but also where they are striving to make a thriving work environment for everyone. So, she made a commitment to Orlando, who turned seven recently—the first day of the #AmplifyDEI 2020 Summit, a project he inspired his mom to pursue without him even knowing it.
By the time my son enters the workforce, I don’t want him to deal with the same BS I dealt with when it comes to inequity”
Orlando doesn’t really understand the magnitude of this undertaking or the impact 17 topics with more than 60 international speakers will have on participants, employers and ultimately the world, but for now, he knows his mom is working hard to make a difference by building a new business model. One day, she said, she’ll sit him down and tell him the whole story.
“I want to help make the world a better place by starting with the workplace,” she said. “It takes different experiences, insights, and perspectives to truly bring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) into our workplace spaces.”
DEI are equal partners at the dance
“Diversity tells us who is in the room, inclusion tells us that all of those people in the room have a voice, and equality means everyone in the room can be heard and have certain voices amplified, which is really perfect because of our summit,” said DEI Consultant Kay Fabella (right).
It’s not a one-size-fits-all environment, and now is the time for employers to realize that.
The program is about all people, from all backgrounds and experiences, having access to opportunities that fit their current needs and growth. It’s not a one-size-fits-all environment, and now is the time for employers to realize that. This is where equity enters the conversation—meeting people’s individual needs, being fair not just equal. It’s like sizing and equipping a bike to match each family member’s specific use. For example: a basket for mom to hold shopping, a frame to match dad’s long legs, and a smaller frame with perhaps bigger tires for a child to explore off-road areas such as woods and trails. It’s not just about making sure they have a bike for transportation alone, but consider who is using it and how, said Sesen Tesfay, organizational transformation advisor, transformation, and change manager.
The three-day summit is broken into a series of Behind the Scenes interviews with the speakers in addition to engaging discussions on topics from unconscious bias and physical and mental disability to work life and flexibility, and people of color, to ethical and cultural differences and leadership and management, to gender equality, talent development and achievement, and LGBTQ (and more). Acquah describes the program as the “Netflix version for diversity, equity, and diversion.”
Additional topics include:
- Employee resources groups
I’ve been fortunate to be able to attend this completely virtual and momentous event, which Acquah accurately describes as a “marathon.” So far, it has been inspiring, eye-opening engaging, educational, witty, informative, and just about any other similar descriptor, you can think to use.
For Acquah, the AmplifyDEI Summit is about providing a platform for so many passionate people in the DEI space to tell their stories. It’s about making connections, providing guidance, sharing and re-sharing findings and experiences, and taking action at companies to help engage leaders to truly make work environments better as the world evolves.
“My son doesn’t realize the power he’s showing me of my own power and what I can do to activate others,” Acquah said. “I am merely amplifying the potential, the power, and the energy I already see in all the speakers participating in this summit. “I want to share that spark that they have within them, share it with others so that others can build upon that spark and share it again. It’s merely me paying it forward because of the promise I made my son, and my son is my mirror,” she said.
More to come
The information-sharing doesn’t stop here. I’ll be posting more articles and blogs about a few of the topics and more perspective, so please be on the lookout.