10 Ways to Become a Virtual DEI Leader Powered by DTCC

Estimated reading time ~ 3 min
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Last week, we teamed up with our friends at DTCC to discuss how you can leverage your diversity in your career path. After speaking with Keisha Bell, Head of Diverse Talent Management & Advancement at DTCC, and Anyelis Cordero, Founder & Career Coach of Propel On Purpose Coaching, on their career path and advice for individuals navigating the job search process during COVID-19, we felt inspired by their thoughtful approach to DEI leadership and how interested professionals can make their shift into a career focused on it.

First, you have to identify what DEI actually means. In its literal sense, DEI stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which encompases three workplace values: the recognition and respect for everyone’s unique qualities and attributes, the fair and impartial treatment of all people, and acceptance for all individuals to ensure safety and inclusion by all team members.

We explored a myriad of topics related to the DEI space including how to build allyship in the workplace, bridging the communication gap between colleagues, and various reasons why it’s important for individuals to bring their full selves to work everyday. Continue reading for our top 10 takeaways from the webinar.

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Watch the full webinar recording here.

What to know if you are interested in a career in DEI

  1. Keep track of the skills that you build throughout your career and focus on those skills that support your social capital as a valuable DEI voice. The key to success in DEI resides with your personal experiences and bringing relevant and meaningful experiences to your work.
  2. Own your Identity and bring your true self to the workplace. Be honest about who you are and be open to telling your story, while holding space of encouragement for others to share their own experiences.
  3. The DEI space isn’t a “one size fits all” field. Even if you don’t think that you fit the criteria for a career in the DEI space, you still may have the foundational skills and fervor to succeed.

Things to remember when working with diverse groups

  1. All the experiences that people of color are exposed to can be a professional barrier for them, DEI leaders—and leadership in general—should be aware of those underrepresented stories in order to help those employees reach their full potential.
  2. Take responsibility in recognizing the growth of employees on an individual level. Not all people from diverse backgrounds have the same experiences, which means that they are not all the same type of workers. Avoid comparisons.
  3. Be an advocate for people from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups. Whether you are a person of color or not, it’s important to advocate for all voices and make sure everyone can feel confidently present at the table.

How to be an ally in the workplace and building the communication gap

  1. Understand diverse peoples perspectives and truly sit, listen, and learn how you can help take a stand with them.
  2. Check in with your POC colleagues and employees, even if they may not want to speak, just show up and be present for support.
  3. Don’t assume that people who are ignorant to something are not willing to learn. Give potential allies a chance to learn a different perspective—it builds trust.
  4. Be thoughtful in the language that you are using when having brave conversations with your employees of color. Make sure you are delivering you message clearly and respectfully.

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