Building Belonging: Recession-Proofing Commitments to DEIB

New York City Bar Association · Building Belonging: Recession-Proofing Commitments to DEIB

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Ankura Consulting Group is a management consulting firm with over two thousand employees advising corporations in various industries and sectors e.g. cybersecurity, construction, litigation and human resources. Shawn Miles’ and Patricia Rodriguez’s social-impact team helps companies ask themselves difficult questions about their own environments and values so that they can make sure that their people feel accepted, welcome and able to show up as themselves.

Patricia and Shawn speak about being intentional with Belonging, about building strategies and spaces for people to be honest and sometimes uncomfortable. They helped us understand the ways in which building psychological safety to get things wrong can be tantamount to building psychological safety to really try and get things right.

The Building Belonging crew carries this idea into a discussion about how to persevere in the face of an “anti-woke” movement that seeks to co-opt and undermine DEIB ideals. Tanya, Angie and Mary Ellen talk with Shawn and Patricia about how to be prepared for “anti-woke” arguments that are made in bad faith and how to keep the DEIB conversation going on a productive track. They also delve into the implications of these strategies in the political atmosphere of anti-woke, anti-DEIB regulations.

The data shows that organizations that succeed in DEIB also outperform their competitors financially. Patricia and Shawn talk about how improving DEIB improves organizational decision-making and makes companies more responsive to increasingly-diverse customer bases. Nevertheless, when recession happens and businesses need to make cuts, DEIB initiatives are often first on the block. Shawn and Patricia shared some of the talking points and strategies that they have used to remind companies that DEIB is good for long-term, sustainable growth as well as for retention of the top talent.

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