On Feb. 6, the current Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) class discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) for organizations and how to support successful D&I programs in the workplace with two guest experts, Audrey Grace (Northeastern University) and Patricia Hennessy (Burns & Levinson).
Effective D&I strategies start at the individual level, Attorney Grace and Attorney Hennessy told the PILP class. To help propel D&I strategies, you have to “walk the walk.”
During the session, the experts and PILP class engaged in a meaningful discussion about the importance of D&I (“when individuals are lifted up and celebrated, their workplace is also elevated”) and how to operationalize an effective D&I strategy (“buy-in from leadership is key”).
Although the scope and substance of what organizations consider to be included in D&I efforts has evolved over time, Attorney Grace and Attorney Hennessy agreed that institutional change takes time, and being intentional and thoughtful about D&I strategies is a must from the start.
When implementing a D&I strategy, you must consider your communities, your stakeholders, and of course your own biases, Attorney Grace said.
It’s also important to remember your positions of power and privilege in your own organization and your community, Attorney Hennessy said.
These insights greatly resonated with the PILP class, as class members asked thoughtful and engaging questions about how to implement effective D&I strategies in their own organizations and with their own stakeholders.
Meeting recap provided by PILP members Cory Lamz (Buoy Health) and Jessica Powell (The Davis Companies).