Featuring women leaders from AppNexus, Bluecore, Stash Invest and Thrive Global
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PowerToFly recently partnered with four amazing New York companies, AppNexus, Bluecore, Stash Invest and Thrive Global to present an evening of networking and panel discussions at Rise NYC. Guests had an opportunity to network with women tech leaders and the other executives from our four featured companies as well as their fellow women in tech.
An energetic, insightful panel, moderated by PowerToFly CoFounder & CEO Milena Berry, featured four passionate women leaders, including:
Doa Jafri, Director of Engineering at Thrive Global
Bahar Shah, Software Engineer at Bluecore
Bavitha Sokhi, Lead Software Engineer at Stash Invest
Theresa "Tvu" Vu, Senior Vice President of Engineering, AppNexus
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from September 15 to October 15 in the U.S.
It's celebrated over two calendar months with good reason: it covers the independence anniversaries of several Latin American countries, as well as key celebrations in Hispanic and Latin communities. Apart from commemorating major holidays and historic milestones, this month honors the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans.
We asked some of our partner companies what they're doing to honor and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at work this year, and how they're supporting Hispanic and Latinx communities all year round. Here's what they're doing, in their own words:
HOLA is Google’s Hispanic/Latinx+ Employee Resource Group (ERG), members are committed to inclusion, advancement, and representation of Hispanic/Latinx Googlers worldwide. HOLA strives to build community through education and celebration of Hispanic/Latinx culture. With the intention of making both an internal and external impact, HOLA provides mentorship opportunities and empowers volunteer opportunities in the Hispanic/Latinx community. HOLA stands in support of racial equity and intersectional justice, and all those who seek it.
This Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15–October 15), Google invites you to celebrate the richness and diversity of the Latino community through some of the contributions made to U.S. art, culture, and society.
Join Google for a panel with HOLA - In this conversation, we will hear from three Googlers - Karina D, Leandro Q, and Paola A - and learn how they work together to make an impact on the greater Latinx+ community. Tune in to discover how you can make an impact as well.
We are excited to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the amazing contributions of the Hispanic community. Our Latinxs ERG at Samsara has a number of events planned for the month, including a Mexico Independence Day celebration in our Mexico City office, a happy hour in our San Francisco office with food and drink from various Latin cultures, and a virtual speaker event to build connections across our locations and celebrate the the rich and diverse cultures of our employees.
Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month at Samsarayoutu.be
This Hispanic Heritage Month and every day, SoftwareOne honors the Hispanic/Latine community and continues our work of creating spaces of belonging for our Swomies. As partners of the non-profit Latinas In Tech’s recruitment summit, SoftwareOne will help further its mission of connecting, supporting, and empowering Latina women in tech. Further, on October 5th, we’ll host a webinar featuring leading Hispanic/Latine tech voices who will share insightful and impactful stories of Hispanics/Latines driving innovation in tech.
At Stryker, we believe it’s important to take time to honor and recognize the contributions, culture and history of Hispanic and Latino Americans throughout the year, but especially during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Last year, SOMOS, Stryker’s Hispanic/Latinx employee resource group, organized a series of meaningful events and initiatives during Hispanic Heritage Month to highlight and celebrate Hispanic and Latinx cultures: panel discussions, lunch and learns, dance lessons and even a Hispanic Fair and Loteria!
Employees had the opportunity to participate in meaningful conversation and learn something new, but they also had a lot of fun! SOMOS’s mission is to promote cultural diversity, the professional development of members, and an inclusive environment for all. Through these ongoing efforts, we look to build a more equitable future.
Interested in seeing how SOMOS and Stryker are recognizing and celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month this year? Make sure to follow Stryker’s social media accounts and #WeAreStryker on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to see what our teams are up to!
Latinx & Hispanic Heritage Month provides us the opportunity to celebrate and honor the achievements and contributions of Latinx & Hispanic communities at Marqeta and beyond.
We are excited to celebrate with curated events focused on community connection and career-advancement hosted by Our Hola ERG. Throughout the month will be highlighting Marqeta's mental wellness resources focused on healing and serving our Latinx & Hispanic communities and sharing opportunities to engage and give back to Latinx & Hispanic communities all year round.
This Latinx Heritage Month is a momentous one for Celonis. We are excited to announce the global launch of Latinx and Allies@Celonis as a new Business Resource Group. We will be hosting a company-wide virtual kick-off as well as local office events to celebrate the Latinx culture we have across the globe. We have over 14 Latin American countries represented and counting. This group will establish a community for Latinxs and allies at Celonis to safely share experiences, celebrate diversity, and foster inclusion. Our mission is to create a vibrant and supportive community that recognizes the unique perspectives, talents, and contributions of Latin heritage.
At Northrop Grumman, we’re celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15! During National Hispanic Heritage Month, Northrop Grumman’s Adelante Employee Resource Group’s hosts a full calendar of events including panel discussions, networking and cultural awareness sessions. One Adelante is an all-inclusive group connecting employees that share an affinity towards Hispanic culture throughout Northrop Grumman.
Hear from one of our leaders and members of Adelante:
"My pride in the work Northrop Grumman does in support of our military service members is equal to my pride in the company’s genuine commitment to ensuring each employee can bring their whole self to work.” Pablo Pezzimenti, Vice President, Integrated National Systems Business Unit.
Moody’s theme for Hispanic Heritage Month focuses on growing the careers of Latinos within Moody’s, amplifying their experiences, addressing stereotypes, and sharing the perspective of Latino art and culture while inspiring all colleagues.
ConectaMos, Moody’s Latinx Business Resource Group (BRG), will be hosting a panel on the impact on changing demographics in the labor force, an art talk highlighting Felipe Escalante- Company Founder of Tabula Rosa Dance Theater and Mariana Ramirez- Broadway percussionist currently playing on Six the Musical (in collaboration with Moody’s Minds BRG), and a fireside chat with Jose Minaya, CEO of Nuveen and Moody’s Corporation board member.
At Nestlé we are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with an emphasis on the theme “Unidos, Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation”. Throughout the month we will honor the history, traditions, and contributions of the Hispanic & Latinx communities that have shaped America throughout the years. The Nestlé Latino ERGs plan an exciting month filled with a variety of events to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month. From September 15 through October 15, we host activities such as panels with guest speakers, a book club session, a volunteer event, a social hour with food and drinks, and more! We drive engagement on our Nestlé Workplace page by having employees fill out our “Somos” project. They share the reasons they are most proud of being Latinx/Hispanic and what their favorite cultural traditions are (like the example here).
Novelis and its employee resource group, ¡HOLA!, are celebrating Hispanic Heritage month by promoting the Hispanic & Latino culture, supporting professional development and embracing diversity and inclusion through a series of events in US and Canada.
Together, they will host a pebre cooking class, quiz colleagues with virtual trivia and invite a guest speaker to speak to employees throughout North America.
¡Hola! At Wolters Kluwer, diversity is core to our collective strength and high performance. You can thrive here. Be your unique self, share your creative ideas, do your best work, and take time to grow in our inclusive culture where you can belong and become a member of nuestra familia. Who better to tell you more about that than our SVP of Talent Management, Carlos Rivero? “Inclusion becomes a way of maximizing the value of our diversity, because having diversity unless people feel like they’re heard and have an opportunity to have impact, doesn’t get you very far.”
Tune in to hear more from Carlos while enjoying a cup of coffee, tea, atole, yerba mate, perico, horchata, mate de coca, or mote con huesillo!
Wolters Kluwer Carlos Rivero interview PowerToFly 2023youtu.be
PagerDuty’s Latine ERG, Dutonienses, hosts our annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration for all to enjoy! Having recently added a location in Santiago, we're excited to celebrate Chile Independence Day in September. We'll learn about Chilean culture and heritage, dance the cueca (typical Chilean dance) and eat empanadas de pino and empanadas de queso (traditional food for the holiday). Throughout the month, we also plan to have a virtual happy hour, an internal panel, a volunteer event, and a coffee hour to spotlight some great coffees from different Hispanic countries. These activities will allow Dutonienses to meet colleagues connected by their shared roots, and help foster a diverse and inclusive workplace beyond!
ORTEC USA is celebrating Hispanic Heritage month with featuring weekly collections of influential figures who have made a substantial impact on American society and their communities. We will recognize the importance of their accomplishments within their respective genre of entertainment, literature, and politics.
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, ORTEC will showcase weekly enlighten virtual readings that will highlight three influential individuals and their activism, accomplishments, and significance in their fields. Each virtual reading was carefully selected to showcase their contributions that have helped shaped American society for the past 60 years and will inspire and educate ORTEC-ers on Hispanic Heritage and their communities.
2U's employee-led Latinx business resource network, TuGente, is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month around the theme "Préndete," which translates to “turn on”. Activities will empower TuGente members to rise up, activate their passions, and advocate for themselves and their communities. The programming throughout the month will capture the Lantix experience by acknowledging the obstacles they face and shedding light on issues impacting their community. Events range from a salsa making class to fireside chats discussing the business case for expanding to Latin America, as well as a State of the Union event discussing events that impacted the community historically.
Hispanic Heritage Month at Visa is an opportunity to celebrate the power and value of the Latinx community’s collective contributions to our economy. Our Latinx Connect Employee Resource Group (ERG) embodies Visa's principles of inclusion, belonging, and purpose – to uplift everyone, everywhere with a focus on talent advancement, community engagement, creating a welcoming space while embracing our diverse experiences and cultures, and advancing our business goals through inclusion. Throughout the month, we will drive conversation and build community with cultural celebrations, community engagement opportunities, and career-focused events across our offices. Learn more about our commitment to inclusion and diversity, visa.com/inclusion.
Freddie Mac is “Breaking Through to Excellence” this National Hispanic Heritage Month. The HOLA Business Resource Group has several events planned, including welcoming University of Southern California professor Dr. Yasmin Davidds for her masterclass, Latinos, Advancing Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace. In addition, there will be two service-oriented opportunities: a clothing donation drive for Shepherd’s Table, and we will pack snack bags for students in Arlington Housing Corporation’s education programs. Freddie Mac’s own Efrain Rivera-Ortiz will also lead a salsa dance class. Together, we fulfill our mission of “making home possible” while honoring the excellence, innovation, triumphs and resilience of Hispanic communities.
Our Autodesk Latinx Network (ALN) employee resource group organizes a series of events during Hispanic Heritage Month to empower ALN members to thrive at Autodesk. We’ll be hosting a variety of global events throughout the month under the theme of “Storytelling: Unleashing the Power of Our Narratives,” including a guest speaker from California State University, an event in partnership with Latinas in Tech, and a film festival screening, as well as chapter events at local offices around the world. We’ll also be highlighting some amazing ALN members on our @AutodeskLife social channels and the Autodesk Life blog.
Cummins deeply values and acknowledges the significant contributions made by the Hispanic/Latino community to both the workplace and the overall prosperity of our economy. We remain committed to fostering an environment that promotes education, recognition, and appreciation for the remarkable accomplishments and diverse cultural heritage of Hispanic and Latinx individuals.
To commence the celebrations, Cummins will be hosting an exciting month-long series of events. These engaging activities encompass a diverse range, including community engagement events, educational panel discussions, and lively showcases of mouthwatering cuisine that highlights the vibrant Hispanic heritage. To cater to a broader audience, we have thoughtfully designed a blend of in-person and virtual events, ensuring everyone can participate and enjoy the festivities.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15. This timeline coincides with the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries. The RTX HOLA ERG celebrates the rich culture, history, and contributions of the Hispanic population in America. We honor the diverse heritage through events, art, music, educational activities and events headlining across the company. All efforts of humble goal to promote understanding and appreciation of Hispanic culture and its profound impact on American society.
SoundCloud is proud to honor the music, history, and culture of Hispanic Heritage Month with the theme “Pa’lante: Latin Artists Paving the Way.” Pa’lante is a Spanish slang word translated as “onward” or “go for it.” We’ll highlight the stories of Latin artists on our platform through curated playlists and in-depth interviews, where each artist will share their musical journey, how their culture has shaped them, and who has paved the way for them. SoundClouders will also celebrate with an interactive workshop with spoken word poet Alejandro Jimenez and salsa dancing classes in our Los Angeles and New York offices.
At Realtor.com, we’re excited to join together to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Our programming begins in early September. Highlights include an interactive Papel Picado event, where we’ll work together to create our own Mexican folk art as we learn about its origins in pre-Hispanic times, as well as a discussion about the ways Realtor.com works with agents, brokers, buyers, sellers, and partnering organizations to support a more inclusive housing market, while promoting fair access to housing opportunities for all members of the Hispanic community.
For Hispanic Heritage Month at Okta, we're celebrating Mexican heritage with a special night at Oracle Park to watch the San Francisco Giants in action. This event aims to bring our community together for an evening of fun and cultural appreciation. In collaboration with Modern Health, we're offering resources that specifically cater to the needs of the Hispanic/Latinx community. These resources include support and upliftment initiatives designed to address the unique challenges and promote the well-being of this community. It's a fantastic opportunity to enjoy baseball, connect with others, and show our solidarity with the vibrant Hispanic/Latinx culture
At ServiceNow, we’re leveraging this moment to recognize it as Unidos Heritage Month to celebrate the entire
Unidos at ServiceNow Employee Belonging Group globally, the actions they’re taking to create a positive impact, and how they’re breaking barriers to improve everyone’s overall well-being. We’ll be hosting various events, including a Latinx cooking for wellness session, panels featuring Latinx leaders, and socials. We’re committed to closing the digital divide. To support this, we’ve contributed $100,000 towards the ServiceNow Tech Center at the Boys & Girl’s Club of Silicon Valley, which demographics serve approximately 80% Latinx students; participate in Cristo Rey High School’s Corporate Work Study program, and much more. Explore ServiceNow’s community!
Hispanic Heritage Month is here, and at Pitney Bowes, we're thrilled to embrace our theme: "Abriendo Puertas" (opening doors). This month, we reflect on Hispanic history, culture, and achievements that have helped our company and employees open doors.
Here's how we're making it special:
Café Con Leche Chat: Join our Café Con Leche panel discussion and savor a cup of coffee. Get comfy because this coffee-powered chat opens doors to exciting conversations.
Operations Sites Kits: Dive into Hispanic heritage with kits filled with history and cultural gems.
Award-Winning Inclusion: Celebrate our second consecutive LATINO 2023 Equity 100 award, proof of our inclusive culture.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the RTX HOLA (Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Advancement) ERG at Collins Aerospace will be hosting several events. To kick off the celebrations, Annabel Flores, President of Land/Air Defense at Raytheon, will speak at “Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power and Progress in America.” Other events throughout the month include a salsa eating contest at our Phoenix site, art sessions to create papel picado banners, and a personal branding and career development webinar. All employees are welcome and encouraged to join these fantastic Hispanic heritage celebrations!
This Hispanic Heritage Month, we're thrilled to embrace the "Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America” theme and highlight the Hispanic community's contributions. We will support the community by dedicating specific days to ordering office lunches from local Hispanic-owned restaurants. To expand our knowledge, we'll spotlight STEM trailblazers and explore ways to enhance representation. Additionally, we're excited to host a cultural game day focused on Latin American countries and regularly share influential art, music, film, and games that have shaped American culture.
To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Aurora will be organizing a series of events and initiatives aimed at raising awareness and understanding of Hispanic cultures among our colleagues. From informative Lunch and Learn sessions to engaging cultural workshops like empanada making, our team will have the opportunity to explore and appreciate the rich tapestry of Hispanic heritage. By weaving the vibrant threads of Hispanic heritage into the fabric of our workplace, we hope to create an environment where every individual feels valued, heard, and celebrated
During Hispanic Heritage Month, Zapier is celebrating by orchestrating a vibrant celebration. We've crafted a series of engaging weekly challenges for members to participate in, fostering cultural appreciation. On the agenda, we have members selecting a book authored by someone of Hispanic heritage, followed by a discussion in our book club. Following this, Zapiens will delve into the diverse tapestry of Hispanic traditions as we will screen a series of films featuring Hispanic leads or directors. Lastly, we're encouraging members to savor cuisine from Hispanic restaurants, broadening their culinary horizons. It's a formal invitation to partake in a month of cultural enrichment.
The Latinx at Expedia Group and Allies for Development (LEAD) continues to celebrate Latinx & Hispanic Heritage through several global activations following the theme of Juntos (Together) for action. "Juntos" meaning "together" in Spanish & Portuguese refers to the importance of allyship and intersectionality within the culture. In-person and virtual global events across LEAD chapters include a food and dance celebration titled "Salsa con Salsa" in New York, networking events in Seattle and London, and culminates with the 2nd Annual Latina Leadership Summit in Austin, TX in partnership with L500 bringing together more than 20 Latina speakers representing 17 tech companies including EG, Cisco, Dell, National Instruments, NPR and IBM.
uShip is excited to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. This month, uShip’s DEI Committee will invite our employees to join us as we tour the Mexic-Arte Museum in downtown Austin. The museum provides a cultural learning experience that showcases many exhibits and collections of Mexican and Latin American art. In addition, uShip encourages employee participation in the various local activities that celebrate Hispanic and Latino cultures through the promotion of events, festivals, and exhibits in our company-wide newsletter.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at T. Rowe Price: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress
MOSAIC @ T. Rowe Price, one of the firm’s associate-led business resource groups, and its Latinx Heritage Community are hosting an educational event focused on how language impacts individuals, culture, and business in important ways in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Arlene Cabrera, MOSAIC’s Latinx Heritage Community co-chair, said, “This year’s theme is about forging your path no matter the odds so that you honor the sacrifices made for you, succeed, and pave the way for others to thrive. It’s embracing the mindset that you’re deserving, believing in your greatness, and knowing your worth. The contributions made by every Hispanic strengthens the tide of our collective value and creates a beacon of hope and aspiration. There’s power in bringing our voice, talent, and experiences to bear and advocating for what we need to maximize our potential. Our authenticity is a superpower that not only elevates our contributions but allows us to remain prideful of who we are and aspire to be.”
We are welcoming keynote speaker Gabby Rivera, author of Juliet Takes a Breath and creator of America Chavez, the first Latina superhero, for Marvel comics. We’re hosting in-office events in Chicago, Provo, and Seattle. All our events aim to unite our community and allies, while ensuring joy and connection are key parts of the experience.
Qualtrics is also supporting donations to La Casa Norte, a non-profit in Chicago whose mission is to provide stable housing, restorative justice programs, and food to people who are unhoused, and primarily serves black and brown communities in the south and west side of Chicago.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Workiva will be celebrating Hispanic and Latino cultures with events and activities for all employees, hosted by our Hispanic & Latino Business Employee Resource Group. The events planned include a live, virtual learn-to-dance seminar as well as a virtual tour of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico with interactive trivia and Q&A. Throughout the month we’ll also showcase various volunteer opportunities for employees – such as packing backpacks with school supplies for immigrant youth from Mexico and other countries – to encourage giving back to the communities.
We are thrilled to be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the legacies and contributions of individuals who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean! At EnerSys, one of the ways we strive to create an inclusive culture is through our business resource groups (BRGs), including the Hispanic/Latinx Organization for Leadership in Action (HOLA).
HOLA launched at EnerSys in early 2022 with a mission to develop a network of employees who celebrate the Hispanic/Latinx heritage. HOLA has created a welcoming environment for its members with an aim at networking, enhancing cultural awareness, and professional development. Over the next few weeks from September 15 through October 15, HOLA will have a kickoff celebration with live dance demonstrations and Latin inspired cuisine; spotlight members of the BRG on #enersys social media pages; and volunteer together at a local diversity festival. We truly embraced the theme of Prosperity, Power and Progress for this year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month.
As part of Reference Point’s Hispanic Heritage Month programming, our employees will gather at a board game bar to play dominoes, a beloved pastime with cultural significance in Hispanic communities. We are also arranging a cooking class where employees can learn to prepare delicious Hispanic dishes and savor the techniques that make Hispanic cuisine extraordinary. Through an educational newsletter series, we will highlight influential Hispanic musicians, legendary athletes, and inspiring business leaders. We'll include recommendations for Hispanic restaurants and events near our offices, so employees can immerse themselves in the vibrant Hispanic cultures in their local communities.
Learn how employers choose the perfect candidate. Watch the video to the end to get some tips from Contentful recruiters to help you master your interview process.
Become the ideal employee by learning how employers choose the perfect candidate. Shauna De La Cruz, recruiter, Adewale Solaru, and Andreea Tilvan, senior recruiters at Contentful, share valuable insights about what they look for in applicants and how you can thrive in your job search.
Understanding how employers choose the perfect candidate is the first step in a successful interview process. Before writing your resume, do your research. You are trying to understand what is important to the employer. And the first step is understanding what the company's needs are. Before you go into what the manager wants, you should have a high-level overview of why this role is essential to the company.
Now that you know more about how employers choose the perfect candidate, plan accordingly. Preparation is key! Learning about the company you're applying for is really important. Recruiters look for people who are prepared and do their homework. Look at the company's website and examine their mission and vision statement. See if you can find their core values. Learn about the product they're selling and the industry they are in. Everything counts.
How do employers choose the perfect candidate? Show cultural fit!
Contentful has four core values. The first one is always to put the needs of your customers first. Second, be humble. The third value is to have a growth mindset. Strive together is the fourth and last value. When people get together, especially with different perspectives, they can truly drive innovation and get things done together as a group. So, think of these core values. Do they resonate with you? If they do, tell recruiters how. Ask for examples if you need clarification on what they mean in practice. Use this as inspiration to recount examples in your own work and personal life.
Are you interested in joining Contentful? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Shauna De La Cruz, Adewale Solaru, and Andreea Tilvan
Shauna is an experienced recruiter with a demonstrated history of working in the SaaS space. Adewale is a recruiter with a proven ability to hire top sales talent and go-to-market roles. Andreea lives to see people succeed and is humbled by people's life and career stories every day. If you are interested in a career at Contentful, you can connect with Shauna, Adewale, and Andreea on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Contentful
Contentful is an international company with over 750 people from 70 nations contributing their energy and creativity, working from hubs in Denver and Berlin and distributed across Europe and America. They believe content is more than just words on a webpage; it molds digital interactions and fuels business success. Contentful helps organizations unlock the business value of their content and compose it into new digital experiences with a platform and ecosystem that make building fast, easy, and fun.
According to a professional diversity trainer and global DEIB impact manager.
When you design a diversity initiative, the obvious goal is to choose diversity training that fits your company’s specific needs. What may be less obvious is that your diversity training choices will reflect more than your code of conduct — they’ll also represent your work culture to your employees on a larger scale. And if people feel like you just need them to check a box, they aren’t likely to be engaged.
So, how can we make diversity training in the workplace interesting, impactful, and something people will actually want to attend? This is a question I’m constantly striving to answer in my role as a diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) manager and trainer — and for good reason. One 2021 report found that although 32% of employers mandated diversity training for employees and 34% mandated it for managers — more on the “mandating” piece of this later, by the way — these efforts largely rang hollow. As many as 80% of companies were just “going through the motions” when it came to DEIB, that report found, with no accountability in place to ensure the impact of these trainings.
As the Global DEIB Impact Manager at PowerToFly, I’m not interested in checking boxes or perpetuating that mindset. For real engagement and a company culture that employees are excited to take part in, here are my recommendations for implementing and improving upon diversity training in a way that’ll help move the needle.
What are the characteristics of effective diversity training?
When I talk about my job and what I do, I don’t tell people that I’m managing and providing diversity training. I don’t even use a standard diversity training definition; instead, I focus on the big picture. I speak about creating and facilitating brave spaces and opportunities for individuals to explore their intersectional identities — spaces that prioritize safety and empower every individual to bring their whole self to work. This holistic approach is what actually makes an impact.
Similarly, holistic diversity training programs should not just be theoretical. They need to also foster practical action and implementation steps. An effective diversity training program pushes employees to expand their knowledge and further communicate with and understand each other better. This desire to understand and connect becomes the foundation of authentic company culture.
There are many different types of training that fall under the larger category of diversity training. While your “bucket” training topics will encompass broad themes — like race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, language, religion, age, neurodiversity, physical ability, and socio-economic status— you can break down your trainings into more specific topics and areas of focus, like:
Identity- and intersectionality-focused discussions
Beyond reviewing the training topic and its relevance to where your company is now and where it’s ideally going, also consider if this training will actually get people connecting and communicating. To that end, my tip is to look for the following three elements: interaction, alignment with your company culture, and delivery across multiple channels.
Implementing a diversity training program is a practice of intentional inclusion in your organization. It is the logistical behavior aimed at expanding and improving your employee experience.
Sitting through a lecture with no opportunity to verbally contribute? Or perhaps an online Zoom meeting with 200+ attendees? These are examples of checking a box — and your employees know it.
To encourage real interaction in your diversity training, you can:
Let people know they have multiple options for participating, whether in the chat or over their mic. Whatever makes them feel most comfortable.
Rather than desperately trying to fill dead air-time, welcome silence. It gives people the chance to meaningfully speak up and participate, particularly those who need time to process before they engage.
Allow different types of learners to feel supported and seen. That can include sending out materials in advance of the training, so that neurodiverse folks can review ahead of time (and hopefully avoid feeling overstimulated in the training itself, with the need to follow along visually as well as auditorily).
Explicitly invite the group to answer reflective questions that connect their own personal experiences to the topic.
Facilitate small-group discussion spaces. That can include breakout rooms during the training, but also spaces for extended interaction with a topic outside of the one session.
Interactive diversity training requires intentionality. But that’s also just the starting point. Plenty of organizations have good intentions without follow-through actions. Discussion-based training allows opportunities for your team to speak up and share, and intentional interaction helps people develop the tools and understanding they need to be more readily mindful of others’ experiences. Real, vulnerable discussions are where storytelling becomes a tool for growth — at PowerToFly, we like to call them listening circles. They will have more impact on the bigger vision and day-to-day practices in your workplace than another boring lecture.
2. Alignment with company culture
Everyone from brand-new recruits to veteran employees engage with diversity training programs. These programs are designed to engage and support employees, increase allyship and growth, and create an opportunity to invite everyone — regardless of identity or background — to bring their whole selves to work. In other words, they’re meant to foster an environment of true inclusion and belonging.
What does engagement with training look like? The answer depends on your company culture.
If the culture is more traditional and conservative, an informal or artsy creative training approach may not be well received. And vice versa. If your company culture is more flexible and welcomes things like remote work and open offices, an uptight style of formal training isn’t nearly as likely to work. Why? Your diversity training needs to be reflective of your existing company culture and not feel like an afterthought or add-on. It’s very important to proactively incorporate this when curating a diversity training plan.
If you’re struggling to get a sense of how your company culture would translate to diversity training, a good first step might be naming your company values. Does your workforce feel aligned with these values? Your on-paper culture and values may need to shift to reflect the reality of your workplace. Consider surveying employees to get a clearer sense of where your company culture is currently, and where folks would like to see it move to.
3. Delivery across a variety of channels
Effective diversity training programs offer a variety of different channels to engage all employees. Everybody learns, communicates, and processes information differently. Some folks may learn best in a classroom setting with a facilitator-led, established curriculum. Others may want interactive diversity training options available online. You should always ask employees about their preference in how they want to engage with the material.
Above all, the diversity training itself should also demonstrate and welcome diversity in learning styles.
Some education channels to consider include:
In-person classroom trainings, including role playing and interactive simulations
Asynchronous programming, so employees can move at their own pace
Strategic mentorship to empower and accelerate change
Why does diversity training fail?
As we’ve written about previously, DEIB training is not automatically impactful — in fact, some training can actually do more harm than good. It’s important to have a clear understanding of some of the common reasons diversity training fails, so that you can build that awareness into the way you do go about implementing your training. Forbes gives the following five reasons for why diversity training fails.
1. Resistance — on the part of staff or leadership
2. Improper implementation — utilizing only a traditional lecture format, for instance, and ignoring the role of structured mentorship and other interactive models
3. Lack of consistency — especially when a diversity training is held in reaction to a particular problem or incident
4. Lack of leadership buy-in — training pitches don’t address the projected ROI of a program in a way that speaks to (sometimes) apathetic executives
5. The diversity label – even mentioning "diversity" can lead to increased stress and anxiety, especially for White men; proactive framing around the importance of these programs, as well as creative labeling for the program itself, can help ease resistance
Let’s not forget the DEIB industry’s well-known failure factor: mandatory attendance. Research has shown that mandatory diversity training sometimes leads to worse behavior and poor impressions in many employees, and has even been linked to decreases in diversity on leadership teams. Voluntary training, meanwhile, has been linked to the opposite: increases of 9% to 13% in Black men, Hispanic or Latino men, and Asian-American men and women in management five years after training. Encouraging buy-in to DEIB training, it turns out, may mean letting people feel they’ve chosen to support and engage in long-term change.
3 ways to improve your diversity training
Now that we’ve explored a handful of the reasons diversity training fails, let’s get into some pragmatic ways to improve your company’s diversity training. From tracking outcomes to incorporating the right cultural cues, I have three main tips to improve the success of your diversity training program.
1. Aim for changing behavior.
Diversity training programs should go beyond imparting knowledge and be aimed at changing behaviors. To do that, diversity training programs need measurable outcomes to stay on track, show progress, and highlight gaps. Too obvious? Surprisingly, 76% of companies as of 2021 still had no concrete diversity or inclusion goals at all.
It makes sense to talk about goals in relation to diversity training, but how exactly can you measure whether your training is effective?
Pre-/post-training surveys: Use this data collection technique to gauge employee understanding of a topic before and after attending a diversity training. If responses don’t align with your indicators, discuss strategies to improve those outcomes. (This can also be a great way to gather employee feedback on ongoing programming).
Use tech resources: Recently, we sat down with Emily Felner from Logicworks to discuss people-first techniques at work. She described the Slack integrations she uses to solicit quick employee feedback, like Donut, Officevibe, and Bonusly. Use the tech platforms at your disposal to track if behavior is changing.
2. Ensure fit with brand and tone.
What’s the elephant in the room when contracting out for diversity training? That the partnering facilitator doesn’t match the personality of the organization. Diversity training, much like DEIB as a whole, is not a one-size-fits-all situation. The material should reflect your company tone and branding, too, so that it integrates seamlessly with other company training modules.
When partnerships are rushed or aren’t properly evaluated to reflect the personality, feel, and values of your company and its culture, you can end up with what feels like a performative initiative.
3. Be realistic.
My final recommendation to improve your diversity training is to set realistic goals. Training can certainly change some aspects of work life, but it takes time and consistency — a few hours of training isn’t enough to shift your entire culture. Offering diversity training is also not going to automatically translate to increased diversity at your company (unless you’re conducting trainings on recruiting diverse candidates, that is). It can perhaps increase diversity indirectly by improving your company culture and making it a place where diverse talent wants to work. But we need to be explicit about what training can (and can’t) achieve.
One study found that the “most effective diversity training programs help participants identify and reduce bias" — a modest aim. Diversity initiatives are proven to be successful — and to show measurable improvement — when they have realistic aims.
When looking at one diversity training session, the results may be short-term and require outside tools to ensure they're connected to concrete behavioral and cultural changes. The larger goals of a diversity initiative can take years to achieve, and require steadfast commitment to the growth process.
Effective diversity training reflects company culture
The best kind of diversity training program is, above all, one that is attuned to the strengths and areas of improvement that exist within your company culture right now. Each organization is different, and your DEIB approach needs to reflect those nuances.