NC Chamber Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Conference

On June 13th, 2019 I attended a conference on Diversity and Inclusion put on by the NC Chamber. It was a one day conference from 9:45 AM to 3:00 PM. More details about the conference schedule and speakers can be found here.

In this post, I will share some of the notes that I gathered during the conference. I forgot to denote which speaker talked about the topics below, so it’s sort of a messy list of phrases and ideas I felt were important at the time :) Hopefully some of these notes are useful to people!

Notes and Thoughts from the Conference

Diversity and Inclusion at Fidelity is all about diversity of thought and putting different ideas in the room where decisions are made. Their implementation seems very top down without talking much about employee engagement.

Simple things for example:

  • Diverse interview panels
  • Employee Resource Groups are seen as business utilities

Customer accessibility is a big deal.

Deep empathy. Empathetic employees can be empowered to create processes to help improve customer engagement instead of waiting for top down.

Fidelity brings decision makers into these diverse meetings. For example, mandating 50% of the attendees at a women’s conference.

The little things matter. Interact with underrepresented individuals when the chance presents itself.

Be really careful generalizing. For example, someone’s gender is only one aspect of a person’s identity.

Commit to learning in uncomfortable situations.

5 habits of inclusive leaders. We control our behaviors.

D+I isn’t a “thing to do”, it’s good business.


Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

We must listen to employees of color, not just hire them.

What is Intersectionality anyway? We’re not made up of just one thing.

Exclusion -> Segregation -> Integration -> Inclusion

Inclusion requires a shift in power. You have to talk about the power structure and power dynamic to succeed.

The power problem exists because we’ve been conditioned in the mindset of scarcity.

Avoiding the illusion:

  • Increase our self awareness. Blind spots can cause us to get blind sided.
  • Work on our world. What’s in your reach? What can you control?
  • Realize there are different paths to the same goal.
  • Ask people about their experiences. Reduce assumptions.

To be relevant in the future, we must recognize change and adapt to it.

Don’t assume everyone knows what you’re talking about. Define words.

Visibility does not equal value.

Some times you have to fire to inspire. Keeping people that aren’t carrying their weight kills morale.

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