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Advancing DEI: The Necessary Journey

Originally posted on whconsultingfirm

Hosted by Oscar Holmes IV

Diversity Matters with Oscar Holmes IV

Season 4 Episode 4

Episode Title: Advancing DEI: The Necessary Journey

Guest: Dr. Ella F. Washington

Diversity Matters with Oscar Holmes IV is a podcast that explores all things diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) related. In each episode, Oscar and his guests have lively discussions around DEI topics, explore the latest research on the topic, and discuss the implications so that listeners will be more knowledgeable about the topics and be able to apply the insights to their lives.

Show Summary:

“Passion does not create more hours in the day. It's unfair to expect those most impacted by the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion to fix the problem without compensation. Organizations with limited budgets should find creative solutions.” – Dr. Ella Washington.

Many organizations today recognize the importance of workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion. However, many struggle to implement effective strategies that promote diverse perspectives, create equitable opportunities, and foster an inclusive workplace culture.

As a result of this struggle, organizations may experience a lack of innovation, reduced employee engagement, and exclusion of underrepresented groups, negatively impacting both their employees and the entire organization. Thus, there is a need to explore practical solutions and insights to help these companies reach meaningful and sustainable outcomes and achieve their DEI goals.

In this episode, we have a fantastic scholar and consultant, Dr. Ella Washington, who shares her insights and expertise on the topic of DEI, which is also the subject of her new book, The Necessary Journey. Dr. Washington has extensive experience in the human capital space, impacting clients across various industries, including finance, entertainment, and higher education. She is a professor of practice at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business and the Founder and CEO of Ellavate Solutions.

Whether you're a leader, employee, or academic, Dr. Washington's unique perspective will inspire you to think outside the box and build a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

3 Exceptional Highlights:

  • The journey toward diversity, equity, and inclusion is a gradual process that requires sustained effort and time to achieve structural and systemic change.

  • Diversity of thought should not replace demographic diversity, which should remain a foundational goal until representation goals are achieved at every level.

  • A workplace utopia is a space where bias and exclusion are dismantled, and individuals are valued for their strengths, allowing everyone to thrive.

Show Highlights:

03:18 - What inspired Dr. Ella Washington to write The Necessary Journey?

09:29 - Discover the five stages of the DEI Maturity Model

13:54 - Hesitations most companies face when being classified in early stages, such as Awareness or Compliance

15:38 - How to foster diversity of thought and allow for constructive discourse to achieve optimal business outcomes

18:53 - The most common pitfalls organizations encounter on their DEI journey

23:14 - The impact of inadequate DEI support and lack of real commitment from organizations

24:54 - The emotional and visceral toll employees face when DEI initiatives are not supported in the workplace

27:18 - Senior leadership can improve their understanding of DEI through cost-effective strategies

29:19 - When to hire a Chief Diversity Officer and how to prepare for the hiring process

33:38 - Foster innovation to build a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace

35:23 - How can organizations ensure that their employee resource groups (ERGs) are not used to exploit the labor of their members?


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