By Lisa Logan and Allen White
In 2018, a small, dedicated group of visionary leaders recognized that organizations, regardless of size, lacked a thriving workplace that promoted a safe and respectful environment. Bringing their combined decades of experience, research and knowledge, DEI Consultants, LLC was established January 2019, to address the critical areas of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in corporate and nonprofit arenas. With the team’s diverse career expertise, they are able to see through the lens of race, culture, gender and employee wellness, differentiating themselves from most standardized training companies and programs available today.
The principles of DEI Consultants LLC are Catherine Holt, Estrus Tucker, Shivaun Palmer and Alyson Pollak. These four thought leaders discovered that although there are many approaches to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the marketplace, many simply aren’t working. Forcing employees to participate in training programs often leads to more negative feelings. As companies build cultures within their specific business models, many do not fully respect and engage the rich human capital of their workforce. To correct this situation, DEI Consultants, LLC has developed robust strategies to help companies become more inclusive and supportive, to minimize disruptions and ultimately achieve the company goals.
The consulting team members bring together their unique and synergistic backgrounds to create a holistic approach to training and curriculum. Tucker brings a vast cross-cultural perspective informed by diverse racial, ethnic, gender, class and faith identities. Holt adds a wealth of gender perspective on diversity through her local and global experiences in gender empowerment and equity. Palmer has done extensive research and interviewed thought leaders on the importance of mental wellness as it relates to the workplace and society in general. Pollak provides expertise in creating workplaces experiences that impress cohesive relationships across multiple generations.
The team’s mission is to provide clients a customized training package with highly interactive and comprehensive practices to create a sustainable culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. It is their belief that change must be transformative in order to be sustainable. Therefore, they aim to provide tools to create a workplace environment that respects and engages each individual and gives voice to their unique identity. Through their global work experiences integrating different cultural norms, DEI Consultants can better recognize and address how various cultures affect the understanding and perspectives of inclusion, which sets them apart from other training professionals. Client participants are allowed to experience unfamiliar cultures in a safe and respectful environment, which ultimately imparts an important message – people are more alike than they are different and focusing on their commonalities can lead to higher productivity and better employee retention rates. Myriad studies show that increased DEI improves productivity, decision-making, employee wellness, talent attraction and profitability. The bottom line is – it’s good for business!
A major challenge to creating a culture of inclusion is discovering how to change people’s openness to different perspectives and finding those common elements of humanity rather than differences. Personal transformation takes time and a concentrated effort. Studies confirm that changing a habit can take anywhere from three weeks to nine months. Imagine the dedication and energy required for organizations to see and react to the world around them. DEI Consultants mission is to shepherd every client through this transformation and experiential process by awakening their unconscious biases to become a thriving workplace.
DEI Consultants, LLC works with organizations that are fully committed to transforming their workplace culture. Rather than being a ‘check the box’ consulting firm, they help their clients ‘live what they preach’ and ‘walk their talk’ via customized, client-specific programs focusing on short-term goals and long-term outcomes. Most of their clientele are referrals from leaders in other organizations that have used big training “check the box” diversity education programs with little result. Sometimes a CEO, HR or other department head contacts their group after a major DEI crisis – after an employee suicide, when a CEO makes sexist jokes at a meeting or an executive is caught up in a college admission scandal. Their message to all organizations exploring diversity, equity and inclusion training is to start the work before a crisis begins.
Interested in learning more? Join DEI Consultants LLC for a transformational diversity, equity and inclusion experience on Nov. 21 from 1-5 p.m. at the Lena Pope Amon Carter Center. For more information and to register go to the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-transformative-diversity-equity-inclusion-experience-tickets-76948550185