Why Are You Passionate About Diversity and Inclusion?

October 18, 2023
October 18, 2023 Terkel

Why Are You Passionate About Diversity and Inclusion?

To explore the passion behind diversity and inclusion, we’ve gathered nine insightful perspectives from leaders like Chief People Officers and CEOs. From the importance of empathy and vision for inclusive workspaces to the necessity of representation for health equity, discover why these professionals are fervently advocating for diversity and inclusion in their respective fields.

  • Fueling Empathy and Vision for Inclusive Workspaces
  • Remembering Childhood Exposure to Desegregation
  • Creating an Inclusive Environment for Future Generations
  • Valuing Individuality and Fighting Biases
  • Promoting Diversity in Content Creation
  • Viewing Diversity as a Moral and Economic Imperative
  • Making a Critique of Exclusive Diversity Approaches
  • Finding Business Benefits in Diversity and Inclusion
  • Supporting Representation for Health Equity

Fueling Empathy and Vision for Inclusive Workspaces

Diversity and inclusion, for me, are deeply personal. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I’ve felt the pain of not belonging. This fuels my mission as an executive to build workspaces where everyone belongs.

Diverse teams spark creativity and drive business growth. Moreover, as a remote-work champion, I see its potential to break geographic and accessibility barriers and democratize opportunities. I aim to tap into a broader talent spectrum by reimagining traditional workplace systems.

My passion is rooted in empathy and the vision of a future where everyone is valued and thrives, regardless of their background.

Mark Putrus
Chief People Officer, Nativo

Remembering Childhood Exposure to Desegregation

My passion for diversity and inclusion goes back to my childhood when the schools in NY started busing students from minority communities to majority white community schools in the name of “desegregation.” I remember as a child going into elementary school with the parents of my schoolmates outside protesting. I didn’t understand what the protest was about.  

Ilyssa DeCasperis, Chief People Officer, Metrolink

Creating an Inclusive Environment for Future Generations

As a Chief People Officer, I wholeheartedly embrace the importance of equipping the next generation with what they need to thrive in an inclusive world.

This commitment goes beyond representing a company—it’s personal. I believe in celebrating the unique qualities that make each individual special and recognizing the power of diverse perspectives. I strive to create an environment where every person is treated with the utmost respect and dignity, and I seek out a wide range of perspectives, knowing that the richness of ideas and experiences is what drives innovation and success.

It is our collective responsibility to shape the future, and I am dedicated to ensuring that our path is paved with inclusivity and equality because I want my children (and their children) to live in a world where everyone is safe to authentically express themselves and is truly valued for who they are.

Heidi HauverHeidi Hauver
Chief People Officer

Valuing Individuality and Fighting Biases

Diversity and inclusion resonate with me deeply because they epitomize the belief that every individual brings unique value, irrespective of their background. In professional settings, diverse teams drive innovation by merging varied perspectives, leading to richer solutions.

Personally, witnessing talented peers sidelined because of biases reinforced my commitment. Embracing diversity and inclusion not only boosts organizational growth but also fosters societal harmony. It’s about championing equity, ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute and thrive.

Richard FrankelRichard Frankel
Disability Lawyer, Bross & Frankel, PA

Promoting Diversity in Content Creation

I work in the advertising and marketing industry, and more specifically, in video and film production. This specific sector, unfortunately, suffers from a lack of diversity on the production side, behind the camera. Therefore, the content we make will continue to have a bias and not genuinely represent a huge swathe of voices and lived experiences. In doing so, it will perpetuate the cycle of narrow-mindedness, ignorance, and limiting aspirations.

While there have been huge steps to address the EDI balance on the screen and ensuring visual representation, we are still in danger of not having diverse creative content makers write, design, direct, and tell authentic stories from the production side. The production industry needs to break this cycle, encourage more diverse content creators in, and more importantly, keep them and empower them.

Ryan StoneRyan Stone
Founder and Creative Director, Lambda Films

Viewing Diversity as a Moral and Economic Imperative

I keep diversity and inclusion at the core of our culture, leadership, and operations at Moast. Embracing diversity fosters creativity, innovation, and a broader range of perspectives. It allows us to tap into the collective wisdom and experiences of people from different backgrounds, which ultimately leads to better solutions and outcomes. This is true not only for the workplace but also for our community and society at large.

The hard part of this conversation (a part that people don’t like to highlight as much) is that promoting diversity and inclusion is not just a moral imperative; it’s an economic one. Inclusive organizations and societies tend to be more successful and resilient, as they can adapt to a rapidly changing world.

Ultimately, our passion for diversity and inclusion stems from the belief that a more inclusive world is a fairer, more compassionate, and more prosperous world for everyone.

Mark YeramianMark Yeramian
Co-Founder, CEO, Moast.io

Making a Critique of Exclusive Diversity Approaches

I am not passionate about diversity or inclusion for the sake of a KPI or PR for the company. Diversity should exist, but oftentimes, it is pigeonholed to exclude many people instead of being inclusive.

It would be great if interviews were indeed conducted to allow the best person to fill a role, not based on how they look, sound, or dress. If we could make this happen someday, it would be one of our most outstanding achievements.

Keith Brooks
CEO, B2B Whisperer

Finding Business Benefits in Diversity and Inclusion

Supporting diversity and inclusion at the most basic level is the right thing to do. Creating an environment where everyone is comfortable and feels like they belong is really the bare minimum. There are also significant business benefits to meaningfully supporting DEI.

Like any individual, my own perspective is inherently limited by my positionality and life experiences. That means there are blind spots in my business that I don’t even notice. Supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce at my company means that more voices and perspectives are heard. That helps to eliminate blind spots, lets us better serve a wider range of customers, and it grows my business.

Temmo KinoshitaTemmo Kinoshita
Co-Founder, Lindenwood Marketing

Supporting Representation for Health Equity

I am passionate about diversity and inclusion because representation matters—at our jobs, in our neighborhoods, at our schools. Without diversity and inclusion, there is no health equity, so our communities and our population’s health suffer.

Diversity and inclusion not only include those characteristics that distinguish us, but they are most importantly seen in recognizing the value of each person individually—their ideas, passions, and contributions. When people feel that they can bring their whole self and have a seat at the table, our entire community thrives.

Brandy WilkinsBrandy Wilkins
Owner, CEO, Defining Point Coaching & Consulting, LLC.

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