BizTimes podcast partner Beth Ridley of The Brimful Life joins associate editor Arthur Thomas to discuss lessons learned from her diversity series podcasts. Ridley talked with four Milwaukee-area diversity and inclusion leaders to get their thoughts on how companies can see results from their own D&I efforts.
On this episode of the BizTimes MKE Podcast, she reflects on some of the key lessons learned from her conversations, draws from her own experience helping companies with D&I and offers some guidance for small and medium companies starting their own D&I journey.
Ridley said she has found that many companies are hesitant to dive into their diversity and inclusion efforts.
“They’re afraid to step into something that they feel like they don’t have any expertise or are afraid of saying the wrong thing and embarrassing themselves, or putting their foot in their mouth,” she said.
By talking with area leaders on the topic, Ridley said she wanted to help people understand what it takes to develop diverse and inclusive company cultures.
“And kind of demystify and simplify what diversity and inclusion is all about and make it less scary so people don’t spend a lot of time worrying about it but actually just sort of lean in and start doing it,” she said.
Ridley said her two broad takeaways from the podcasts included the importance of leadership commitment and leading by example along with how broadly each company defined diversity and inclusion.
The diversity series podcasts included:
- Erickajoy Daniels of Advocate Aurora Health on driving leadership commitment
- Grady Crosby of Johnson Controls on aligning D&I to business strategy and measuring results
- Chris Rowland of ManpowerGroup on embedding D&I into business operations
- Devona Wright Cottrell of Baird on engaging employees through D&I