Forums and conferences are a way to connect, set new standards, challenge the norm, and understand what your employees need to bring their whole selves to work. This is also an opportunity to build or add on to your D&I Strategy.
I started my very first forum when I was a junior in college, I had a big vision of gathering women globally with the common purpose of restoring our dreams, building a network of support and learning life-long skills in leadership that could help us take our passions to realty.
At 20 years old I learned that conferences where an avenue to understanding needs, wants and desires. Conferences where a way to get things done and gather the brightest leaders to find ways, we can support each other.
Conference after conference I found myself learning more and more about what makes conferences unique and great. Three years ago, I worked with my very first fortune 500 company and learned that I could still be an activist, creative and passionate about my work through building conferences for clients. I learned that I had to give them what they didn’t know they wanted, and for me conferences and programs where a way to not only bring vulnerability, empathy and love into the workplace but also a way of humanizing and remembering our why.
Here is why you need to start (or let us host) a Diversity and Inclusion forum for your company:
1. Connection and Retention: the pandemic has forced businesses to work 100% remote and now in this new reality maintaining close ties between employees may be the answer to keeping them active and engaged. Virtual conferences are one of the most effective employee engagement strategies that can help keep communication open and transparent between teams. Studies show that highly engaged employees are nearly three times more likely to stay with a company and just this statistic alone is enough to know having an internal forum for your employees is worth it. Studies also show that when employees don’t have opportunities to connect with their peers, they are more likely to leave the job. Are you willing to let your top talent go?
2. Open and transparent conversations: companies that foster a culture of inclusion know how important it is to support their employees by providing a space virtually for open and honest discussions. Conferences are a way to challenge stereotypes, biases, privilege and to understand the unspoken struggles, what may be holding your employees back and what is missing in your diversity and inclusion strategy. Companies that support their employees and promote a culture of transparency report having a higher employee retention than companies that keep their employees in the dark. Having a transparent culture will also help your employees share their struggles and anxieties, helping them feel safe and seen. When people are not able to share how they feel because the company failed at creating a safe psychologically environment– it will ultimately impact their work and engagement, costing your company more money. Employees are said to be 3.2 times more likely to be engaged when companies are open and invite them to discuss about anxiety and stress at work.
3. Build a ‘speak up’ workplace culture: the pandemic, economic downturn, months in isolation, racial unrest and political anxiety can add a lot of pressure on leaders that have the responsibility to support their employee’s wellbeing. There is no room for bias, microaggressions, unspoken truths and leaders that micromanage their teams. Now more than ever companies need to be flexible and adapt to their employees needs while also create an open, transparent culture. A conference is a great space where all employees or more specifically their leadership can rally together, recognize what type of support they need, recognize bias, unlearn old ways of leading and get the right training on ways they can re-writing the conventional narrative.
There is no room left for leaders to be unspoken, there is no room for leaders to think diversity and inclusion is a nice to have, now is your time and responsibility to take a stand, to do something about it, to read between the lines. Having an inclusive forum is your opportunity to honor and inspire your employees, to celebrate your culture, talk about what is working and what is not, and to introduce concepts and trainings to your leadership that will improve work (lives).
This year I am on a mission to make companies equitable, inclusive, transparent and a invite them to have a speak up culture. This year is not only about building internal conferences for companies, it’s about improving lives.
For any inquiries about how we can build the most unique, transparent and informative conference, and completely customized for your needs contact our team.
We build everything from scratch, our team comprises of activists, computer scientists, graphic designers, project managers and leaders. With us the process is simple, easy and you will enjoy every step of the way, while we take care of the rest. If you are reading this, it’s a sign that this year your company will have a diversity and inclusion conference unique to their needs.