Tell us about the DEI group at DRW. What are some of the goals you have for the committee?
With a background in gender and sexuality studies as well as a passion for social justice, I knew that I would be able to assist in DRW’s DEI group by bringing my drive, education and experiences to the table. I currently serve as the “community captain” of the LGBTQ2+ community here at the firm and have been assisting in spearheading Pride month planning.
My hope for the DEI group is that we will only continue to grow. I want to keep providing new and helpful resources to our team members, and engage the communities we work in, all while strengthening that energy and drive for inclusion throughout the company from top to bottom. Additionally, as team members start coming back into the office I am looking forward to more DEI and community events in person!
What progression have you seen at DRW since the DEI group was put in place? Explain.
One recent progression that comes to mind is the introduction of pronoun selection for all individuals on our internal platforms. This step not only is progress in and of itself, but lays the groundwork for further inclusion initiatives down the road.
What are some Pride month activities going on at DRW this month?
For the month of June, we have some great events planned. To name a few, we have a Pride-themed trivia night and "Drag Queen Bingo," which I’m definitely the most stoked about! We sourced from Screaming Queens and were able to book a queen of color named Qui Qui. I think it will be incredibly fun!
What made you want to get involved with DRW's DEI committee?
The kind of work that sparks positive change and promotes unity has always been paramount in my personal life, so being able to combine my own passions with the work being done at DRW has obviously been really exciting for me. With my educational background and personal identity, it wasn’t an option to not get involved.
Committees like this exist can help make any queer or marginalized person feel safer coming into work, and having the chance to bring my own experiences to a large company is a great opportunity to help further that progression. I am looking forward to all the progress we will make!
I believe in taking strides, no matter how big or small, toward a more diverse, equal, and inclusive world. If we can start in the workplace, then that will translate to so many more people and places.
For anyone that is trying to make their workplace a more inclusive environment, what advice would you give to them?
This journey starts internally, so be prepared to reflect and work on yourself in order to see the change and the progress you are hoping for. However, if you have that desire to make your workplace or your personal life a more inclusive space, then you most likely have already started making some progress!
Another part of inclusivity work is being okay with discomfort and tough conversations. Don’t be discouraged by those – it’s those hard conversations that can spark change; interpersonal relationships are so powerful in promoting thought exchange. Stepping away from what is easy and comfortable might be the hardest part of making the necessary changes you are wanting to see, but it’s also one of the most important.
Why is it important to have DEI groups in the workplace?
DEI in the workplace is foundational to a sense of safety in the workplace, overall positive career experiences, and employee morale. Quite frankly, with the myriad of resources about diversity, equity, and inclusion available to anyone with an internet connection or library card, an absence of DEI initiatives in the workplace illustrates a company that is lacking in loyalty to its staff; this is why I believe it’s so valued and appreciated when DEI groups are implemented in the workplace.
The DEI committee is just another way that DRW continues to show how respected and values its employees are. I am looking forward to all the change and progress we will continue to make!