Annual Summit 2021 – Day 3 Takeaways

Wednesday 27th October 2021

Day 3 of the Summit focused on building the JEDI workforce of tomorrow. Here are the key takeaways:

1. We’re at a point in D&I work when it’s not just about talking the talk but walking the walk — and keeping intersectionality at the center of that action.

Stellar D&I leads from Mastercard, HSBC and NuBank discussed the importance of integrating justice and equity into diversity and inclusion in the JEDI Workforce of Tomorrow panel. At this point, we know the methodology, policies and practices for gender inclusive work environments (all included in the Alliance’s How-To Guide for Becoming Employer of Choice for Women), it’s now about taking action. The panel expressed the need to double down on implementation and focus on justice and equity for the most marginalized groups. Mastercard’s Chief Inclusion Officer, Randall Tucker, told us, “Right now, I’m not focused on new initiatives. I want to see tangible results. So, five years from now, I want to see movement in gender and racial balance at the senior level and move the needle to ensure we strengthen our organization.” For Tassya De Paula, Nubank’s Diversity and Inclusion Specialist Lead, the focus is on increasing representation of Black women in particular. “When you look at the social parameters in Brazil, Black women are at the bottom of the pyramid. So, we understand how critical it is to focus on these issues for the Black community.” This concept came up during the Gender-Intelligent Investor Forum as well, in relation to the rise of stakeholder capitalism. We are living in time when companies are being held accountable for racial justice, and that means adjusting hiring, promotion pathways and culture to work for the most marginalized groups in each market.

Check out the Future of Work panel for more on how the future of work will impact how companies approach inclusion, diversity, equity and justice.

2. The key for women to be able to build successful careers is balance — and that means workplaces and relationships must enable flexibility. In the Rebalancing Home Life panel, Eve Rodsky, best-selling author of “Fair Play,” shared her personal story about how she came to focus on redistributing domestic responsibilities: While overwhelmed by career work, her husband texted her about picking up blueberries from the supermarket, and she found herself in tears of anger and frustration about double expectations for her at home and at work. She became an advocate for a culture of flexibility in the workplace and at home — but one that goes beyond simply hybrid work. “Flexibility does not equal working from home. Flexibility can come in many forms,” she said. Her other practical suggestion was “give yourself permission to say no” at work and in your relationships — in essence, giving yourself flexibility to take things off your own plate.

3. From the Conversation with Women Leaders, we heard three main lessons learned for all early-and-mid career women as they look ahead:

1. Proactively manage your career. Identify where you want to be three years out and have a clear plan to get there.
2. Put your hand up for stretch assignments, new roles and promotions.
3. Get sponsors behind you and mentors to help you along your path.

The bottom line: There is no silver bullet to building the JEDI workforce of tomorrow or to balancing a perfect career; it takes work. And, “we’ve got to care,” said Ann Cairns. That means asking why there isn’t more diversity, creating new role models like the women changemakers we heard from during the Summit, and pushing the underlying systems towards justice and equity for real individuals, not just categories of people.

For more on D&I, watch the Day 3 Panels, Firesides, and more here.