How diversity officers are tackling the current cultural moment

Leaders from Google, Porter Novelli and Edelman shared insights and strategies during ColorCommCON.  Here’s the counsel they’re offering right now.

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The diversity officer role is more necessary and relevant than ever.

However, despite the ubiquity of systemic racism and inequality, every organization faces its own unique challenges and path forward. “Every organization is at a different stage,” says Trisch Smith, global chief diversity and inclusion officer at Edelman. Her advice: “Pause, refocus and reset to identify those gaps in your organization” that are holding back true equity and inclusion.

“Take a real hard look at those goals that have been set,” she says. “Are they enough? If not, it is time to blow it up. Now is the time reevaluate everything.”

Smith spoke on a panel for ColorCommCON, produced by ColorComm on June 30, alongside Soon Mee Kim, EVP and global diversity and inclusion leader for Porter Novelli and Melonie Parker, chief diversity officer and director of employee engagement for Google. The discussion focused on the role of the diversity officer in a moment of potential change and transformation—and how employees can push for change and racial justice within their own organizations.

Addressing the moment

The panelists noted that diversity and inclusion advocates should be prepared to seize this moment—but also acknowledged that this moment might look very different to different audiences.

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