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GDIB Seattle Talks D&I at Google

by: Barbara Deane, GDIB Expert Panelist

September 27 was a “hot” night in Seattle—both in temperature and attendance as close to 200 people flowed into Google, the Platinum and Venue Host for the Seattle GDIB Launch event.

The Launch planning team dubbed the event a “huge success” on many levels: “The GDIB, the highlight of the event, was well received—people are hungry for tools and want more,” Effenus Henderson, noted. Terry Loving was excited to “see the energy around the networking.”  Effenus and Terry are both members of the planning team.

“People didn’t know each other and were surprised and pleased to meet others interested in D&I,” discovered Randall Lane, Expert Panelist. “No matter what level of career, stage or status of the organizations, and or depth of knowledge – the GDIB provided a overview that allowed everyone to audit their practices for the better,” offered Steven Matly. “I loved the question about Intersectionality,” said Barbara Deane, Expert Panelist, “the person wanted to know how the GDIB is handling this issue!” Steven and Barbara are both planning team members and Randall, a presenter at the event.

More than 100 organizations were represented at the event.

Additional Sponsors included Outreach (GOLD Sponsor), Zillow Group (Silver Sponsor), BECU (Bronze Sponsor), and SM Diversity, Institute for Sustainable Diversity & Inclusion, The Diversity Collegium, and the Forum on Workplace Inclusion.

Attendee Reactions

One participant described the GDIB Launch as a “Spa day for my soul!” Another shared that “practitioners need to be held” further noting how important it is for people doing this work to come together—to talk, commune, share their feelings and their struggles.

Another participant remarked, “True belonging is when you don’t have to ask if you belong. [This is] what I look for, what sparks me to continue down this path.”

The Planning Team believed the event’s success was also due to its collaborative approach and the diversity of participants and organizations involved; the combination of Funding Sponsors, Promotional Sponsors, GDIB Expert Panelists, Sector Panelists and Breakout Session Captains created an eclectic forum where participants could share stories, have meaningful discussions, even disagree.

Nineteen Promotional Sponsors, who agreed to promote the event to their lists, “sold out” the free event in 2.5 days. They included: Adaquest, Artimus Connection Strategists, Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion, DiverseCity, LLC,, Eastside Race Leadership Coalition, Executive Development Institute, Figure 8 Consulting, LLC, Global Peaceful Paths, Henderworks Consulting, Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County, HR West, Insperity, NW Diversity Learning Series, ReBoot Seattle – Career Accelerator for Women; The Bright Group, and Uniquely HR.

More than 250 people signed up on the wait list and the Planning Team has decided to host a webinar on November 3, 2017, for those who could not get into the Launch event.

The Launch Event Program

Eric Young, vice president and site lead for Google Seattle & Kirkland opened the event with a rousing welcome and a quick introduction to the Google approach to D&I, then Kirk Mead, director of Development and Communications for the Technology Access Foundation took over as Master of Ceremonies. Julie O’Mara, GDIB co-author joined for a virtual cameo appearance. And as a surprise to GDIB Expert Panelist, Barbara Deane, Julie announced that she was the second recipient of the GDIB Vanguard Award for those leading the way in new ideas, actions and movements [see related article].

During the first hour of the event, Expert Panelists (EPs), Barbara Deane and Randall Lane, both local to Seattle, introduced the GDIB via a “conversation” about it.

The Sector Response Panel rounded out the first hour capturing the audience’s interest with their stories and experiences related to two questions:

1. What is one of the primary Diversity and Inclusion challenges your organizations faces?

2. How have you dealt with this challenge systemically?

The Panelists were:

  • Traci Fuller, Global Talent Diversity & Inclusion Manager, The Boeing Company, (Corporate respondent)
  • Marty Kooistra, Executive Director, Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County (Non-profit respondent)
  • Michael Benitez, CDO and Dean for D&I, University of Puget Sound (Higher Education respondent)
  • Ken Wong, Supervisor of Equity and Student Success, Bellevue School District and recently been with the City of Redmond (Government respondent). Ken is also a GDIB user.

The second hour of the event featured 15 Breakout Sessions facilitated by experienced practitioners. The switch to Breakouts created lots of excitement as 25 Googlers (Google employees attending the event) lined up around the big meeting room (called The Center of the Universe) with their colorful high-held numbered signs to guide participant to their respective rooms.

Breakout Sessions & Captains (facilitators):

#1 –  Inclusive Leadership in Disruptive Times, Effenus Henderson, Co-Director, Institute for Sustainable Diversity & Inclusion

#2 –  How to Craft a D&I Strategy, Venus Rekow, CEO, Neural Shifts

#4 –  D&I in Workplace Planning and Performance,  Tammy Pitre, Senior Statewide Workforce Planning Strategist, WA State Office of Financial Management/Statewide Human Resources

#5 –  Grassroots Diversity. The Art of Thinking Independently Together, Amanda Townsend, HR Program Manager, & Kim Weed, Talent Management Leader, Outreach (GOLD Sponsor)

#6 –  Leaders Have a Role in Women Leaders’ Success, Mikaela Kiner, Founder CEO, Uniqely HR

#7 –  Changing Outcomes for Recruitment & Retention, Detective Carrie McNally, Recruiter, Seattle Police Dept.

#8 –  Recruiting for Diversity, Kyle Schnell, Recruiting Manager, & Jennifer Daniel, Sourcer, BECU (BRONZE Sponsor)

#9 –  (Re)Imagining Race Based Conversations, Joy Wiggins, Director, Global Peaceful Paths, & Toi Sing Woo, Founder, New Directions Consulting, LLP

#10 –  The Pick and Roll to Change: Using Basketball as a Metaphor to Progress Diversity in the Workplace,

Cindi Bright, President, The Bright Group

#11 –  The D&I-Sustainability Bridge: How Can Effective D&I Advance Performance on Material Issues? Sun McElderry, Chief Engagement Officer, Framework LLC

#12 –   Ensuring D&I Success: Essential Elements Not To Overlook, Michelle Perez, Principal, and Anna Nordstrom, Strategist, Artemis Connection

#13 –  How National Coverage of the Hate Movement Affects Bigotry at Work, at Home, and in Communities, Lonnie Lusardo, Principal Consultant, The Diversity Collaborative

#14 –  The Bamboo Ceiling and Asian-Americans in the Workplace,  Michael Villanueva, Global Diversity & Inclusion Specialist, The Boeing Company

#15 –  Shifting D&I Training from Inactive to Best Practice, Karen Wilkins-Mickey, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Alaska Airlines

Final Hour Debrief

The final hour of the event opened a debrief in which attendees were invited to speak to one of three options:

1. Share your most important learning of the evening …

2. Share one significant thing you are taking back to your company or organization to implement, or …

3. Ask a question

Kirk Mead, the MC, invited participants to take the floor by catching a “ball toss”, then participants invited others to speak in the same way.

One participant shared, “Hate is driven by fear, those who are fearful are often disaffected, who don’t feel they are included. We have to make them a part of the D&I conversation.” Another asked a difficult question, “How can I engage in a civil conversation with someone who is okay with my demise?” Another asked, “How do we keep up the energy and commitment for this work?” One participant asked for “Version Two: Bring colleagues back to operationalize the GDIB—i.e., do another event!” Another asked for more “networking time” the next time! Finally, one person asked, “How do we change behaviors, to get soulful buy-in?”

The Launch Planning Team is deliberating about what they might do next to support what participants are asking for—more learning opportunities, more connections and networking, more D&I development.  We’ll see what comes next!

Image of Google Offices' main reception area and venue for GDIB Seattle Launch. News of the event spread quickly.

GDIB Seattle – It’s Hot!

In May 2017, Seattle was listed as the fastest growing big city in the United States and on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, it will act as the host city of the next GDIB Launch Event. Some of the country’s top Fortune 500 companies are located in and around Seattle and the GDIB has aligned with some of the biggest. Google, has signed up as the Platinum and Venue Sponsor. That means tapping into the hot Seattle economy and the hot diversity & inclusion issues. Also topping the list of incredible sponsors is Outreach, a sales engagement software company, and Boeing Employees Credit Union.

The Seattle Launch Event will introduce the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks which helps organizations determine strategy and measure progress in managing diversity and fostering inclusion. Using breakout sessions that embrace a variety of GDIB topics, attendees will sample the standards and how they can be applied. This is not a workshop. It is an introduction celebrating the GDIB and its possibilities. Captains facilitating were chosen for their experience and expertise with Diversity & Inclusion in organizations and the applications to the GDIB. There will be food, drink, networking and raffle prizes. Seating is available for 200 guests and as with past GDIB Launches, this event is free but registration is required so, you’ll want to register early!

The evening’s line-up is as follows:

5:30 – 6:00 pm: Networking, eating, making merry (food is an important part of Google’s culture, we understand)

6:00 – 7:00 pm: High-speed kick-off followed by exciting guests, a GDIB overview, and a panel of GDIB users and representatives from various sectors

7:00 – 8:00 pm: 12 to 15 Breakout Sessions with Captains to share their stories of D&I work in their organizations, how it connects with the GDIB, and lots of dialogue

8:00 – 9:00 pm: So what? Attendees will have the opportunity to share what they’ve learned and what they’ll take back to their organizations, ask questions, and explore what’s next!

The Seattle Launch Team includes Effenus Henderson and Barbara Deane (EP), co-directors of the Institute for Sustainable Diversity and Inclusion, a 501c3 non-profit organization with a solid reputation for presenting the long-running NW Diversity Learning Series; Steven Matly of SM Diversity, taking the lead in D&I staffing and recruitment and D&I events and workshops, including the well-regarded and well-attended D&I Hackathons in Seattle; Donna Stringer (EP), Cross-Cultural Consultant, regarded as one of the top authors in the genre of intercultural training materials and one of the most respected D&I consultants in Seattle and in the nation, with Terry Loving of Linked:Seattle, for executives and business owners, the largest Seattle group on LinkedIn.


Join Us for the GDIB Seattle Launch - It's Hot!

The Centre for Global Inclusion Swooshes

Welcome to The Centre

We Have Formed a New Nonprofit Entity:

The Centre for Global Inclusion, incorporated July 5, 2017


The Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World (GDIB) and all related tools and materials will become part of that new entity along with many other services that will help meet our new mission: to serve as a resource for research and education for individuals and organizations in their quest to improve diversity and inclusion practices around the world. The Centre logo appears to the left.

Founding Board members are: Julie O’Mara as Board Chair and President, Alan Richter as Treasurer, and Nene Molefi as Secretary.

We are in the process of filing the paperwork to obtain US IRS 501c3 nonprofit tax exempt status and have started operations as such. We have organized as a public charity focused on education and research on diversity and inclusion around the world.

We are therefore changing our relationship with The Diversity Collegium, which holds 501c6 IRS status. That status does not enable individuals and organizations to receive tax exempt credit for donations. The Collegium is still very much an important supporter of the GDIB. Since 2013, The Collegium has committed time, energy, and resources to enable the GDIB to continue its successful growth. We are so appreciative of The Collegium’s commitment to the GDIB and being our “home” from 2013 until now. It is now time for us to take this next step to maximize, not only the potential of the GDIB, but to grow to achieve The Centre’s mission as stated above.

Our Commitment to the Future

The past couple of years have seen a tremendous increase in activity and interest in the GDIB. While this is all good, providing something for free comes at a significant cost both financially and in time and resources. The 501c3 status provides the structure to raise funds from multiple sources. Keeping the GDIB free is a promise we have kept since it was first published by us in 2006. We intend to keep that promise.

You will be hearing more from us in the near future as we will be announcing our officers and new governing and advisory boards shortly.

Here are some of the goals and strategies we are planning to accomplish in the future through The Centre for Global Inclusion:

• Continuing research on the evolution and effectiveness of D&I practices of organizations in various sectors, industries and regions around the world.
• Translations of the GDIB into other languages beginning with Spanish and French.
• Customized GDIB editions for sectors, industries, approaches, and regions.
• Case studies and video-based educational tools.
• Self-paced online learning tools and blogs.
• Live and archived webinars.
• Infographics.
• Gatherings of practitioners to improve D&I.
• Extensive use of social media.
• Educational tools and resources.
• Journal articles and conference presentations.
• Resources that create an extensive global footprint.

In addition, your ideas for the ongoing development of the GDIB and for projects and tools that will help you in your work and help meet The Centre’s mission are welcomed.

If you have questions, comments or project ideas, please send them to us. And please note that soon you will receive information with opportunities for sponsorships and donations to The Centre for Global Inclusion. Thank you for your support over the years and we are grateful for this opportunity to continue our journey and achieve our mission to the highest possible level.