Several years ago, I felt that I needed to impact organizations in a different way. I began searching for a way to dedicate my career, my gifts and my experience to a meaningful difference in the way people work. For nearly 20 years, I have worked as an HR and employment law attorney for corporations. In that role, I’ve been a key advisor on diversity and inclusion efforts, employee engagement initiatives, culture transformations and leadership development activities. But I never saw much progress until I helped to found and lead a faith-based employee resource group in our large, public company. We taught about faith and work integration, and we espoused principles of Love, Integrity, Excellence, Inclusion, Connection, Leadership, Collaboration, and Service. The response from employees was incredible. When they felt they were able to bring their whole selves to work, including their faith, employees felt more engaged, more loyal, more diligent in their work.
Because of my employment law background, I was able to navigate concerns that certain employee groups would feel excluded or offended by our actions. We put in place a framework to ensure that every employee in the company knew that we valued diversity and inclusion, even diversity of faiths. We encouraged the formation of employee resource groups based on other faith traditions and offered to mentor them in the creation and establishment phases.
I saw first hand how a diversity and inclusion effort focused on values can bring transformational change to an organization. I truly believe that nearly every organization could be prosperous if they base their operations on similar values and principles governing their culture and engagement of people. I set out to be a trusted counselor, thought-partner, and strategic advisor, helping organizations to navigate this important area of organizational culture. Then I began to look for like-minded women to join me in this work. The team today reflects these same values and desire to make a positive difference in organizations.