By Jack Creonte, Account Coordinator
Earlier this month, the IMG NYC team attended the New York City and State Diversity Summit in Manhattan. We were eager to learn more about recent Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives from community experts. At IMG, we believe that diversity is essential to our growth and long-term success. The event featured a wide array of speakers that discussed innovative programs throughout New York City and New York State to develop, promote, and create opportunities for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs).
The Summit kicked off with an interview with the Director of NYC Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, Lisa Flores, discussing recent measures the Adams Administration has taken to expand access and resources for MWBEs. We were also fortunate to hear from the keynote speaker, NY Executive Chamber Chief Diversity Officer, Julissa Gutierrez, who shared her personal and professional journey as well as the work being done within Governor Hochul’s administration. Throughout the day, leaders came from all sectors to offer advice and meaningful discussion about strengthening social and professional opportunities for historically oppressed groups. We left the Summit with a deeper understanding of DE&I and how it impacts communities on a professional, social, and economic level.
Here are the major takeaways that will help guide our collaborative work with clients to incorporate and advance DE&I practices into their organizational culture.
Understand Core Values
This Summit provided the opportunity to learn and further understand successful DE&I practices and how to instill them into an organization’s foundation. Chief Equity Officer for the NYC Comptroller’s Office, Sadye Campoamor explained DE&I in a way that made it simple to understand. “Diversity is who is at the table during a discussion, Equity asks if the person has the resources to participate in the conversation, and Inclusion is if they are listened to.” DE&I goes beyond representation; it is ensuring all communities are properly supported to further advance shared goals and missions.
Collaborate to Create Opportunities
Establishing opportunities, programs, and initiatives for all communities is crucial in forming a more equitable society. Leaders must acknowledge the past and present systemic barriers that have prevented people from an equal playing field for centuries. To close the equity gap, the creation and support of societal and professional opportunities is crucial
Opportunity comes from the top. Whether that is from elected leaders or business executives, the people in power determine the tone and where resources are allocated toward curating equitable opportunities for everybody.
In addition to our leaders taking necessary steps in creating opportunities to close the equity gap, it is also imperative for everybody to do their part in creating a welcoming environment.
Recognize DE&I is Here to Stay
Understanding DE&I is an integral facet of an organization’s success and growth. DE&I initiatives have proven to create a sustainable workforce and successful future. However, they must be designed to truly shift culture over time, rather than being established as standalone initiatives. Embracing a holistic, long-term approach to DE&I is essential to closing the equity gap, generating innovation, and advancing overall well-being for everybody. There is no finish line when it comes to DE&I initiatives; people are constantly evolving and so are DE&I goals.
DE&I is much more than just a one-time project. It’s a priority that should be woven into an organization’s core values and operations to ensure all are heard and represented. IMG thanks New York City & State for allowing us to participate as we collaborate with clients to create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizations.