DEIB & L&D in the Workplace

DEIB & L&D in the Workplace

Keith Choy, Co-Founder and COO at Epoch, facilitated an insightful panel discussion with Shai Poulard, Head of Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at NerdWallet, and Bethany Goad, People Experience Product Owner at Genentech. Shai and Bethany are leaders in workplace diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) alongside learning and development (L&D).

Integrating DEIB and L&D initiatives

Bethany emphasized the importance of integrating DEIB into learning and development initiatives. Genentech's "Learn, Develop, Grow" network is a committee dedicated to sharing and discussing current projects to ensure they remain impactful and cost-effective. This network facilitates continuous improvement and relevance in their initiatives.

Bethany also highlighted Genentech’s "Career Lab," a career center for all U.S.-based employees, providing comprehensive career development support and resources. This ensures that employees can continue learning and growing. Additionally, mandated manager training ensures that leaders are equipped to support their teams effectively.

Shai discussed NerdWallet’s partnership with Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), a program empowering individuals from underrepresented groups with tools and resources to pursue an MBA. MLT provides certifications once a company successfully focuses on representation, compensation, workplace culture, business practices, and investments and contributions, aiming to create a truly inclusive workplace.

Data-driven approaches to addressing disparities

Shai shared how NerdWallet uses data during performance reviews to review performance ratings across different demographics. By identifying pockets of disparity and inequity, they ensure talent retention and growth, promoting an equitable work environment.

Bethany explained Genentech’s inclusive hiring practices, including training interview panels on recognizing and mitigating biases. By involving interviewers from diverse teams, they enhance the candidate experience, making applicants feel seen and valued.

Creating a culture of psychological safety and belonging

NerdWallet’s mission is to empower everyone to make sound financial decisions. Shai emphasized creating a culture where employees feel psychologically safe, have a sense of belonging, and are empowered to perform at their best.

Bethany highlighted the collaboration between L&D and DEIB at Genentech, ensuring all learning content is inclusive. The Chief Diversity Officer reviews content to ensure it speaks to everyone, making employees feel seen and encouraging participation in development programs.

Shai’s guiding principle is that "if you build with the person with the most need in mind, everyone up the chain wins." This approach ensures that initiatives benefit everyone, fostering a more inclusive environment.

Key takeaways

  1. Genentech's "Learn, Develop, Grow" network and "Career Lab" support continuous, cost-effective employee growth.
  2. Using data to review performance and hiring practices promotes equity. NerdWallet’s reviews and Genentech’s hiring practices mitigate biases.
  3. A culture of psychological safety and inclusion is crucial. NerdWallet and Genentech prioritize this to enhance employee performance.

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