Advancing Organizational Culture for Improved DEI

Experts from education and industry came together to discuss improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the mobility industry at the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Leadership (IDEAL) Summit during SAE 2021 AeroTech.  During the engaging discussion, eight panelists shared their perspectives and advice. Here are three key takeaways:

1. Organic Growth

Liz Crisler, a materials and process engineer at Textron Aviation, explains what organic growth is and how to implement it. By creating a more inclusive organizational culture, you unlock the power of diversity to drive business development, and results. A direct, concrete plan is not a requirement. A better approach is to listen and see where your audience wants to go. This opens a more natural flow of communication.

2. Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

Mia DeLaRosa, a STEM leader at the Alhambra Unified School District emphasized the importance of being comfortable with the uncomfortable. The topic of racial and gender inequalities is a very complex issue. In the workforce we must address the structure of the system and not the individual. Having these difficult conversations allows all voices to be heard and lets everyone truly express their ideas. This can directly impact business innovation and how a business responds to these matters. A reminder that this is not a goal, nor a destination, but a journey that we are all on together.

3. Telling Your Story

Amy Grace, the Director of digital strategy at Pratt Whitney shares how telling your story can have a profound impact on people who hear it. When you open up and share your journey, you are able to discover how many people can relate to you based on your story. This causes a domino effect. When people hear stories they relate to, it encourages them to open up and share their own story which helps to fuel positive change.

Advancing Organizational Culture for Improved DEI

One overarching theme also emerged–there may be missteps, but if we learn from them, regroup and continue together we will see progress and change toward more positive and productive organizational cultures. Remember this is a journey we are all on together every step of the way.


Discover additional insights from our panelists and identify actions you can apply immediately to advance your organizational culture. View the full session summary DEI Panel Summary 9Mar2021 (pdf)

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