Avoiding the Back Burner: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Prioritization Amidst Protests and Pandemics
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging have everyone's attention. Now what?
We have all seen the increase of DEI conversations over the last several months. Whether it is corporations submitting press releases on how they will promote diversity, or leaders opening DEI roles—suddenly the once trendy function has become a must have. After the murder of George Floyd, and the global protests for Black Lives Matter that soon ensued, many HR leaders were challenged with ""fixing"" DEI at their company. But, where do you start? What do you prioritize? And how do you ensure that your efforts don't lose prioritization when the next problem arises?
In addition, a global pandemic pushed many organizations to go remote, so we now must consider the future of work for our company and our employees. This has made any internal initiatives more challenging for in-office cultures and workplaces. How can you increase inclusion efforts remotely? How do you foster belonging and visibility through Zoom or Slack? How do you increase diversity if your hiring has slowed or temporally frozen?
Garrison Gibbons, head of people at Knotch, will weave his own DEI journey as an HR professional and an openly queer executive with the answer to these questions. You will walk away with tangible steps that you can do to promote DEI right now—including a few ways to address diversity and inclusion at minimal to no cost. You will hear ways to promote DEI as a necessity to executives and teams internally where prioritization might differ. You will learn how to avoid the back burner, and become a DEI advocate everyday—not just during protests and pandemics.
About Garrison Gibbons
Garrison (he/they) currently works as the VP of People at Amun & 21Shares, a cryptocurrency startup. Prior, Garrison lead People & Culture at Knotch, where they tripled the size of the organization and led both HR and Communications through COVID-19 and the transition to remote-first work. Before Knotch, Garrison worked in HR in media, at Mic and Bustle Digital Group, and in fitness, first at Barry's, before being brought on as hire #5 at Rumble. Being brand and mission driven, Garrison has worked exclusively for companies who make a societal impact and uses this mentality to impact morale and culture internally and further brand perception and awareness externally. Garrison is an expert in innovating and scaling practices, particularly in the startup and hyper-growth stage. Garrison's personal values are leading with empathy, practicing proactive transparency, and fostering an inclusive environment. Garrison is openly queer and works heavily in the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging space.