Oct 1, 2018 2 min read

Partnerships for Scale and Reach

Photo of Tiffane Davis, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Michelin North America

Employers as Community Change Agents

Employers have played and continue to play essential roles in helping many in our communities on their individual journeys and with their practice of self work. If we look across our community, our major employers may have already provided DEI learning opportunities and experiences (good and bad) for thousands of employees and managers, perhaps over decades. They have provided space to learn but also to practice and be in community with individuals with whom their employees might otherwise not have the opportunity to engage. In addition, employers can use different accountability structures and levers than communities. As they work to build a more inclusive and equitable company culture, employers also act as community change agents.

Employers as Partners

While communities are not the same as companies, understanding and reflecting on the DEI journey many companies have traveled is helpful. It hints at what is required to sustain this work across time and a large and diverse population. The best part is that it can also serve as a rich source of mutual support. In the end, our local employers are comprised of our neighbors. And, after all, a more inclusive community will also help them with their goal of creating a more inclusive company.

  • If you’re a community change agent, are you working with the businesses in your community who might already be very far down the road of DEI, and be motivated to work within the community and to partner with you? Are you also partnering with some of the business conveners like the Chamber of Commerce?
  • If you’re focused on DEI at work, is your organization also showing up in the community? Are they thinking about how to support DEI outside the four walls of the organization? Are you encouraging them to do that?
  • Are you ready to articulate why building a more inclusive and equitable community isn't just the right thing to do, but also makes good business sense?

Tiffane Davis

In a 2023 podcast episode, Tiffane Davis brought a perspective from inside Michelin, N.A. where DEI has been a way of life for decades. Where their approach to DEI is an outgrowth of the company values, and where they are also intentional about reaching out into the community.

If the community is successful, then it creates a thriving environment for employees to live in every day. – Tiffane Davis, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Michelin North America

Nika White

Early in 2022, we also had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Nika White about how and why companies across the country are thinking outside the four walls of the corporation when it comes to DEI. She also brings practical experience from leading DEI at a local Chamber of Commerce and the role they can also play in a community.

What happens outside of the four walls of organizations certainly impacts the way in which its employees show up to the organization, how they perform, how they interact. – Dr. Nika White, Nika White Consulting

Ame Sanders
Founder of State of Inclusion. A seasoned leader & change-maker, she is focused on positive change within communities.
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