Diversity Vs. Inclusion

As a community-focused IT company, Pegasus supports many local nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations, but we also help selected efforts that are important for our clients and the information technology field in general.

On March 27, I moderated a panel on diversity and inclusion held at Wawa’s corporate headquarters. It was organized by the Chester County Economic Development Council, Navigate, and Wawa. The panelists included thought leaders in technology, human resources, entertainment, healthcare, and retail. We wanted to have a candid conversation, where people were free to share experiences, express opinions, and discuss how to measure results. Most importantly, the panel shared success stories, and how people could affect change in their own organizations. The event sold-out shortly after it was announced, capping attendance at almost 250 people.

Key take-aways:

 Successful diversity and inclusion demographics are is measured in part by retention, not just raw people count

 Without the inclusion of diverse ideas, a business will experience difficulty innovating, especially in today’s economy. Forget about growth- a company that isn’t innovating is failing.

 Diversity is being invited to the party, and inclusion is being asked to dance

 What color is a stop sign? (Stop and think about your answer.) What color is a yield sign? (Stop
and think about your answer.) Yield signs were black and yellow, until 1971 when they were changed to red and white. How many other inaccurate prejudices do we hold without even realizing we are holding them? Prejudices could be based on misconception, specific experiences, or the specific experiences of others who trained us.

Panelists for the night were Pooja Bansal of Barclays, Brigette Daniel of Wilco Electronic Systems, Tina Moore Gilbert of Accolade, Victor Hurdle of UpcomingEvents, Elizabeth Moore of Wawa, and Sulaiman Rahman of DiverseForce. The challenge of being a moderator for such a rockstar panel was to ask the right questions that allowed the experts to share their wisdom with the crowd and engage with each other and the audience. The event won rave reviews, and I was honored to be a part of it.