What is diversity? Why is it important?

Why would I hire a diversity expert?

Thousands of people have the same questions you do: What is diversity?  Why is it so difficult to have certain conversations, especially at work?  Why can’t people just get along, or hear feedback?  The following are answers to these questions — check out the Resources page for more answers, as well as my blog.what is diversity

Diversity refers to human differences, particularly group-identity based or demographic differences. For more details, download my free “Basic D&I Definitions” after entering your name and email address.
Inclusiveness is making sure as many different people, voices, perspectives, beliefs and values are: taken seriously, heard fully, actively involved in decision making, and exercising equal power. For more details, download my free “Basic D&I Definitions” after entering your name and email address.
I know what you mean! I was a middle manager in public healthcare, which has neither time nor money! Cutting-edge, high performing organizations have been investing in “D&I” for years (even during the recession!) because they’ve seen the evidence – now from hard sciences – that diverse groups get better results than individuals, non-diverse groups and even a group of the best! “D&I” is about people, relationships, and communication, which are the principal drivers of value, profit and organizational success. Cleaning up or solving “people problems” after the fact is much more expensive and time consuming than being proactive and nipping potential problems in the bud, and puts you ahead of the competition. As famous UCLA basketball coach said, “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

Read more about some of the brain science, evolutionary biology and economics behind the superior of diverse teams in my short “Why D&I?” piece , and check out the research and stories of other organizations’ success by downloading my free report “Diversity ROI (return on investment) Resources” after entering your name and email address.

You’re in luck! You can find answers to your questions about race, gender, language, nationality, and more in my free, easy-to-read “Basic D&I Definitions” list, which includes 72 terms and links to additional resources. Just enter your name and email address and it’s yours!
I believe there are three reasons for this. One, human beings didn’t evolve to connect or communicate easily with strangers outside of our group. Our brains don’t do this well, especially when we’re under stress, and requires skills that are absolutely learnable, but not intuitive or easy for most people (at first). Two, the word “diversity” is often misused to refer only to “race”, which is a painful topic we haven’t handled well in the United States, and makes us uncomfortable to talk about. Three, many people have had negative experiences with diversity training and consulting in the past, which either offended or traumatized people, or provided little to no meaningful results. I help my clients get to results they care about in a non-threatening, even engaging manner that builds the awareness, knowledge and skills our brains need to adapt to the new world we all inhabit.
Every client, whether they’re an individual coaching client or an entire organization on a diversity journey, goes through my Four-Step “ARDE” Approach: Assessment, Recommendations, Delivery and Evaluation. Learn details about my Four-Step Approach.
I work with middle-and senior-level leaders, their teams, and small-to mid-sized organizations in the corporate, non-profit, healthcare, education and government sectors. My ideal clients want to truly solve a pressing problem, or go from good to great. They know something isn’t working and they’re ready for change. They may not yet know what they want, but they know they need help with the “how” and sometimes defining the “what”. I’m committed to working with clients that are a good fit for me and my approach – clients who are committed to results, who do work I respect, and who I enjoy working with.

I’m based in Los Angeles, California but work across the United States and also outside of the U.S. I speak and write fluent Spanish and have held professional positions in Mexico.

I grew up in a multicolored family in a mostly White neighborhood in the Los Angeles area. My brother and I were bussed to attend public school in another neighborhood that was mostly African American and experiencing high levels of poverty and crime. Our classmates were mostly African Americans, refugees from Cambodia and Vietnam, Latinos (mostly from Mexico) and Armenians. We also attended a church where most of the congregation was not only White, but blond, blue-eyed and affluent. The kids there didn’t treat me and my dark, thrift store-clothed siblings very well. These early experiences around being different and noticing racial, class and language differences in how people behaved combined with my natural sensitivity, my talent with words, and my profound desire to understand slavery, bigotry and homophobia – because I didn’t. This lead to my lifelong personal, academic and professional curiosity about how to navigate difference, and how to increase personal and collective joy and fulfillment by getting out of each other’s way and our own way to create a world that works better for everyone. Read my vision, mission and core values for how my beliefs and values come across in my work.
What makes me special is my unique combination of skills and qualities, plus my commitment to “new school” diversity and inclusiveness (#NewSchoolDandI). I’m many professionals in one! I’m a Big Picture thinker and detail-oriented, highly logical and strategic and in touch with emotions (mine and others’). I have international and domestic work experience, leadership experience inside organizations, and resume entries from multiple industries. I speak and write fluent Spanish (and English!). I’m a dynamic speaker, creative training designer, results-oriented consultant, superhero coach, organization developer, conflict mediator and facilitator, author, poet and musician! Read my bio for more!
The ability to take ownership of destiny, identify a goal, articulate values, define a direction and move consistently and effectively in that direction aligned with those values towards the realization of that goal.
I’m a full service, boutique consultancy, which means you get excellent customer service, high value, efficiency, and a personally tailored product. My fees tend to be higher than some, and much lower than others. I provide personalized quotes to clients based on several factors, including: (1) the value of my work to the client (my fee is always less than the cost of doing nothing or doing things poorly!), (2) the nature of the work to be performed, (3) the size of the organization, (4) the location of the organization (and length of required travel), and (5) whether or not the organization is for profit or non-profit. Contact me for a free 30-minute strategy session and a customized quote!
There are several ways you can get to know me and my work for free: (1) subscribe to my newsletter, which contains links to helpful articles, success stories, upcoming opportunities and skill building (above, under “Download Our Free Report”), (2) read some of my blogs on a topic that interests you (and subscribe!), (3) check out my videos and my articles, (4) download and read some of the resource lists, tip sheets, self-assessments, skill building tools and articles on my “Resources” page, (5) follow me on social media (see links at the very top of your screen), or (6) contact me directly to set up a free 30-minute strategy session!