• Joy E. Mason

Let's do what works - soft skills and hard skills!


It's time to do something that works now! True change will not come from vague problem statements and check the box training. You need to implement policies, procedures, and practices with metrics and accountability.


The "isms" are embedded within systems. That's why DEI work is systems work.


Systems examples of next steps: Redesign recruitment and retention processes based on:



-best practices

-lessons learned (feedback loops),

-systems that enable you to catch what's not working early,

-diversity councils that can review processes,

-objectives and metrics in strategic plans and annual reports,

-mentoring and sponsorship programs, and

-periodic audits


As I learned from my Purdue MEP Six Sigma Black Belt training, "an audit can be a systematic and independent examination to determine compliance and effectiveness of activities and related results". An audit can be an effective way to ensure DEI progress is steady and positive.


Yes, DEI is a soft skill, but hopefully, you can see now that hard skills are required, as well, for better outcomes. (i.e. Black retention). Yes, explore individual biases, but let's also dig in to do the practical work of systems change.


If you:

-found the approach I described compelling,

-want to know more,

-want to tackle a specific DEI challenge

-want to know what "good" looks like in the DEI space


Send me a message at jmason@optimistindy.com. I would love to hear your thoughts.

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