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Untapped Episode #

The Difference Between Diversity & Inclusion Theory and Action

In this episode:

This week on Untapped with Tariq Meyers, we sat down with Kellie Wagner, founder of DEI Collective — a DEI consultancy. We spoke about some untapped ideas that may make you look at D&I work a little differently.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to move from diversity and inclusion theory to action
  • The tension between theory and action
  • How focusing on theory may sometimes hurt D&I practice
  • Unintended consequences of identity politics that have surfaced
  • With employees being multi-dimensional and D&I not being a one-size-fits-all approach, what does the future of DEI look like?

Our guest:

Kellie Wagner

Kellie Wagner, founder of DEI Collective, a consultancy on a mission to help source and retain diverse talent by building inclusive and equitable workplaces. Originally pursuing a career in writing, Wagner fell in love with the NYC Tech scene, worked at Meetup, and has built out the community at DoSomething.org. Her work at DEI Collective ensures that companies are creating sustainable, measurable changes in their cultures to address diversity through training, events, and innovation. Wagner is extremely active in the tech ecosystem and involved with a number of organizations focused on fostering diversity and inclusion. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Experience Camps – the day camp for children who have lost a family member.

I think the challenge is, is when we separate out identity and what someone brings to the table. Rather than recognizing that my experience, the lens that I bring is inherently valuable to my role, because it allows me to draw connections and solve problems in a new way and have different ideas or solutions that someone else might not have. So, until we start to look at that as, "Okay, when I'm making a job description, and I'm looking at my team structure, what perspectives and lenses might be missing here alongside skills?" Then, when I look at the pool, being realistic with myself and saying, "Okay, what needs to happen in this talent pool to actually provide me the best, most rich talent pool that's going to, again, round out my team?"