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Avoiding the Back Burner: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Prioritization Amidst Protests and Pandemics
Inclusion & Belonging Garrison Gibbons Oct 08, 2020
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging have everyone's attention. Now what? We have all seen the increase of DEI conversations over the last several months. Whether it is corporations submitting press releases on how they will promote diversity, or leaders opening DEI roles—suddenly the once trendy function has become a must have. After the murder of George Floyd, and the global protests for Black Lives Matter that soon ensued, many HR leaders were challenged with ""fixing"" DEI at their company. But, where do you start? What do you prioritize? And how do you ensure that your efforts don't lose prioritization when the next problem arises? In addition, a global pandemic pushed many organizations to go remote, so we now must consider the future of work for our company and our employees. This has made any internal initiatives more challenging for in-office cultures and workplaces. How can you increase inclusion efforts remotely? How do you foster belonging and visibility through Zoom or Slack? How do you increase diversity if your hiring has slowed or temporally frozen? Garrison Gibbons, head of people at Knotch, will weave his own DEI journey as an HR professional and an openly queer executive with the answer to these questions. You will walk away with tangible steps that you can do to promote DEI right now—including a few ways to address diversity and inclusion at minimal to no cost. You will hear ways to promote DEI as a necessity to executives and teams internally where prioritization might differ. You will learn how to avoid the back burner, and become a DEI advocate everyday—not just during protests and pandemics.
Presenter Garrison Gibbons
About Garrison Gibbons
Garrison (he/him) currently works as the Head of People & Comms at Knotch, overseeing the HR department including strategy; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; talent; culture; and operations. In addition to his role as Head of People, he currently oversees the Communications department at Knotch, including: internal and employee comms, external communication strategies, and PR and campaigns. He was recently named one of Crain's New York's 20 in Their 20's Prior to Knotch, Garrison worked at Mic as the People Operations Manager, leading the transition when they were acquired by Bustle Digital Group. Before that, he worked in the fitness industry, working in People and Operations - first at Barry's, before being hire #5 and scaling Rumble. Being mission-driven, Garrison has worked exclusively for companies who make an impact through the work that they do. He uses this mission-first mentality to impact company morale and culture. He's an expert in innovating and scaling practices/policies, particularly in the startup and/or hyper-growth space. His personal values are leading with empathy, practicing proactive transparency, and fostering an inclusive environment. He is openly LGBTQ+ and currently lives with his partner, Jay, and his dog, Bindi, in Harlem.
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