COVID-19 has changed how companies operate but not why they are in business or who they are. That applies to their commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) too. Now it is a matter of learning new ways to stay true to ourselves – to practice what we preach – in creating an environment in which everyone feels safe, welcome and able to contribute their best.

Two DEI leaders spoke at The Grove Sessions webinar about continuing to make meaningful change, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Steven Huang, equitable design and impact lead at Culture Amp; and Torin Perez, DEI consultant; offered insights and tips on moving DEI forward, no matter the situation. Here are some of their thoughts:

“Making sure our places are great places to work needs to be a business priority, not just a talent priority. It has to spread through every outcome we’re trying to achieve. If it doesn’t, how are you going to achieve your DEI goals?” Torin Perez

“Measure inclusion as well as diversity by asking everyone questions like ‘I feel like I belong to this company, I can voice a negative opinion without fear of consequences.’ Pay attention to the difference between groups. Are people having an equal experience?” Steven Huang

“One of the most hurtful things that can be done is for leaders to ask people from marginalized identities to provide a business case for D&I. You’re asking people who are looking for community and safety to explain why they deserve to be there.” Torin Perez

“The pandemic gives us an opportunity to discuss what equity really means, about who deserves our care. People have entered this situation on unequal footings.” Steven Huang

“We’re now getting glimpses into the real experiences of our people. We see them at home. They can’t cover like they may do in the workplace. There is a gift in this moment of pause. Ultimately, I think we will emerge more mindful about each other.” Torin Perez

Additional Resources

Sequoia has compiled a list of Diversity and Inclusion resources that you can leverage, including:

  • Free resources to share with your employees
  • Events and Webinars
  • Best Practices and Policies in the Workplace
  • Ways to Get Involved and Make an Impact
  • Recommended Books on Diversity and Anti-Racism

You can also watch the complete recording of The Grove Sessions Diversity and Inclusion webinar here.

Have other ideas for supporting topics like these in the workplace? Email us at! Chances are, your experiences, examples, and ideas will help others and we’d love to bring awareness about this topic in any form possible.

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Kaleana Quibell – Kaleana is the Wellbeing Director for Sequoia, helping advise clients on strategies to support employees’ Physical, Emotional, and Financial wellbeing. In her free time, Kaleana enjoys yoga, the outdoors, and spending time with her family and puppy.