Akamai's Women's Forum Americas, OHANA and In Reach Employee Resource Groups recently hosted Cross ERG 'Change the Rules' Keynote - Celebration of Black History Month in our Chicago office. We were excited to have notable Michelle Silverthorn, CEO of Inclusion Nation, a company that focuses on improving recruitment, retention, and the promotion of diverse professionals, as the keynote speaker. It is not often that we have an external speaker join us and have the impact Michelle had with her talk on Changing the Rules. Her stories resonated with the audience and her actionable approach was most appreciated.
The groundbreaking session, where 11 offices and over 150 employees participated in person or remotely, focused on how we show how workplace diversity positively impacts our company. We started with recognizing the business imperative for diversity and inclusion. Then we discussed how bias, stereotypes, micro-inequities, and impostor syndrome, all interrupt that journey toward inclusion. We then dove into biases, to not just interrupt them but to end them. Finally, we wrapped up by learning the new rules of diversity to design an authentic workplace that includes everyone. Everyone left with the affirmation, you change the rules, you can change the world.
As Akamai continues the D&I journey, we are proud of employees who helped get us the knowledge and skills to move forward with confidence and awareness. Thank you to to the organizers and the site leads for helping to make this event a success!
Here is some feedback from the event:
"Great response from the Reston location, we continued the dialogue afterwards and I have participants asking how they can get involved and wanting more events like this, well done"
"Fantastic work organizing this and Michelle was super!"
"Such a great event. Michelle was amazing. Lot of good productive post discussions happened in the NYC office related to bias, diversity, ethnicity"
"The content was meaningful and thoughtfully delivered. Michelle had a lot of content to deliver, and did so quickly, effectively, and with humor. I'm familiar with a lot of the definition content Michelle needed to cover before getting to topics which used those definitions and I didn't find it tedious. "Genderbread man" in particular was well received around the room. I have been and will in the future be making hiring and promotion decisions and I welcome all the tools I can find to avoid perpetuating the systemic bias." -
"What an incredible event and talk. I want to thank you and all your supporting teams for bringing an excellent speaker to this session. There were too many takeaways to list here but her action-oriented finish was compelling." -