Candi Castleberry Singleton, VP of Intersectionality, Culture & Diversity, Twitter answers our d&i Leaders Fast 5 questions.
What brought you to the d&i role and what do you like most about your job?
My background is in sales and marketing, I never thought I would be doing a D&I role, I was asked to do it at a former company, I committed to doing it for 18 months, and here 18 years later I am still doing it. I love creating a practice, a program, a policy, an initiative or some level of accountability that overtime, employees can personally see the benefit from. The biggest value or my best days are when an employee recognized that something that the D&I team has done serves them, beyond business resource groups or the data. But when we start to affect employees lives in a positive way, and that’s why I do it even when it’s hard.
For someone thinking of a career in d&i, or looking to get more involved in their organisations d&i activities, what three skills would you say are the most important to succeed and why?
1. Resilience- It is the most important skill in this work because on most days you are asking people to change their organic behavior, and most people are resistant to change. Most people succeed and stay in the work because of resilience
3. Building a network- The ability to have a network of people that you can strategize with and bounce ideas off of is important because usually you are the only d&I person in the company.
Tell us about a new d&i initiative you are driving at the moment and it’s aims
The ICD Advisory Council that we’ve established to try to anticipate the needs and things we should be thinking about that will impact us in the future, the topics we are focusing on now are 1.) Bias in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual reality. 2.) Self-Id, metrics, and equity how people self ID in the workplace, how is it changing, and how does it impact our work. 3.) Support/ Social Responsibility, our shared commitment to each other in the industry. 4.) Best practices and innovation.
To date, which d&i related activity you have been involved with has had the biggest positive impact on creating an inclusive culture (can be current or previous company)
Dignity & Respect Campaign- the one thing that we were able to do is identify with this campaign was a set of values that everyone had in common regardless of their demographic, generation, geography, their faith, their religion, who they love, etc. and those values are that everyone wants to be treated with Dignity & Respect. That initiative was launched when I was working at a healthcare system in Pittsburgh, PA and still to this day I have people that either work at the healthcare system that are engaged in it and take it with them to other companies and I have people who have been a part of the campaign at other companies still call and ask for the tools and materials that support it.
The future workplace – what do you see having the biggest impact on the d&i role in the next 5 years and what are you doing now to prepare?
As I mentioned the ICD Council we have established is working on some fairly innovative and future forward-thinking initiatives around D&I.