• Think People Admin

Want a Bottom-Line Boost from DEI?

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Focus on Inclusion – With Judy Ellis

Or listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts.

Aren’t we human beings hilarious? The ways we can find to discount and disqualify others, especially in competitive environments, is sometimes stunning.”

Judy Ellis, my guest knows what she is talking about. She has been working with corporations on culture, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for 20+ years. Yet many companies miss opportunities to realize a positive bottom-line impact.

Judy has seen all kinds of DEI efforts. She reports when businesses engage in a watered-down versions of DEI, they are missing tremendous opportunities for harnessing the full capabilities of their workforce which would increase their competitive edge. Empowering and caring for all employees ––not only customers––is key, she says.

Judy Ellis

Inclusion, when authentic, can have a positive impact on the bottom line.

Why? Because when diverse points of view are listened to and respected, it can bring innovation.

For example, Judy talks about her work with P&G many years ago.

Case in point: the consumer products firm was missing out on the lucrative ethnic hair care market because their homogenous thinkers didn’t know anything about this consumer need.

Judy recounts the following aha:

“Leaders were saying things like, 'Is that really a market? Are you kidding me? It’s worth $3 billion and we’re not in it. How could that be?'" It took years of collaboration and advocacy by Black female researchers and marketers to get their product idea to market. Fast forward 10 years and the company now has a leading brand in the ethnic hair care space. It's bringing lots of money into the company because different people have different experiences––some populations see consumer insights that others may not.”

Judy advises on how to overcome our very natural biases or blind spots that conveniently allow us to protect ourselves. Sometimes we can’t see all that’s right in front of us. But, according to Judy, we can learn to uncover and correct for our blind spots.

She talks about “Learning ways to unlearn the way we look at life to begin to see how others see." Judy says this perspective-taking, along with empathy, is a BIG leadership skill that "helps not only with diversity, equity, and inclusion, but with being a good people leader.”

Here is a snapshot of a few topics we cover in this podcast…..

  • The difference between an assimilation framework for diversity and a deeper and more beneficial approach to differences and inclusion

  • How to approach DEI for an impact on the company’s bottom line.

  • How to move from diversity measured by the numbers to inclusion that provides opportunities for true seats at the table of power and decision-making

  • Ways to introduce diversity and inclusion to avoid organizational resistance

More about Judy Ellis, M.A.

Judy is a coach, business consultant, and facilitator with decades of experience in untangling complex interpersonal and organizational dynamics; particularly those related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Whether the need is organizational consulting or one-on-one coaching, Judy’s focused and warm approach delivers practical solutions in which both leaders and their organizations discover their best results.

Judy and her teams' work quickens the untangling that’s necessary for progress, whether the knots are within individuals, among team members, or arise from the complexities of the organization as a whole. Coaching with leaders enables solid advances whether the need is developing increased cultural competence, higher emotional intelligence, stronger leadership ability, or improved conflict management skills.

Judy's practical approach is built on a foundation of 10 years of management experience in Human Resources and Corporate Communications at Procter & Gamble; combined with serving 10+ years as an external consultant and coach in her own business. Judy and her companies have received recognition and awards from the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council, and Make-A-Wish of Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana. Judy serves as an Adjunct Professor in the University of Cincinnati’s Applied Psychology Program, where she's taught Workforce Diversity to students pursuing their Master's degrees in Applied Psychology. She has a B.S. in Management and Organizations from Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business, and a B.A. and M.A. in Theology. Judy holds a certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University and is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory®. She holds an ICF certificate for Coaching from the Enneagram in Business. She is a member of the Association of Training & Development (ATD) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is active in nonprofit leadership boards, including Make-A-Wish, where she serves as DEI Committee Advisor and the Indiana University Alumni Association, where she serves as Co-President of the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club.

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