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  • Writer's pictureSonia Pings Rodriguez

Is it enough to have a DEI effort or does it need to actually work?

A response to this amazing article:

Bottom line: if something is completely ineffective the work is not getting done.

This is article perfectly explains WHY I felt the need to start DEI Zillennial. I have seen, heard, and experienced how the DEI industry is currently lacking. And I know that it's unpopular to call out an industry whose intentions are good, because shouldn't I just be happy with what I have? My grandpa grew up in Mexico, definitely spoke better Spanish than English, and was a blue collar worker all his life. I am fortunate enough to have parents that were able to provide a better life for me, pay for my education, and push me into something more. I am a white collar worker in the financial industry. I know I am luckier than most people, especially other Latina women. But no, I do not have to be happy with this life.

Gratitude for those before me does not negate the passion and protective instinct I have for those who will come after me. So yes, I am thankful for the DEI work that started this movement, that paved the way for a conversation, that shone a light on inequity and bias. But I am also driven to further this conversation, to create real and long lasting change, to leave a footprint. I started my work on the DEI Committee in our office doing research into the current practices, models, advice, etc. and what I found was work out of the 90s. Now in and of itself, that's not a bad thing. I'm a 90s baby and I love that. However, we have moved on from those times in virtually every aspect. I don't see anyone clinging to dial up and bricks for cell phones. So why are we still using the same practices for DEI 30 years down the road? Why are we comfortable not seeing results from our efforts?

It's time that we look beyond performative DEI and follow metrics, hear feedback, admit mistakes and better ourselves. I am not fighting for myself (at least not completely); I am fighting for the kids I went to school with who heard the phrases "think about when you came to this country" and "you people" from educators. I am fighting for other women who have been told "apart from your name you wouldn't know you're 'Spanish'" during a job interview. I am fighting for coworkers that endured statements about how "the company is prioritizing technology" over DEI efforts. I am asking to put real people and their opinions ahead of outdated ineffective methodology.


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