From left to right: Maureen Alphonse-Charles, managing director, Koya Leadership Partners; Beth Chandler, president and CEO, YW Boston; Zena Lum, senior consultant, Lois L. Lindauer Searches; David Margolius, vice president and Diversity Leadership Council chair, Shawmut; Mim Minichiello, board of directors, YW Boston; Bob Selle, chief human resources officer, Ocean State Job Lot; Kim Dukes, managing director and co-founder, DSP Executive Search

Vice president of retail and Diversity Leadership Council chair David Margolius joined a YW Boston panel as part of the Elevating Lives series, discussing effective strategies to close racial and gender gaps. The interactive event created a dialogue among the moderator, panelists, and attendees focused on different practices and approaches for advancing women and people of color into management and leadership positions.

As a result of the discussion, attendees left with insights and actionable items that can help create truly equal work environments:

  • Establish diversity & inclusion as a company-wide effort. It’s a business imperative that needs to be communicated and championed from the top down, with everyone held accountable. It’s crucial that executives lead by example to provide model behavior for the rest of the company.
  • Empower senior leaders to be spokespeople. Senior leaders should become comfortable leading conversations around diversity so it’s infused in the company culture. The more people who spark discussions about inclusion, the more employees will become champions for it.
  • Build a common vocabulary. There will need to be uncomfortable conversations to establish effective strategies and tactics. Creating a common vocabulary and messaging for leaders will help as they have discussions that can become deeply personal. 
  • Create a culture of inclusivity. Individual teams and employees should understand that they can take ownership of being part of the diversity & inclusion efforts. This isn’t just a gender or race issue, everyone needs to be part of creating an inclusive work culture. 
  • Shape an equally-represented workforce. Companies should both promote from within and hire new employees to create a fully representative workforce. Compensation should be based on skillset to ensure a level playing field, and guarantee everyone is being paid based on merit.


Photo credit: YW Boston - Amanda Kowalski