Joining us in conversation today is Kuma Roberts, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Arrowhead Consulting. Tune in to learn the difference between ‘DEI’ and ‘D and I’, and why the focus has shifted from the latter to the former. You’ll hear why everyone has something to contribute to the conversation around diversity, and how it doesn’t begin and end with skin color. Kuma is more concerned about policy than changing hearts and minds, and believes that when the culture of an organization changes, hearts and minds will follow. Next, we discuss fears organizations experience around communicating their values around diversity, and why it is necessary to overcome this in order to become successful. Kuma unpacks the business case for diversity and inclusion and reveals that much of her wisdom in this arena stems from her own years of experience. We discuss employee perception, inclusive language, pronouns, and email signatures, before exploring the role of top leadership buy-in on a personal and company level. Kuma explains what tokenism is, how to avoid it, and why prioritizing diversity can’t be understood as ‘helping’, but goes far deeper than that. Join us today!
Sn. 4, #2 Kuma Roberts: Diversity beyond Tokenism
Emily received her BA in Women’s Studies and JD from Temple University. Early on, she worked as a legal advocate for women in domestic violence cases. After practicing law, Emily began working on the business side of things. She is the co-owner of AAA School of Trucking, a truck and heavy equipment safety training firm, which she has spent the last 10 years growing into a thriving national business through government and military contracting and corporate partnerships.
As an executive in the transportation industry, darting from client meeting to trucking range required safety boots that met her style standards, and when she couldn’t find them anywhere, she created Juno Jones Shoes. Emily trained in shoemaking in Cuernavaca, Mexico and at the Brooklyn Shoe Space, and assembled a powerhouse team of designers, consultants, and industry experts to bring Juno Jones to life. Through Juno Jones Shoes, Emily is fulfilling her dream of not only providing women with safe, stylish footwear options for their jobs but of helping to normalize and empower women in traditionally male-dominated fields.
For more information go to junojonesshoes.com.
Kuma Roberts, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Arrowhead Consulting, IOM, has over 10 years of organizational development experience specializing in the business case for diversity, equity & inclusion, cultural competence, implicit bias, strategies for becoming an equity-centered organization, inclusive workplace language as well as other elements of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
As a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organizational Management, she has spoken to hundreds of businesses, non-profit, and chambers of commerce on the best practices for developing a strategic plan related to DEI.
Kuma is passionate about racial and social justice with an emphasis on shifting policy and practice vs. hearts and minds and speaking to how more companies and organizations can harness the power of DEI to enhance their competitive advantage.
When Kuma isn’t speaking, she loves cooking for her husband, wrestling with her three-year-old son, and arguing with her 16-year-old daughter.
“I often describe myself as “diversity personified.” I am in an intergenerational, interracial marriage with my husband being 33 years older than I. Together we are raising our 3-year-old boy and my sixteen-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. My father was an African immigrant who came to this country as a foreign exchange student where he met my very religious Southern Baptist mother. I am a career woman bringing home the bacon, while my husband is the caregiver and primary parent in the home. There are many areas of diversity described above, but only a few have to do with my race and gender,” said Kuma Roberts.