Dawn Gilbert and Edward Simon II, Founders, The Diversity AdvisorsDawn Gilbert and Edward Simon II, Founders
Headquartered in Los Angeles County, CA, driven by the mission of building an equitable, inclusive, and just society for all, underscores The Diversity Advisors determination to evolve and elevate the consultancy landscape. The owners have been in the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) space for more than two decades. Its team consists of subject matter experts, leaders, and change agents, possessing a collective knowledge infrastructure with the capability to affect any business model or platform.

Having experience in various industries (profit and non-profit), The Diversity Advisors provides its clients with turnkey diversity, equity, and inclusion tools and solutions. The consultancy’s approach is to help as many companies/ organizations and impact as many communities as possible. They firmly believe that inclusion needs to ALWAYS foster an environment focused on empathy, knowledge, and respect for differences in opinions and thoughts.

In an interview with Manage HR, Dawn Gilbert and Edward Simon II, Founders of The Diversity Advisors, elaborate how they collaborate with their clients to create impactful DEI programs that are mindfully engaging and possess actionable content to elevate and evolve existing organizational cultures.

What are some of the recent trends and challenges you observed in the diversity and inclusion landscape? How do you address them for your clients?

The Diversity Advisors: With a societal shift and an ever increasing, desire for mindful DEI awareness there has been an influx of made to order consultancy firms. With that being said, our experience and internal industry research has shown their intent and competency do not align with DEI client expectations. We have also witnessed these same firms focusing their efforts on unconscious bias (which all possess)training instead of helping team members counteract them.

We address this by collaborating with organizations to develop processes/procedures that are inclusive of EVERYONE, including non-minorities. Our approach is to start with “why” DEI is important to our clients and their bottom line. We focus on creating belonging cultures for everyone. Our Advisors have worked in Corporate America and transformed cultures to be more inclusive of everyone while also addressing racial disparity within the workplace. We are noticing leaders are taking a hard look and realizing that doing nothing in the area of DEI has the potential to highly affect the consistency, scalability, and sustainability of the their organizational cultural environment.

How does The Diversity Advisors onboard its clients? How do you help the customers when they come to you with a problem?

The Diversity Advisors: We partner with our clients by mutually agreeing upon a Partnership Collaboration Agreement. This establishes meeting norms, clear roles/responsibilities, objectives/goals, and check-in points for all levels of the organization to ensure that all perspectives are heard and considered during our engagement and partnership. We meet our clients where they are today and establish a path to ensure what they want to achieve from a DEI initiative. What is unique about our approach is we guide our clients by aligning their specific needs with our firm’s customizable and highly experienced and knowledgeable content advisors.

Can you elaborate on your service portfolio for our readers?

The Diversity Advisors: The Diversity Advisors provides a deep-dive organizational analysis supported by strategic actionable programs that are implemented at every level. We provide in-depth diversity consultancy services for corporations, municipalities, government agencies, and small businesses—all focused on bridging the vast cultural and socio economic disparities in society. Our service portfolio includes:
• Consulting – DEI workforce and supplier diversity. Our consultancy services include listening to where our clients are today, and we provide guidance, recommendations, and coaching to develop their overall robust strategies.
• Training – We have established DEI training curricula and customizable training solutions to meet our client’s needs. All training can be completed virtually or in person.
• Courses and E-Learning – We have partnered with one of the leading DEI E-Learning Platforms to provide micro learnings from DEI to personal development. Team members can access this platform from their desktop or mobile device for a nominal monthly fee.
• HR Platform –We are close to signing an agreement with another partner that will provide enhanced DEI HR recruiting tools to ensure organizations are casting their net wide to be inclusive of all individuals. There will be several modules our clients can choose - from sourcing diverse candidates to reporting to event management.
• Mentoring Platform – We have partnered with an innovative UK-based mentoring software provider to allow organizations to be more efficient by managing their mentorship efforts/communication using one system.
• Program Development – We provide strategic guidance for new and existing programs. We work with clients to create or enhance their DEI programs, including workforce and supplier diversity.
• Ask The Diversity Advisors – This service provides our clients with a branded landing page to allow their team members to submit anonymous DEI questions. We receive the request and post responses within 48 business hours. We work with our clients to make sure certain HR and performance-related matters are referred to an internal contact person.
Most of the above services can be coordinated a-la-carte or through our Retainer Service, where clients can retain our services based on the number of hours they would like. We can be listed as their DEI contracted expert.

How is the work culture at The Diversity Advisors? What principles and values are your employees keen on following?

The Diversity Advisors: The work culture at The Diversity Advisors is deep-rooted in fostering an environment that encourages EVERYONE to bring their authentic selves to work—one that encourages/ embraces differences. We firmly believe that the more talent we have with different opinions, perspectives, and experiences, the better the decision-making. It’s good for us and our clients’ business. We believe DEI is a moral issue, and it must be a part of business decisions and processes. Our core values, which we live everyday are: transparency, high performance, teamwork, passion, courage, and integrity.
  • Only when we address the real issues of inequity are we able to develop sustainable solutions to transform organizations and the communities they serve. We will continue to meet organizations where they are today and partner with them to develop inclusive, belonging and sustainable DEIstrategies

What do you envision 10-12 months down the line for your organization?

The Diversity Advisors: We envision a continued focus on our Strategy Wheel and being adaptable to change. Our Strategy Wheel is a circle with our clients at the center of everything we do. On the outer part of the circle (starting at the top, 12 o’clock position) is our advisors, followed by our partners, next is growth, and finally technology/operational efficiency. We envision helping as many organizations as possible to understand the importance of DEI and achieve reasonable but sustainable goals.