Dr. Kristen Liesch, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Anna Dewar Gully, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Tidal EqualityDr. Kristen Liesch, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Anna Dewar Gully, Co-CEO and Co-Founder
As the discussion about tackling systemic inequalities dominates the public conversation, private businesses are taking a stand on social justice issues and making commitments toward expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion within their own organizations.

Yet, although many businesses claim to encourage diversity and inclusion, turning these stated commitments into concrete action is no simple feat, as it requires transformative thinking, behavioral change, and continual improvement to create transformational change.

Thankfully, Tidal Equality is empowering people and organizations to do just that by building equality in radically new ways.

In conversation with Manage HR magazine, Anna Dewar Gully and Dr. Kristen Liesch, Co-CEOs and Co- Founders of Tidal Equality, share their thoughts on how they are tackling inequality with their unique Equity Sequence methodology.

What Is Tidal Equality’s Differentiating Factor in DEI?

“Tidal Equality was formed with a passion for building innovative solutions that can bring a paradigm shift to DEI. We felt that there were too many training approaches in the industry targeting individual bias rather than systemic bias. Unfortunately, most of those training programs do not lead to actionable or real equitable change in organizations and systems.

Our goal was to create new methodologies that could help organizations and DEI leaders tasked with making real organizational change. Adhering to this goal, we designed a methodology that could build that bridge between point a) the intention to be more equitable in an organization, and point b) the development of a more equitable organization. Our DEI methodology, called Equity Sequence, shows incredible results in organizations and helps leaders, decision-makers, and frontline employees take immediate action on bias within their systems and work, and within their decision-making, to make real change.”

What Do You Think Are the Biggest Issues in the Current DEI Space?

“When we talk to prospective clients, we get to know that, despite having created an educational foundation, they’re still experiencing equity problems. Many still face behavioral inequalities, negative experiences in the workplace, an inability to reach all customers in the market, and a lack of connection with current and future employee populations.

The question of “Now What?” is significant for many of our clients when they call us. They want to know why– since they have done all this education and these events, and they’ve created ERGs–they are not making the change people seem to want to experience and feel in the organization.

The other client-facing challenge we hear and are thinking about is trying to engage senior leaders in change, or to have them think about equity, diversity, and inclusion as something that is no longer a tick box or peripheral, but something core to their business. A lot of our clients are still struggling to get over the fact their progress has stalled; this is emerging as a critical hurdle in most organizations that have had a desire to make real change.”

How Can Organizations Overcome This Challenge Using the Equity Sequence?

“As a team, we’re obsessed with listening to the market and the people we’re trying to serve and solving problems that are real to them. Our solution, Equity Sequence™, is built via an innovative, scalable methodology. The approach is similar to Agile or Lean, but it contributes to a more equitable organization. It’s a system of questions. Our objective is not just to offer a learning experience, but to offer one that translates to practice. That practice should thrive in that business over time and improve equity and inclusion within that organization by being practiced daily and widely by its workers at all levels.

Equity Sequence can be a perennial method in your business—something that you continue to enrich year on year, versus having to look for a new and different training experience all the time. You can improve everyone’s experience with one simple methodology that becomes a shared language within the business. Also, when most employees think about measuring their outcomes from diversity, equity, and inclusion, they primarily think about peoplerelated processes and outcomes.
They think about pay equity, hiring practices, and diversity of representation, which are some great markers. But we teach people to see the opportunities in transforming sales, operations, UX design, communications, marketing, and more. The practice of Equity Sequence is as relevant in all those areas as when it comes to people operations.

Our goal was to create new methodologies that could help organizations and DEI leaders tasked with making real organizational change

With our solution, an organization can tell the story of equitable transformation from every corner of that business, not necessarily just the people corner of the business.”

Can you tell us About an Enterprise Where Equity Sequence Has Had an Impact?

“One large global telecommunications company, Virgin Media O2 in the UK, started on their Equity Sequence journey with some key influencers, who were seniorlevel leaders in their organization. We had an outstanding pilot, and Virgin decided to start scaling it to their broader organization. And we could begin to see the impact in the business pretty much immediately. It was applied to marketing campaigns.

We were amazed by this particular client in how cleverly they utilized our application of Equity Sequence to demonstrate their cultural differentiation and strategic differentiation as a business. They were able to showcase to their employees and customers that they were prepared to not only talk about change but to make a change and show the before and after of major pivotal decisions for the business. They continue to be incredible champions and supporters of the Equity Sequence methodology, and it’s continuing to scale in their business. And they have been a real linchpin and early champion for us, in helping to bring other enterprises’ attention to the methodology.”