Corean Reynold was recently appointed the Director of Nightlife Economy for the City of Boston, where she brings a wealth of experience and a passion for fostering an equitable and thriving nightlife ecosystem.
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Roundhead Brewing Company
Don’t miss our upcoming Government Affairs Forum with Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg. Register now!
9:45am - 11:00am
Bank of America
Learn about new ways of utilizing the professional apprenticeship model to create diverse, sustainable, and scalable talent pipelines.
10:00am - 11:30am
Designed for mid-level managers and supervisors, this new certificate program addresses workplace well-being through unique, innovative, and actionable methods.
Join our Transformational DEI Certificate! Our comprehensive learning & development offerings are designed to connect and grow strong leaders who lead both inside and out of the office.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
Our Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) program provides emerging leaders with a socially conscious and civically engaged leadership toolkit, as well as the opportunity to apply their knowledge through experiential assignments.
Our Economic Inclusion Committee provides strategic support around research, policies, and programs that are focused on building equal opportunity.
We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For nearly 30 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
The Massachusetts Apprentice Network convenes employers, training providers, and talent sources interested in developing and implementing apprenticeship programs in occupations across industries and statewide in fields such as tech, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
We support small business through public policy initiatives, events designed to connect small businesses in Greater Boston to their peers and established business leaders, professional development offerings, and free small business advising.
Explore our mission and values to better understand how we are leading the business community forward.
Our member directory is your resource to discover, connect, and engage with Boston’s businesses from every industry and sector.
With the expeditious rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, we are eager to return to our pre-pandemic lives. That being said, the days of physically reporting to an office from Monday to Friday are not likely to resume in a post-pandemic world. Many of us have grown comfortable with and enjoyed working remotely, and splitting time between the office and home – or a hybrid working model – is expected to become the future way of working.
Moreover, following the deaths of George Floyd and other Black Americans and the rise in anti-Asian violence, the urgency for advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace has reached a crucial point. The workplace should no longer be an environment where certain discussions are “off limits”; but rather a place where we can acknowledge and embrace our differences to help create a stronger community. But building a stronger community and a true sense of belonging within an organization takes work and requires everyone (beginning with our leaders) to operate with an inclusive mindset. Here are ways to do that:
Acknowledge your biases.
Everyone has them and once we can acknowledge that biases exist; we better equip ourselves to recognize when and how they may show up in our daily interactions.
Lead with empathy.
Putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes is a common analogy used to define empathy and it may seem easier said than done. Educating ourselves to lead with empathy starts with increasing our personal interactions and making genuine investments of time to learn and understand the story of another person. Allowing ourselves the ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes, although we may never fully grasp what it feels like to walk in their shoes, can more greatly enhance the ways we collaborate and encourage each other in the workplace.
Lift as you climb.
Many successful leaders have had mentors and sponsors that helped them reach the pinnacles of their career. Put simply, pay it forward. As we move through evolutions in our society and within our workplace, it will be important that we act as an example for others of the person we wish we had, or replicate and enhance the behaviors of those that served as advocates in our lives. To that effect, it’s important for company leaders to design a hybrid working model within a DEI framework.
1. Level the playing field: Meetings in a hybrid working environment can get messy. Office-based employees often forget to add dial-in numbers or video conference links to meeting invites. They sometimes overlook that their remote colleagues are on the line and do not ask for their inputs. A remote-first approach can be the solution. If a meeting has at least one remote employee, attendees are requested to log in from their desks, regardless of their geographic location. This strategy can help demonstrate that all voices matter – signaling to remote employees that their voices are as equally valued and respected as those of their onsite counterparts.
2. Create career ladders: A hybrid working model can put remote workers in a disadvantaged position for growth. They may not have as much face-to-face interaction with their managers as their office-based colleagues. But just because they are out sights doesn’t mean they should be out of mind. Company leaders should create career ladders that help clearly define goals and competencies an employee would need to qualify for a promotion. These ladders allow for workers to have a basis to advocate for themselves and for managers to have an objective performance evaluation framework.
3. Build a community online and in-person: Keeping employees engaged in a hybrid work environment is critical in letting them feel appreciative and productive. With more and more work-from-home tools being developed, it is now easier than ever to facilitate interaction among team members. There are apps that pair up workers for one-on-one coffee chats and articles that show how to create a work buddy system. In addition to online interaction, there needs to be in-person team-building events that include remote workers, like fiscal year planning sessions and reimbursed holiday parties.
For over a year we have been navigating these challenges, learning how to lead ourselves and others in a remote environment through unprecedented times, and now preparing for a newer hybrid model as we return to the office. Change will continue as we develop and execute on new strategies of working, let’s not lose sight of what is at the center of all these efforts: People. We should continue to operate as leaders with an inclusive mindset and take the appropriate actions to confirm we are building work environments that are diverse, equitable, inclusive, and felt by all employees.
Vi Mai, Deputy Director, Data Strategy & Innovation, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)
In her role as Deputy Director of Data Strategy & Innovation (DSI), Vi oversees the delivery of the Inner City 100 award and leads efforts to create a national recruitment strategy and optimize data and processes at ICIC. She also plays a critical role in the development of new initiatives, including Distance Learning and ILAB. Prior to transitioning to the DSI team, she led recruitment for Inner City Capital Connections cohorts in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and data collection and analysis for that program.
Before joining ICIC in 2018, Vi interned at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, an organization that promotes effective and sustainable philanthropy. There she participated in a research project on inequitable public school funding and the achievement gap. As part of her academic training, Vi studied abroad in Havana and conducted research on the fraught relationship between health and politics in Cuba.
Vi holds a B.A. in International Relations and Latin American & Caribbean Studies with honors from Brown University. She sits on the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s City Awake Advisory Board, Brown and Brown University’s Asian/Asian American Alumni Alliance’s Executive Board.
Syreeta Williams, Assurance Director, PwC
Syreeta Williams is an Assurance Director at PwC, completing a tour of duty in their Office of the General Counsel. She has been resident in the Boston office since joining the firm in 2008. Syreeta has provided assurance services to a wide range of financial services clients based in Boston, New York, North Carolina and California. Syreeta is actively engaged in diversity and inclusion initiatives at her firm and within her community, particularly focused on the advancement of people of color and women. She has been a member of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce City Awake Advisory Board since September of 2018.
Syreeta graduated from Bentley University with a B.S. in Corporate Finance and Accounting and an M.S. in Accountancy. She is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Our guest blogs are written and produced by organizations within our membership. They are not intended to reflect the views nor opinions of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.