Chief Diversity Officer
Ally Financial Inc.

11:25 am

11:25am-12:10pm Divided We Fall: Creating Space for DE&I During Social and Political Upheaval

General Session

The United States is divided. Politically. Socially. Financially. During a normal year, that fact alone would create roadblocks for any DE&I practitioner who is focused on promoting and providing a welcoming and inclusive workplace. But in an election year where negative rhetoric could take center stage? The stakes are even higher. That division is deep and already has wreaked havoc on how companies execute their DE&I strategies.

In this keynote presentation, Reggie Willis, Chief Diversity Officer at Ally Financial, discusses how workplaces in all parts of the country can make space for DE&I efforts during the heart of the 2024 election cycle. He’ll discuss how practitioners can execute their strategy, react to stakeholders, and withstand external pressures so they can deliver on their organization’s DE&I goals. He’ll also address other factors playing into uncertainty, including economic instability, policy and laws targeting specific classes of people, and the toll that these issues take on employee and manager mental health.

In this session, Reggie will discuss:  

  • How to create foundational principles and values that will help your organization navigate DE&I during uncertain times or crisis scenarios
  • How to determine what issues and topics your organization should comment on publicly and internally with employees
  • Why proactively developing an internal and external response matrix can provide your team with the necessary tools to respond (or not) to social or political issues 
  • How to offer counsel to leadership as they guide your organization in weathering political or social storms
  • How to connect with employees across the political spectrum, listen to their views, and take action to support them while fostering positive organizational culture
  • How to support employees if their identity or beliefs become targets of political rhetoric
  • Why a robust mental health support system is critical to employee engagement at work