On this episode of Diversity Be Like, host Sequoia Houston talks to Dr. Alexandria White, DEI Strategist, about women in the workplace and how companies can be more inclusive of mothers!
About Our Guest
Dr. Alexandria White
Dr. Alexandria White is a diversity consultant who specializes in conscious inclusion, multicultural awareness and diversity trainings. In addition, she has a plethora of retail banking, non-profit organization and experience serving in the areas of housing and residence life, diversity, leadership development, conduct resolution, retention and student success in Higher Education. Alexandria has developed retention programs, multicultural initiatives and presented at national conferences. Alexandria has gathered international expertise by traveling to Central America and Europe to learn about international Higher Education. As a first generation college student, Alexandria has researched and presented on hurdles that can hinder academic success. Her outgoing personality, insight on diversity, and passion for inclusion has propelled her to work toward equality in higher education. Please contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-327-4582 for inquiries.
3 Key Points
- Dr. White defines diversity as inviting everyone over to her house for dinner, inclusion as making sure everyone eats, belonging is asking what they would like to eat, and respect as to how the question is asked.
- Advocacy for mothers is something that has come to define Dr. White’s life path since she simultaneously had her baby and took custody of her two younger brothers at the age of only 22.
- Many employees are moving from meeting to meeting all day, so employers could provide them a chance to breathe and eat by scheduling appointments to be 45-50 minutes.
- Diversity, inclusion, belonging, and respect are the four aspects that Dr. White focuses on in the DEI space
- It’s incredibly important for company executives to understand the underlying substance of DEI so they can recognize their own biases
- Research shows that mothers’ ability to multi-task and balance multiple projects results in more efficient performance in the workplace
- Dr. White found that when she had a child and focused more on that child, the opportunities available to her began to grow
- Student Affairs Moms (SAMS) is an online community of over seven thousand mothers that Dr. White started to support mothers in the workplace
- Since 2010, Dr. White has become very involved in the census and social justice issues with a mission of making sure that everyone is included
- When she became a mother at 22, Dr. White simultaneously took custody of her two younger brothers, thus shifting her life path to a high level of mother advocacy
- Sequoia comes from a similar background as a child of a single mother who was trying to earn a degree with a child at home and no one else to watch after her
- Before a plan of action can be made, business leaders must acknowledge what people are going through in their personal situation with the pandemic right now
- Rather than practicing equality and treating everyone the exact same, Dr. White implores employers to practice equity and recognize everyone’s unique situation
- Dr. White has found that asking individual groups about their needs and situations allowed other groups to come forward with their own struggles
- Boundaries need to be respected and a great way to do that is to remember what someone’s role is before giving them extra responsibility
- Sequoia’s respect for the boundaries of her time, whether it’s in regard to their time or role, has earned her their ultimate respect
- Dr. White encourages her clients to schedule their meetings for 45-50 minutes so their employees have a chance to eat or decompress before their next meeting
- One of the hot topics that Dr. White has seen in her community is this necessity to have their camera on during meetings, even when it is unnecessary
- With so much negativity on the news and constant attention at work about social injustices, it seemed like it was impossible to get away from everything this past year, especially for black moms
- Racial Battle Fatigue is a real condition that affected so many black men and women in the workplace, especially in the last year
- 2021 almost feels like 2020 after a wig change, though people have settled and normalized with the situation
- Whether it’s skepticism, lack of education, or inequity in distribution, there has been a disproportionate amount of vaccine distributed in the black community
- Dr. White is such an optimist when it comes to mothers in the workplace, so that is how she leads, regardless of the backlash that she receives
- The hope that we’re going to get things right as a society, keeps Dr. White moving forward in the pursuit of her ultimate mission
- Dr. White knows that there is no growth without discomfort, but she hopes that growth is what people remember about her when she’s gone
“Diversity, inclusion, belonging, respect, you can’t have one without the other.” – Dr. Alexandria White
That’s another thing that is very important in motherhood, making the best decisions that you can to get the best possible outcome that you can for the family within this framework of resources that you have available.” – Sequoia Houston
“If I can just help one mother finish college like I did…if I can help one mother feed their family…if I can help a trans mother and a black mother come to an agreement on issues and topics, I am hopeful for that.” – Dr. Alexandria White
“If you don’t think about what you are going to leave here, then you’re not going to do the work.” – Dr. Alexandria White
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