My Passion and Purpose: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by Yalonda Brown

At my core, the Engage mission resonates with me on so many levels.   If it were not for organizations investing in my development, along with mentors who cared enough to nurture my potential and help me bring my best to each growth experience, I would not be prepared for such an amazing opportunity to serve in my new role.

 It is one of the most amazing gifts to have someone speak into your life. I have often been asked, “Who are your mentors? Who are your role models?.” There was a time when I would not have used the word “mentor,” I just recognized there were people who modeled behaviors for me that helped me be successful, grow and learn. As a result of my maturation both personally and professionally, I began to understand that these were the mentors in my life. These influencers began with my grandmother and continued with teachers, ministry leaders, former colleagues and bosses, etc. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the most intuitive, smart and insightful leaders who have groomed me throughout my career.

As the President of Diversity Initiatives, I am responsible for growing our program portfolio nationally. I will be brokering partnerships with corporations and educational institutions throughout the country. I truly believe this is a unique program and I am confident that, through my role and our continued efforts, we will grow Project Lead for Women into the largest and most effective women’s mentoring program in the country.

I am excited to support companies in exploring and implementing mentoring solutions through Engage Mentoring’s proprietary platform. I believe that the Project Lead for Women program is a game-changer and ultimately contributes to a company’s overall culture, satisfaction, retention of female talent, and brand exposure.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is at the top of mind for many organizations. What does DEI mean to me? In full transparency, it was not always at the top of my discussion. I knew the battles I endured being a woman of color and feeling I had to work harder to prove myself. I have been the only female executive on a majority white, male team. 

I believe it is important for individuals, especially those in leadership roles, to create spaces where crucial conversations around DEI are able to occur. 

It is my hope that systems of inequity are discussed and addressed, helping people to see why it is important that diverse populations are considered in all things (especially in the workplace), where there’s consideration of not just race, but diversity, as it relates to gender inclusion, individual ideas, differences and perspectives, are embraced. Any leader in today’s world is simply not getting the full richness of what their team can do and produce if they are not considering these factors. 

I believe wholeheartedly in this, and that is what draws me to the mission of Engage Mentoring. If companies do not make diversity, equity and inclusion a priority, demonstrating intentionality in actions and in dollars to attract, retain and nurture a diverse talent pool, it impacts the organizational culture and the bottom line. To us at Engage Mentoring, access to relationships through mentorship is critical to attaining workplace diversity.

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At Engage Mentoring, our mission is to help organizations grow inclusive cultures of diverse talent by leveraging technology that provides access to meaningful relationships.

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