Bolt Bio: Mitch Barnhill
The month of June is a momentous one. We celebrate Pride Month to honor the leaders and activists who have led the charge to secure equal rights for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. We also celebrate Juneteenth in recognition of the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.
When we sat down to write a blog post to commemorate Pride and Juneteenth, we struggled to find the right angle. Diversity is so much bigger than any one event, and there’s no formula for how to approach it. We asked ourselves how we can acknowledge and celebrate the intersectionality of these movements while also recognizing the work we still have to do.
Like many others, we’ve spent the last year reflecting on what diversity means for TrendyMinds, how we can be better partners for our clients, team, and community when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), and identifying the areas where we still have more to learn and room to grow.
When we talk about diversity in the workplace, the tendency is to focus on the business benefits of DE&I. At TrendyMinds, we’ve talked a lot about bringing diversity to the creative process and how that can produce better work for our clients. And, yes, this is true, but it can also limit the role of diversity, working just as a tactic in a larger business plan.
Diversity isn’t a statistic, or a plaque you can put on the wall that says you’re a “diverse” organization. Instead, it’s an action — an ongoing process that requires a lot of listening, learning, readjusting, and sometimes even making a mistake.
Incorporating diversity not only into your work processes but also as a pillar of your culture isn’t just the right thing to do for your company, it's the right thing to do for your people. Diversity and inclusion have the power to enrich and grow your teams and communities in ways you may not even yet realize.
TrendyMinds has been an active part of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) since 2009, where we continue to build our knowledge about DE&I and learn how to engage with and support members of the LGBTQIA+ community in our own business and city. To expand our efforts, we also joined Diversity Alliance for Science (DA4S) in 2015 and have continued our efforts to listen, learn, and improve the DE&I efforts within our organization.
2020 completely upended the way we work, but a silver lining to this shift is that remote work has opened the doors for our teams to bring in new perspectives and backgrounds. Beyond the geographical confines of an office, we can hire outside of our previous local pool of applicants and seek out valuable voices who offer new, diverse viewpoints inspired by a variety of identities and experiences.
Of course, these things are only the tip of the iceberg. Creating a more inclusive, fair, and equitable workplace is an ongoing journey for every company. Every day presents new opportunities for our team to examine our words and our actions. In this way, we can ensure diversity isn’t just a box we can check off, but rather a core value that is ingrained in everything we do.
“Throughout my life, and my career, I’ve learned that there is always room for improvement to make sure all are welcome. It is our job, both as a company and as individuals, to continue to listen and learn from one another. We must always strive to make DE&I a priority as it’s the only path to success.” - Trevor Yager, President and CEO
For more on TrendyMinds’ commitment to diversity, read last year’s blog post: A Different Kind of Pride 2020.