Influencing Change Through Diversity and Inclusion

Influencing Change Through Diversity and Inclusion

tweet me:
Influencing change through diversity and inclusion @BGOV
Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 10:00am

CAMPAIGN: Bloomberg: Philanthropy & Engagement


Originally posted on

By Elizabeth Hart

Organizations are at their best when diverse ideas are at work. Likewise, at Bloomberg we believe that diversity and inclusion are critical to a business’s growth, prosperity and success. At Bloomberg Government, we innovate and give our clients the edge necessary to win opportunities and influence government outcomes—and this can’t be done without the people in our organization. We believe in having a staff with diverse perspectives, experiences, ideas, backgrounds, genders—why? Because it creates an environment where individuals feel they can be their true selves, which in turn breeds innovation.

According to Fast Company’s Sarah Kessler, “As far as numbers go, little has actually changed over the past few years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the representation of women in computer and mathematical operations is slightly worse than it was in 2010….This is a business problem.”

In 2014 and 2015 we launched a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives, though as a company and community we still have more work to do and more insights to gain. Over the past two months, employees at Bloomberg Government have hosted three events focused on diversity in media, LGBT equality and women and leadership. These events allowed leadership, staff, partners, clients and prospects to share diversity and inclusion challenges, best practices and data across organizations and industries.

If we want to influence change in the DC community, then each of us has to work like never before. We can’t play it safe, and we can’t take shortcuts. We have to raise our voices, push the status quo, innovate and take risks.

In essence, we have to follow the Bloomberg motto: Be bold.

Bloomberg’s Black Professional Community hosted the Power of Difference summit, where a panel came together to discuss diversity in the newsroom. Panelists examined the responsibility of media organizations with regard to hiring journalists of diverse backgrounds and explored the challenges and opportunities these organizations face when covering issues of diversity today.

Panelists included: Richard Fowler (Richard Fowler Show), Drew Berry (Scripps Howard School of Journalism), Orlando Watson (Republican National Committee), Vanessa Williams (Washington Post), and Benet Wilson (NABJ). Toluse Olorunnipa from Bloomberg News moderated the event. Albert Tillman and Marcus Gregg from Bloomberg Government and co-leads of the BPC Community in Washington, DC gave opening and closing remarks.

Bloomberg’s LGBT and Ally Community (BPROUD), Bloomberg Government and Q Street (an Association for LGBT Government Affairs professionals) hosted an event recognizing the efforts businesses have made in supporting and encouraging LGBT equality. Bloomberg clients, prospects and partners gathered to celebrate the achievements that have been made and discuss the road that still lies ahead.

Loren Duggan, Director of Legislative Analysis and Product for Bloomberg Government, and Paul Wood, Bloomberg’s Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, both shared their personal stories with the audience.

Bloomberg Government and the Bloomberg Women’s Community hosted the Women Who Mean Business event, where some of Washington’s most powerful women shared their successes and challenges, and discussed how they have influenced change.

The panel of Bloomberg clients and prospects included: Susan Neely (President & CEO of American Beverage Association), Teresa Carlson (Vice President of the World Wide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services), Erin Egan (Vice President of U.S. Public Policy and Chief Privacy Officer, Facebook), Laura Cox Kaplan (Principal in Charge of U.S. Government, Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy, PWC) and Sonal Shah (Founding Executive Director, Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation).

As we head into 2016, I hope each of you embrace the diversity within your teams and your community. I challenge you not just to set diversity goals, but to exceed them. Stand up to the status quo. Don’t just have conversations about diversity, but act upon them and challenge others to do the same. Together we can influence change.