In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Scott Ballina, Senior Director, Diversity, Belonging & Giving for a global technology company.
Scott learned the value of diversity while serving in the US Navy as an officer leading a diverse group of sailors from all walks of life. It was also in this role where he experienced living double life hiding his sexual orientation through avoidance, double-speak, and living if needed to keep his identity a secret. While working as a technology consultant at Deloitte, Scott started working on diversity and inclusion in a part-time capacity. His passion for the work and its impact grew and he moved into the role full-time as soon as he was able.
The role of diversity and inclusion can be challenging since it is dealing with all employees who have their conscience and unconscious biases. Scott shares how in his current company they wanted to provide all employees the ability to self-identify their sexual orientation and gender identity. He explains that he had to partner closely with the legal team to assess each country’s laws where they operate. That process took just over a year to complete. Having this data will allow him an analyze promotions, attrition, how engaged the employees are and how their sexual orientation and gender identity may be impacting their experience and allow the company to have metrics around their efforts to improve the culture.
Towards improving the culture, Scott and the company worked on having out gay employees who are in leadership positions. When employees see persons in leadership who they identify with it provides strength to all employees. Studies have demonstrated that when there is more diversity in leadership, it fosters a culture of support for all.
Scott offers advice for organizations starting on their path to creating an inclusive work culture including reaching out to him. To connect with Scott find him on OutBüro here.
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