It’s Black History Month! We’re kicking off with a conversation all about D.E.I.B. (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging), why it’s important, and the actionable steps we can all take towards creating inclusivity. Roslyn Rutledge-Rice brings her diversity expertise to Lift U Up: Inspiring Health Stories as a diversity practitioner, speaker, bestselling author, and co-founder of DPI, LLC, a high-impact business consulting firm. Roslyn went from being laid off to creating a space to let others find their voice, and in this week’s episode she walks us through what got her here.
Finding a Voice
Roslyn Rutledge-Rice spent a lot of time in her life as an “only”. In her career she often stood out from her peers in leadership. She represented a group of people who weren’t always invited into the room with the power, and saw her role in opening up the door for more people who looked like her. Finding her voice in this position didn’t come naturally. Instead, Roslyn had to practice finding her voice and curating a sense of belonging for herself. Little did she know she would move on to helping others overcome the same barriers she worked hard to navigate.
Pivoting to Passion
2020 was the year of reawakening for Roslyn in many ways. Culturally, 2020 gave room for Black people like Roslyn to reflect on the ways they have been assimilating to be like the people around them. Roslyn recalls asking herself the question, “What have we given up to be like someone else?” and pushed herself to challenge the things she always just considered normal.
In addition to this cultural shift, Roslyn was also faced with an opportunity for a career change. With years spent climbing the leadership ladder, a lay off caused Roslyn to face what she really wanted in life. She realized it wasn’t always the work that brought her the most fulfillment, it was her passion for using her role in leadership to open the door for others. This inspired her to found her consulting firm, DPI.
Roslyn’s work today is slowly chipping away at a “one size fits all” mentality in the workplace. Creating a workplace that has a culture of belonging is not easy, so her firm makes sure to supply their clients with the resources that include where to start, and how to make their changes last. We all have our own lived experiences that make us an asset to our teams, but we also all have biases that should be recognized and accounted for. Roslyn’s biggest takeaway to her audience is to listen: to your customers, to your internal team, to anyone who can give you a perspective of what matters to them instead of making your own assumptions.
What else can you expect in this episode?
- Examples from Roslyn for how she changed herself to “fit in” in the corporate space.
- What her dad taught her growing up about what the proper way to act around white people was and how that impacted her.
- What Roslyn loved about February and the conversations around Black History Month.
- The definitions of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
- How feeling belonging and inclusion has an impact on your health.