On Tuesday, October 15, 2019, Raven Solomon came to the ERAU’s Daytona Beach campus to speak about the six traits of inclusive leadership; Boeing provided event. Raven is a renowned speaker from North Carolina who is also an author and became one of the youngest executives in a Fortune 50 company.
Raven defined diversity as the presence of difference while inclusion is the appreciation of differences and helping other feel like they belong. One quote was “diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.” To create inclusive environments, start with fairness and respect for all.
Six traits of inclusive leaders:
- Collaboration – because a diverse-thinking team is greater than the sum of its parts
- Cultural intelligence – because not everyone sees the world through the same cultural frame
- Curiosity – because different ideas and experiences enable growth
- Cognizance – because bias is a leader’s Achilles’ heel
- Courage – because talking about imperfections involves personal risk-taking
- Commitment – because staying the course is hard
We asked students to share their thoughts after the presentation and comments are below:
“I liked learning about how the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace can impact the overall performance of the company. Also, I realized that effective leadership is key in career growth and professional development.” –Soham Bahulekar, Senior, Aerospace Engineering
“Overall I took away a deeper understanding of the key differences between tolerance, acceptance, diversity, and inclusion. I am a non-traditional student and I am eager to return to the workforce as a stronger leader with two new lessons in my toolbox: intentionally course correct for personal AND organizational biases, and clearly articulate the value of diversity and inclusion to my organization (the ‘why’, not just the ‘what’).” – Michelle Nadeau, Master’s student, Engineering Physics
“One thing I got was to step out of your box and join others to do stuff. It creates some bonding.” – Isaac Agbettor, Senior, Aviation Maintenance Science
“Diversity is a topic that is near and dear to me. As soon as I saw two of my favorite things: Boeing (they sponsored the event) and diversity, I had to come and hear this presentation. I was blown away with how humble and realistic Ms. Solomon was in telling her life story and how diversity and inclusion are monumental in today’s age. The best thing I have learned: Actions are louder than words–talking about diversity and inclusion to show support is great, but doing something (with actions) is what really sets you apart. True leaders are the ones who are open to diversity and inclusion—they don’t just lead, they walk with the people they lead (no matter who, what, and where).” –Talina Gulati, Senior, Business Administration