The many challenges of 2020 encouraged us to strive to better understand the personal and professional experiences of our colleagues and create opportunities for empathy building through storytelling and listening.
The Voices of M. Holland series promotes understanding and increases empathy by amplifying the experiences of employees in life and in work. This internal series is one of the ways that we act on our company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by inviting employees to listen, learn and sit in the experience of another.
Our first session took place in July 2020 and featured several of our Black and African American colleagues. Our second session took place in May 2021 and featured several of our female colleagues. Each panel featured four employees, was an hour long and moderated by a facilitator. Audience lines were muted and there was no Q&A to encourage people to truly sit back and listen.
Both panels were raw, emotional, and powerful. Panelists shared stories that allowed listeners to gain insight into the added challenges they face based on their dimensions of diversity and learn about the enormous impact that discrimination, harassment and microaggressions have on a person’s mental and physical wellbeing. Panelists also provided their opinions on how our company can help to drive inclusion. Both sessions saw incredibly high attendance and received very positive feedback. As a result, we intend to continue the Voices of M. Holland series and hope to amplify new voices and perspectives.
Linsea Waugh, Senior Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager