By Taylor Williams
Professor Ron Culp invited the DePaul chapter of PRSSA to his Leadership 2.0: Creating Diverse & Inclusive Cultures seminar. The virtual meet took place on Monday, May 18 at 6 p.m. Six panelists attended including Calmetta Coleman, Pedro Guerrero, Jeff Winton, Patti Temple Rocks, Varsha Kaura, and Courtney Quaye.
The call started off with introductions from Culp and highlights from Professor Jim Motzer on the first place win of DePaul’s “A Team” PRSSA Bateman Competition team. Afterwards there were introductions from the six panelists. Each one had their own unique perspective on diversity and inclusion in the workplace and how they lead their teams to cultivate equity and respect in it as well.
Calmetta Coleman is the Senior Vice President of External Affairs & Programs for the Chicago Urban League. She started her career off in journalism and later transitioned to PR. She interestingly found the public relations sector to be less diverse than journalism. Nevertheless, she persevered and was able to find her unique strengths. She is currently working on raising the flag for change at her non-profit organization.
Pedro Guerrero is the CEO of Guerrero Media. During his career he had an “aha moment” when he realized that those in the Latino community do not promote themselves enough. To combat this Guerrero publishes articles to show support for the Latino community. When it comes to diversity and inclusion Guerrero makes sure these values are instilled in his brand from the top executives down to the rest of his employees.
Jeff Winton is the CEO & Founder of Jeff Winton Associates. Winton found early on in his career that he wasn’t living authentically. However, during the HIV/AIDs movement in the early 80s, it had sparked something inside of him and Winton knew he had a duty to himself and others. He finds that companies today are not taking advantage of their diverse insights and resources and he wants to change that.
Patti Temple Rocks is an Author and Communications Consultant. She saw lots of ageism in the corporate and agency industry and wanted to help others overcome this issue. She went on to write a book after seeing the broken system to tell the story and inspire others. She really wants people on her team that think differently than her and believes that’s how the best results are produced.
Varsha Kaura is the Senior Vice President & Client Partner at Motista. Throughout her life Kaura came to realize that she couldn’t rely on beauty and instead began to rely on brains. She found that all you need is one person to believe in yourself to make a difference. Kaura’s simple advice is to genuinely love what makes you unique, whether that be your culture, accent, etc. She said to "make this your superpower".
Last, but not least, Courtney Quaye is the Senior Vice President at FleishmanHillard. He found that there is importance in seeing someone who looks like you in the workplace. However, one day he stopped looking for this person and decided to become that person. Quaye says change is necessary for good things to happen and encourages us all to embrace it.
The underlying theme with the six panelists is that diversity is a powerful tool. It accomplishes things in a more effective way and highlights the best parts of people. All brands should make diversity and inclusion a core value of their organizations and see the great impact it has on their employees.