1 Year Later--CXPA Members and Staff Check in on their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Journey Progress

By Angeleen Rohda posted 05-27-2021 03:25 PM


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion May 2021 Check-In
During Spring 2020, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd sparked a wave of civil unrest in the United States and abroad. Like others, CXPA members and the CXPA have undertaken personal and organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion journeys. In this session, we heard from several CX professionals and explored their journeys while discovering what they’ve learned from their successes and setbacks. Below is a synopsis of the Livestream event, which can be viewed in its entirety below.


As we approach one year from the murder of George Floyd, this CXPA Live reflects on the current state of DE&I from both a personal and professional perspective.

CX leadership chimes in with why they feel DE&I is important for CX professionals. We hear from Barbie Fink, CCXP and Chair of CXPA’s Board of Directors; Steven Ramirez, Chair of CXPA’s Diversity Advancement Committee; and Greg Melia, CAE and the association’s CEO. They speak to CXPA’s commitment to growing DE&I initiatives within the CXPA as well as equip CX pros with resources to incorporate diversity and inclusion in their careers.

Gabe Smith, CCXP, CXPA’s Content Manager, hosts the discussion with insights from CCXPs Kat Stroud and Stacy Sherman. With honesty and vulnerability, we discuss what we don’t know along with what we’ve learned.

The event opens with CXPA leadership discussing how the core values of the CXPA overlap with DE&I, especially championing others, being authentic, and focusing on connection. We review how essential empathy is as a CX professional and our role to serve as advocates for equality. We end the opening thoughts by reflecting on how the heightened awareness of diversity and inclusion has allowed us to start enacting changes and admitting this change is not quick, although it is essential.

Our guests Kat and Stacy are centered in the next segment. They speak to key ideas such as continued DE&I certification and training programs, the importance of self-reflection, and how valuable it is to have helpful language and vocabulary as you approach diversity conversations.

Kat and Stacy speak to how their own DE&I journeys as individuals and as contributors within their organizations. Identity was a common topic, and how our own individual experiences shape our identities and how those identities also grow and change with us. An example is how Kat’s organization started doing storyboards, allowing employees to describe themselves on one slide. This small practice of sharing more about their identities allowed the teams to feel a greater sense of belonging.

On a professional level, they discuss how CX pros should never under-estimate the value of practice in adding DE&I into greater CX initiatives. Going deeper, the trio discusses to discuss structure--where the plan may be championed by an executive sponsor or another advocate, but then empowering a group to work together to deliver results. Like CX, much of DE&I work involves focusing on individual experiences. In promoting these initiatives, it becomes clear there are similarities between CX and DE&I - a small team driving change throughout organizations.

Finally, global economies are requiring us to understand and use individualized approaches. It’s imperative that CX professionals are willing to say “I’d like to know more.”

Overall, it was clear that this last year’s journey in DE&I pairs with CX thinking closely. We need to identify pain points, come to together to learn and grow, and finally plan for better experiences. While some progress is showing, our journey is not done as CX professionals and agents of change.

Right now, CXPA’s Board of Directors is the most diverse group it has ever had, it continues to have a thriving global network, and is making plans to continue to bring forward diverse stories and perspectives. While we know we have a long and difficult journey ahead, we are excited for what we’ll do in another 12, 24, and 36 months to drive this important work forward.