Lead Systemic Change

Eric Thomas is the VP and Chief Diversity Equity Inclusion Officer at Genesys. In his role, he is passionate about not only bringing DEI to the company but getting employees involved as well.

Eric shares his journey of leading the entire organization’s newly incorporated DEI strategy to lead systemic change. He’s ocused on building something that will outlast him and leave a lasting impact. You’ll learn why data and teamwork are crucial to its success.

Truth You Can Act On

1. Build Something to Outlast You

We wanted to build something that could outlast any of us. The conversation stems from our recognizing that we’ve seen this work done in some of our prior companies, and we’ve also seen how in a lot of cases, it didn’t gain a lot of traction. We thought about what could we do differently to make sure that we are building sustainable DEI practices that would differentiate us from others. We talked about a balance, making sure that we have a balance of the various key aspects that really allow you to embed DEI into the operating fabric of a company. So often, people will focus mostly on recruiting, and it’s an easy check box for them, but they don’t spend enough time on the culture, so they lose a lot of the people that they bring in-house. Our approach was to have a balanced strategy that addressed what we felt like would be the key pillars of diversity, equity, and inclusion and allow us to build a sustainable set of practices and really drive the systemic change that we were looking for.

2. Use Data as the Cornerstone of Decisionmaking

Data is a cornerstone that drives how we decide what we’re going to do. What are going to be our priorities? As an example, when we started this work, one of the first things I wanted to get my head around was understanding representation in the company. What was the representation of women around the globe, and what was the representation of the various underrepresented populations in the US? And we used that as a baseline against which we set corporate goals to better align the representation of our workforce with the markets and that we operate in, and that we also serve.

3. Have a Strategic Plan to Get Employee Buy-in

It’s not just my team and me, it’s the work our employees across the world help with. One of the key things we find important is that this work is highly innovative, but it is also highly collaborative. Employee engagement is one of the hidden gems of making DEI work—from the employees who step up to lead our various employee resource groups to the employees that are part of our different councils around the globe.


Book Recommendation:

Connect with Eric on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomas-eric/

Learn more about Genesys: https://www.genesys.com/

Eric’s Blog: https://www.genesys.com/blog/author?auth=797


Listen to the full episode: 173: Lead Systemic Change with Eric Thomas

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