Diversity & Inclusion Q&A: Keisha Bell, DTCC
What are your responsibilities as Head of Diverse Talent Management and Advancement at DTCC?
While I have been with DTCC for many years, I moved into my current role in early 2019. As Head of Diverse Talent Management and Advancement, I oversee a variety of initiatives with a focus on improving DTCC’s ability to recruit, retain, and promote diverse talent at all levels of our firm. This starts with defining what our company’s aspirations are around diversity and then creating a strategy that puts inclusivity at the center of all our efforts – from our community outreach to recruitment to HR processes.
What are the goals/objectives of DTCC’s partnership with CEO Action?
DTCC partnered with CEO Action to continue to encourage discussion and action around the need for intentional, forward-thinking diversity and inclusion efforts across our firm and the industry. Through this partnership, DTCC hosted the CEO Action “Check Your Blind Spots” tour at DTCC’s Dallas office last month. The goal was to recognize the obstacles that unconscious bias may pose to achieving true corporate diversity, and create discussion on how we can best address this opportunity.
The CEO Action “Check Your Blind Spots” tour was designed to provide visitors with a fun, informative way to learn about the impacts unconscious bias can have on an organization and provide them with the tools to mitigate unconscious bias in their careers.
What was discussed at the Feb. 26 event?
The event was focused on encouraging people to recognize unconscious bias, and the impact that bias can have on the decisions we make in our lives, some of which we are not even aware of. These biases can be hidden in how we communicate with our peers and teammates throughout our careers, so it is vital that we understand how they can impact our workplace and employees.
While the event was important for DTCC, we hope it can be a conversation-starter for the wider industry. By starting these conversations, we hope to lead the way in honest – even if at times uncomfortable – dialogues regarding privilege and unconscious bias.
What initiatives is DTCC undertaking toward increasing diversity in the workplace?
We’re acting on a number of initiatives to increase diversity and inclusion at every level of the company. For example, we have partnerships with organizations like Girls Who Code, which brings high school girls interested in STEM activities to DTCC’s campus annually, and Catalyst, which presented its 1.5-day “Men Advocating for Real Change” workshop to DTCC to promote allyship. Longer term, we look forward to building upon our successes with our Advancing Women Leaders program, which involves a cohort of 16 women at DTCC at the director level, and our Re-emerge Internship program which helps women to re-join the workforce after taking at least 2 years away from work.
All of these efforts are in addition to our always-on diversity and inclusion efforts, including our approach to recruiting at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Veteran outreach, employee resource groups, and our flexible work practices to suit our employees’ needs.
How do you see diversity in the workplace in say, five to ten years compared with how it is now?
We are starting to see meaningful progress in diversity & inclusion efforts, largely because this is a topic that has garnered much national attention and focus in recent years. Longer term, I hope we see organizations truly reflect all members of society, where every person is respected and encouraged to do their best. I am proud to be a part of DTCC’s D&I initiatives, and am excited to see these efforts continue to grow in the years to come.
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