Inclusion from the Inside Out: Why Building Diverse Teams Starts From the Top
My journey to becoming a VP of Software Engineering at a large financial institution has required equal parts grit, tenacity, and risk-taking, along with some luck, and most important, the help of mentors. My greatest career successes have come when my mentors have also played advocate. If you want to help someone achieve professional success, there is no substitute for the two-pronged approach of mentorship and advocacy. Advocacy does not need to be limited to an individual – it can be woven into a team’s culture, providing a guiding principle, a North Star, for the entire group. Team diversity, respect, and mutual trust are essential for a high-functioning and truly innovative team. These results don’t materialize by accident. When there is intentional advocacy, it becomes part of a team’s DNA. While it is not necessary for advocacy to come from a senior leader, the culture of a team is typically set from the top. As leaders representing diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ethnicities, we have an obligation to elevate each other, and in turn, our teams. We must correct imbalances that come from all forms of bias, especially unconscious. We must be intentional in creating a culture that embraces diversity. At Fidelity Labs, we live by these principles. We unleash the power of innovation and creativity through our values-based, aspirational approach to problem solving, and, most importantly, our deeply diverse teams. This allows us to create and deliver sustainable, best-in-class solutions, built upon the insights of multiple points of view that contribute to improving the lives of the people we serve. Intentional advocacy is the key that makes all this possible. Think about your professional relationships…Who could use an advocate? How can you help them achieve their goals?
Presenter: Frine Carbonelll, Fidelity Investments