Talent Talks

EdFuel’s blog on all things talent.

Kelly’s DEI Spotlight: Lessons from an Inclusive Innovation Playbook developed by AT&T and SmartCities for All
Kelly Gleischman 
October 9, 2019

Last month, Mary Mason’s DEI Spotlight focused on the work at Salesforce to create an overall vision and focus for DEI.  This month we’re going to explore the importance of intentionality and specificity, drawing on lessons from an Inclusive Innovation Playbook developed by AT&T and SmartCities for All, a global initiative that is working to eliminate the digital divide for persons with disabilities and older persons in cities and urban environments worldwide. 


THE INCLUSION CHALLENGE: INNOVATION IS LEAVING PEOPLE BEHIND
The society we live in is at times defined by technological advances; however, such innovation often leaves many groups of people behind. SmartCities for All and AT&T have found through their work that “innovations and technology solutions often are not designed to work for the more than one billion persons with disabilities around the world.” Myriad examples of this lack of inclusiveness abound in the world around us, including buildings without elevators or ramps, blocked or not functional accessibility services, crosswalks without auditory indicators…the list goes on. SmartCities for All and AT&T identified the problem as a pressing one that would only increase as cities became more technologically reliant.

THE INCLUSION SOLUTION: LAY OUT SPECIFIC “PLAYS” TO DRIVE ACTION
Given this issue, AT&T released the Smart Cities Inclusive Innovation Playbook in May 2019 to help close the innovation gap for people with disabilities. The goal of the playbook is “to help cities, their partners, and stakeholders define inclusion as part of the technology innovation process and integrate it into urban innovation ecosystems.” AT&T and SmartCities for All believe that to close the inclusiveness gap within urban innovation, cities must outline specific actions toward these goals along with ways to be held accountable to them. [Read more]


Mary Mason’s DEI Spotlight: DEI Practices at Salesforce
Mary Mason Boaz
September 5, 2019

This month we’re going to explore the importance of a clarified purpose and focus when seeking to move the needle around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We’ll be drawing on a best practice from Salesforce, a leading CRM platform, that employs 25,000+ people across the world and was voted the World’s #1 Best Place to Work and one of the top 20 Best Workplaces for Diversity in 2018 by Fortune


The Salesforce Challenge: Pay gaps and workplace equality
In 2015, Chief Personnel Officer Cindy Robbins first raised the issue of a pay gap between men and women at Salesforce by bringing it to the attention of CEO Marc Benioff. Upon further analysis, Salesforce also identified compensation discrepancies by race and ethnicity and a gender opportunity gap at the highest levels of leadership. Salesforce identified a need to remedy the pay inequities, but also to focus on workplace equality more broadly.

The Salesforce Solution: Clarified Focus on What Matters
The company curated a special report The Impact of Equality and Values Driven Business which examined their diagnosis and solution, noting , “A new business model for companies is emerging — one that calls for companies to expand their purview beyond profit, adopt a holistic approach to societal impact, and actively work toward achieving workplace equality.”

To create true change, Salesforce recognized that a financial commitment without vision and accountability wouldn’t move the needle. Instead, they have explicitly defined what they mean when they discuss “workplace equality” in their statement on their website: [Read more]


Raven’s Cross-Sector DEI Spotlight: Urban Planning
Raven Freeman
July 31, 2019

This month we’re going to explore the interplay between innovation and equity, drawing on a best practice from the field of urban planning. An article from the Urban Institute notes, “We can’t assume that technological innovations will benefit everyone equally. Intentional design for equity should involve inclusive processes and rethinking business practices to target efforts to marginalized communities.”  


The Urban Planning Challenge: Creating an Equitable Bikeshare Model 
According to the article, when Philadelphia decided to introduce a citywide bikeshare model, they engaged a committee of community members representing different neighborhoods and asked residents to vote on where the bikes should be placed.  Despite this approach for equitably distributing the bikes, another challenge arose.  Even though the bikes were accessible, some Philadelphians couldn’t ride them!  Residents who didn’t know how to ride a bike or possess a credit card needed to reserve one were unable to benefit from the bikeshare racks in their neighborhoods.

The Urban Planning Solution: Invest in Differentiated Implementation
Upon further evaluation, the city decided to offer bike riding and safety lessons and found a way to issue cash vouchers.  Both solutions required additional time and investment, but were necessary to achieve, or begin to achieve, their goal of equity.  Neither would’ve come to fruition without ongoing reflection, a high bar for equity and continued community engagement.

[Read more]


You Say Summer, We Say… School Leader Evaluation!

Sarah Morgan, Kelly Gleischman, Carrie Irvin
July 10, 2019

Happy summer, everyone! You may be thinking about pools and popsicles, but when the end of the school year rolls around, we are reminded that it’s time to evaluate the head of your school! (Well, ok, we think caps and gowns too.) One of the most important responsibilities of the board of a public charter school is to evaluate the Head of School. Boards are ultimately responsible for the academic, operational, and financial health and success of the school, yet they do not (and should not!) manage the day-to-day operations of the school, hire the staff, or teach the students. When you sit in the governance seat, the Head of School evaluation process is the board’s most powerful opportunity to exercise effective oversight and hold the school accountable for academic, financial, and operational success.

However, this is really hard! Board members aren’t at the school every day, and most of them have, in fact, never run a school. It can be difficult to gather enough data in a timely way to really know what’s working and what’s not. Plus, board members are busy! We hear from many of our partners that boards often struggle to conduct a professional, thorough, comprehensive evaluation that provides a clear and accurate picture of how well the leader is performing in their job, and that gives the leader actionable, timely feedback on their strengths and areas for growth.
[Read more]


Register Today! Join EdFuel’s 2019-20 Peer Learning Community Cohorts in Washington D.C.

Kerri-Ann Nesbeth
June 27, 2019

Join us for an 8-month in-person peer learning community designed to accelerate education leaders who are change agents for the future

Each school year, EdFuel offers Peer Learning Communities (PLCs) that are designed to allow participants to dive deeply into various themes and functional areas. In monthly sessions, participants convene with one of our expert facilitators to share their experiences and raise problems of practice with peers in order to identify potential solutions.

PLCs are held in-person in Washington D.C. on a monthly basis from September 2019 to April 2020. They run for approximately 2.5 hours during the business day. Past participants include but are not limited to, teachers, school leaders and individuals working in education-focused non-profit organizations.

This upcoming school year, the following three PLC sessions will be offered…[Read more]


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