Tag: diversity



Written for the Olin Blog on behalf of Bear Studios by Laura Glanz, BA ’21, who is majoring in international and area studies.

Since my start at WashU last semester, the most important lesson I have learned has revolved around the value of the word “reframe.”

While I originally thought college life would be about studying and meeting new people, it has proved to be so much more. I have discovered that college is also about the ability to take advantage of new, impactful opportunities. As students, we hold the power to determine how our four years at WashU will inspire intellectual and emotional grow. Our minds can be so greatly expanded given the access to fascinating people and tangible resources.

Perspective to Tackle New Experiences

However, taking advantage of the multitude of opportunities and trying new things is not easy. After all, students already have many obligations to balance and attend to: homework, a social life, self-care and mental health, etc.

Diving into the unknown, creating new experiences, can be scary. Joining a certain student group, trying to develop friendships, or dedicating time to a career path creates vulnerability. Uncertainty is a bottle of questions. However, we move forward, change, and grow in life through such experiences; pushing boundaries can lead to inner strength.

The value of the word “reframe” comes into play upon facing such uncertainties. Rather than acting habitually, we can choose to pause, breathe, be mindful, and reframe the discomfort. The closer we approach this line of discomfort, the easier it will be to cope with the unknown of the future.

I attempted to enact this philosophy my first semester at WashU by making a concerted effort to prompt conversations with strangers in order to spark friendships. Furthermore, I actively tried to learn about our campus’s student groups, especially those involving upperclassman whom I admired.

In the fall of my first semester, Jacob Finke, BA ’20, international and area studies, my Washington University Student Associate, introduced me to Bear Studios—a student-run strategy and design firm that predominantly services startups. The opportunity to join such a group sounded amazing, yet I questioned my ability to contribute.

Despite my lack of confidence at the time, I decided to reframe my skepticism and apply. I am so grateful now to have joined the team and become a part of their inspiring mission. Among hard skills, Bear Studios has taught me how much one can learn from taking risks. My colleagues there have shown me the beauty of mindful leadership, and they have made me more comfortable with uncertainty. A little reframing can go a long way.

Laura Glanz, BA ’21 is a strategy fellow at Bear Studios LLC. Pictured above: The author with her intramural soccer team composed of first-year students. Laura is in the top row, fourth from right.




Written for the Olin Blog on behalf of Bear Studios by Lexi Jackson, BSBA’20.

Young professionals today are far less likely to be drawn to monetary incentives than past generations. As PwC finds, millennials are driven by feedback, fulfillment, and the potential to create impact. They desire to make a difference in their work and reach high levels of social impact.

As I consider my own career ambitions, I find that they align most closely with this idea. I want to use my career as another platform to affect change and create my livelihood from difference-making.

The hardest question to answer is, where do I begin?

In order to begin a journey toward high impact, an individual has to have a healthy degree of impatience. That is to say, the most impactful individuals do not wait until they are at the most ideal state in their lives to make an impact. They act immediately with the resources they have at the time. Most individuals will never feel fully ready or equipped to believe they have the capacity to make real impact, and, therefore, often do not act.

Don’t Wait to Act

What we forget is that our actions are only as strong as our passions, and our passions cannot be cultivated by resources or opportunity—they exist in us inherently. Those who have the passion to create change are those who know that change can’t wait. And neither can their action.

Perhaps this is why I decided to create Olin Business School’s first Diversity and Inclusion Summit on February 9. I recognized a need within the community for dialogue and action on this topic, and while I didn’t have the personal resources to materialize my passion, I knew that by seeking the proper partners, the event could come to fruition. All it took was my decision to begin action.

Lexi Jackson

My team and I planned the Summit for more than five months. We booked speakers from over seven companies and organizations including Uber, Facebook, US Bank, Build-A-Bear, and more. We sought financial assistance of more than five different student organizations before finding success from our central sponsor, the BSBA office. We overcame challenges, celebrated unexpected opportunities, and crafted an event that attracted more than 80 students, faculty, and community members.

At its inception, the summit appeared to be an impossible undertaking. We did not have the resources, brand, or experience to execute a half-day event. However, if we had waited until we felt completely assured of our ability to succeed, we would likely have never succeeded altogether.

Action Leads to Fulfillment

Young professionals must act with the same diligence if they desire to find fulfillment in every stage of their career. I hear all too often that my peers are accepting jobs that do not fully excite them, simply to serve as an intermediary between now and their dream career. However, that does not have to be the case. High impact jobs can be found at every point on the career track and include jobs that are both meaningful AND lucrative. A high-impact job does not have to mean working at a nonprofit or earning lower wages in the pursuit of a greater good.

This understanding is the exact mission of the organization 80,000 Hours. 80,000 Hours was created by two Oxford researchers and philosophers who found that this generation is driven by high impact through a career, but will too often forfeit these positions of change in fear of financial stability.

Therefore, 80,000 Hours serves as a job search platform where users can find positions that produce high levels of social impact without breaking the bank. The jobs are sorted into a plethora of categories and are designed to teach users about the breadth of social impact. For example, with artificial intelligence positioned at the threshold to the future, there is perhaps no higher impact job that one can hold than to research and understand both its dangers and benefits. In this way, users are able to find surprisingly impactful positions that fulfill their interests and leverage their expertise.

As a member of Bear Studios, a student-run strategy firm and LLC, I actively use the resources and knowledge that I can contribute at the time to add value to our clients’ projects. I may not have all the answers, but that does not mean I should not leverage what I do know to make the biggest impact that I can.

When we begin to measure social impact in a different way, we find ourselves more equipped to act. We find ourselves more fulfilled, more involved, more empowered. We find ourselves making a difference. Most importantly, we find ourselves refusing to wait. And that, is where the change happens.

Pictured above: Charlyn Moss (BSBA’20), Lexi Jackson (BSBA’20), Sema Dibooglu (BSBA’20), Claudia Rivera (BSBA’20)

Guest Blogger: Lexi Jackson, BSBA’20, is majoring in leadership and strategic management, political science; she is a strategy fellow at Bear Studios LLC.




aggressions in the workplace during a student-led diversity and inclusion summit.
Students brainstorming in the D&I Summit's micro aggression session.

Students brainstorming in the D&I Summit’s micro aggression session.

“Do you need sponsorship to work here?”

“Why don’t you use your ‘black voice’ when you speak?”

“We needed to hire some women.”

These were just a few of the dozen off-putting statements—microaggressions—Olin students recalled hearing in their lifetimes. The litany of indignities launched a session on coping with microaggressions, one component in Friday’s Diversity and Inclusion Summit, organized by students from Phi Gamma Nu, Delta Sigma Pi, and Alpha Kappa Psi.

“Inclusion is a duty to act in order to celebrate diversity,” said Lexi Jackson, an Olin sophomore and codirector of the summit.

The afternoon event began with a panel discussion featuring D&I leaders at several top St. Louis-area companies, including Edward Jones, Pfizer, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Express Scripts, and US Bank.

Charlyn Moss, an Olin sophomore and codirector of the event, moderated the panel discussion. She asked panelists about their biggest personal challenge while engaging in diversity and inclusion work.

“I thought some of the battles I fought in college my kids wouldn’t have to be fighting,” said Susan Stith, vice president, diversity, inclusion and corporate giving for Express Scripts. “And now my kids say, ‘What did you do? Why are we still fighting these same battles 30 and 40 years later?’ That’s a hard place to be in.”

Each panelist expressed gratitude for working in a corporate environment that valued and nurtured its commitment to an inclusive workforce. Arvetta Powell, director of diversity and associate experience at Build-A-Bear, spoke of being recruited from Walmart to create a D&I infrastructure at her company.

“To come and be given a blank canvas was a great opportunity. To create the diversity platform from the ground up has been wonderful,” Powell said.

From left: Adita Akbani (Pfizer); Kim Hawkins (US Bank); Susan Stith (Express Scripts); Emily Pitts (Edward Jones); Arvetta Powell (Build-A-Bear); Charlyn Moss (Olin).

Panelists Adita Akbani, Kim Hawkins, Susan Stith, Emily Pitts, Arvetta Powell, and moderator Charlyn Moss.

The summit included a session on women in technology as well as the interactive program devoted to coping with microaggressions, where session leader Keisha Mabry, an adjunct lecturer at WashU, introduced the “SPEAK” technique:

Seek to Understand

“You have to get your mindset in that place. They’re saying this because it’s some truth of theirs. When we change our mindset, it allows information to be processed differently. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be angry. I’m saying you have to be in a mindset to seek to understand. When you’re not, you’ll have an impulse response.”

Process and Practice

“Everyone should have someone they can turn to as a sounding board to help you think strategically and logically.” Figure out a scenario when you can talk to the person and tell them what you heard.

Expose and Educate

“It can be so hard. This is when you actually speak. Oftentimes we feel like it’s not our responsibility to educate.” If you don’t want to educate, you can work with someone who can play that role for you. “If you state a problem, you better be ready to state a solution and figure out the resources you need to implement the solution.”

Ask Questions

“The asking of questions does not come until there is trust and rapport. Once that foundation is built, that’s when the trust is built.”

Keep at It

Create opportunities. The goal is to change the system, not the person. “This is exhausting.”

Don’t forget to register for Washington University’s Day of Discovery & Dialogue 2018 — Staying Resilient in Challenging Times, running Tuesday evening on the Medical Campus and Wednesday on the Danforth Campus.




To our Washington University community:

On behalf of the entire Washington University community, I share sympathy and support for the University of Virginia, its extended family and the city of Charlottesville. I am inspired by the resilience of Charlottesville and hope that the start of the University of Virginia’s school year brings renewal and promise for the future.

Universities are supposed to be places where diversity is celebrated. The horrific day in Charlottesville runs counter not only to the moral fabric of our country, but to the mission of the campus on which it occurred. The hate, bigotry, prejudice and racism that swelled into an eruption of violence is beyond comprehension. The ugly white supremacist agenda that brought these individuals and organizations to the University of Virginia has no place in our society. We must condemn the hate-filled ideology that we witnessed this weekend.

I hope for a day when it will no longer be necessary to proclaim, “This is not us. This is not who we are or who we want to be.” But Charlottesville is yet another heartbreaking reminder that this is us, this is our reality. We have so much work to do and so much progress to make. At Washington University, we are going to keep up the effort and continue to work toward a more inclusive, accepting and welcoming community. Join us.

Sincerely,

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton




Alumni in the news

Joyce Trimuel (EMBA 2016) has been appointed the Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at CNA. In this newly created role, Trimuel is responsible for developing and leading a cadre of strategic priorities aimed at accelerating the company’s efforts to build a diverse and inclusive culture.

“In addition to being a catalyst for positive change and a passionate, demonstrated champion of diversity, Joyce is a results-driven business leader who will ensure we attract, develop and retain the best people by focusing on the broadest possible pool of talent within our company and throughout the marketplace,” said Liz Aguinaga , Chief Human Resources Officer, CNA.

Joyce_Trimuel__2016_Headshot

Joyce Trimuel

Trimuel joins CNA with nearly 20 years of underwriting and industry leadership. Most recently, she served as Vice President and Kansas City Branch Manager for Chubb. At the same time, she founded the Lead.Link.Leverage initiative, offering more than 200 women business leaders in the Kansas City community professional career development.

“Diversity and inclusion leads to more innovation, more opportunities for all, better access to talent and better business performance,” said Dino E. Robusto , Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CNA. “By working with people from different backgrounds and with different experiences and working styles, we learn and obtain another point of view. Diverse views make for better decisions, and thus drive a high-performance culture. Joyce’s leadership will allow us to meet the needs of customers from countless backgrounds and play a more vital role in our global communities.”

Trimuel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , as well as an MBA from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis . She has earned several diversity achievements, including acting as the chair of Chubb’s Multicultural Development Council, developing and implementing a first-of-its-kind leadership development program, and leading several successful civic and charitable partnerships.

CNA_FINANCIAL_CORPORATION_LOGOAbout CNA
Serving businesses and professionals since 1897, CNA is the country’s eighth largest commercial insurance writer and the 14th largest property and casualty company. CNA’s insurance products include commercial lines, specialty lines, surety, marine and other property and casualty coverages. CNA’s services include risk management, information services, underwriting, risk control and claims administration. For more information, please visit CNA at www.cna.com.

Source: CNA News Release, Chicago, March 6, 2017


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