These are the companies, diversity leaders, and 20-somethings who are conduits for change and leading the way for the next generation.
“I’ve been an HPHC member since late 2013 and I cannot tell you how amazing this organization is when it comes to transgender healthcare–especially not in 250 words or less. Since I’ve been a member I’ve undergone multiple surgeries – all but one were out of state and out of network and all were covered–which is truly amazing considering I’m in an HMO. They have made efforts to truly understand the specific unique needs of trans patients and go above and beyond for us.
The best feature of my plan is an actual human being – Debra Wojnarowski, the nurse care manager specifically assigned to transgender patients. If I need anything I call her direct line or email her. She pushes through authorizations, makes recommendations and follows up after every procedure. Going through surgery is stressful enough. Debra and HPHC make navigating the insurance part one less thing to worry about. They have brought humanity to healthcare. If other companies would follow suit the world would be a much happier, healthier place.”
In November 2017, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission funded the creation of newly-formed Northeast Center for Tradeswomen Equity and together launched a first-of-its-kind, statewide recruitment initiative to encourage more women to pursue a career in the union building trades. This initiative is the result of a unique collaboration of dedicated organizations that joined forces and their collective resolve to address a chronic challenge. The Build A Life That Works campaign seeks to address an ongoing challenge in an innovative and impactful way by inspiring women to pursue a career in the union building trades as a viable path to equal pay for equal work, excellent benefits, and a better future.
At launch date Massachusetts tradeswomen comprise 5% of the workforce. This statewide effort aims to increase tradeswomen in the building trades to 20% by 2020. The Build A Life That Works campaign through advertising and grass roots efforts, taps into the insight that women could enjoy a rewarding career in the construction trades, if they would only consider the opportunity. To breakdown the barriers of awareness and consideration, Build A Life That Works illustrates not just the benefits of a career with promising growth, but also shares the great pride in building a legacy of Massachusetts developments. The campaign (developed by KHJ Communications) features real women in the building trades, now enjoying home ownership, quality time with their families, world travel, and many more life moments and experiences, made possible with a career in construction.
The core educational component of this effort is a mobile-enabled, user-friendly website BuildALifeMA.org. The site provides a hub of valuable career information and practical guidance. As part of a sustained outreach and education effort, the Build A Life That Works campaign will promote its message through advertising, marketing, grassroots events and digital strategies. Build A Life That Works advertising will be highly visible through in-kind signage donation from the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) , the New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103 (IBEW), the City of Boston and the City of Everett. Printed posters, brochures, and fliers will be distributed at career centers, community centers, vocational-technical schools and other targeted locations including construction sites. Advancing this important diversity initiative from concept to reality has been a rewarding experience for the Gaming Commission. They hope that this tangible, long-term solution will be a catalyst for a future of economic opportunity for women.
As an early employee at PayPal, David Delmar could not help but notice that the people around him at work every day were predominately white males. Somehow, that just didn’t seem right.
So David, being David (well read, high energy, entrepreneurial and civic-minded) set about to change it, launching Resilient Coders: a non-profit training ground for people of color – especially young people – preparing them for high growth careers in technology. Coders participate in rigorous, hands-on course work focused on coding and software development. They are the heart, soul, and brains behind the RC lab, providing top flight talent for paid project work for leading tech companies’ and others.
And they go on, to apprenticeships, paid positions, and promising careers, benefiting themselves and the industry they become a part of. The RC mission says everything about David and his contribution to diversity and inclusion for Boston and beyond: “We believe in social justice through economic empowerment, and in the opportunity for meritocracy in tech. This isn’t about one-off camps or hackathons. This is about meaningful change.”
Silicon Valley is largely a white “boys club,” resulting in myopia and conformity, the enemy of innovation. Mike Grandinetti, CMO & CSO of Reduxio and Professor at the Hult International Business School, is on a mission to change that. Mike’s passion lies in fostering a diverse workforce. Despite the current climate surrounding immigration policy, Mike hasn’t shied away from speaking his mind publicly. He regularly shares his POV on the importance of diversity, resulting in international coverage on WCBS National TV, NPR, and al Jazeera English and business publications such as Fast Company and Inc., as well as columns in Money Inc & on Hult’s web site.
Mike also shared the stage at TEDx with a U.S. national slam poet champion that he invited to join. He actively seeks out prominent women role models to serve as judges and mentors for his female students and mentees in his entrepreneurship classes and startup advisory activities. He proactively seeks employees from outside the U.S. despite policy uncertainty. He’s the only American on his marketing team of 11 people, 60% of which is female. Having worked a long, varied career as an eight-time startup CXO, a McKinsey strategy consultant, an independent innovation consultant and an engineer in Silicon Valley, Mike knows that to be truly innovative, highly diverse perspectives are crucial.
At Reduxio, he places great value on a fundamental principle; that the best results come from an intellectually stimulating, collaborative environment of highly empowered, diverse teams with lots of autonomy.
Bayla Werman, Account Executive at MullenLowe Boston, jumped at the opportunity to join Blake Winfree and Erin Swenson Gorrall as they launched the 25Forty Project (http://www.25fortyproject.com), an initiative that aims to expose 1,000 students (25 agencies, 40 students at each agency) to pursue advertising as a career. It’s based on the realization that, whether due to a lack of awareness or opportunity, young people from diverse backgrounds are not aspiring to careers in advertising.
Bayla’s role on the 25Forty team is best described as the “jack of all trades.” She has touched almost every piece of this project, from building a dedicated agency team to recruiting agencies and schools to mentoring students in the classroom as well as on production. During a photoshoot, Wes, a student who was art directing the shoot, approached her saying, “Bayla, I had no idea that this was even a job you could do within advertising.” That’s when she knew the experience they were creating with these students was making a serious impact.
MullenLowe Boston partnered with the Boston Arts Academy and the Record Co., a nonprofit music incubator, to create “Boston Music Is,” a campaign that produced the original song and music video, “Feels Like Home,” which won the Boston Music Awards Video of the Year (Unsigned Artist). Bayla worked with these students on a weekly basis to guide them in managing their “clients” and developing an integrated campaign.
She was a crucial part in 25Forty’s successful inaugural year, which saw seven agencies volunteer to participate via execution of a creative campaign and/or a speaker series. Campaigns were judged by industry professionals and the winning schools—which partnered with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Pereira & O’Dell, and MullenLowe—were awarded a $10,000 donation. With the second season underway, Bayla remains dedicated to changing the face of our industry through the 25Forty project.