On November 2, 2023, Firefly and Etsy co-hosted their inaugural DEI Practitioner Round Table. This 90-minute session brought together practitioners, leaders and champions from across the nation, representing a cross-section of sectors, industry, government agencies and organizations. We discussed the challenges we face in our roles and explored ways to support one another in the evolving field of DEI.

The initial inspiration for the round table  was to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling this past June. However, the escalating violence and humanitarian crises  unfolding around  the world underscored the need to provide practitioners and leaders with a safe space for their own well-being; as they are often required to support and provide guidance to others. 

The round table was facilitated in both large and small group discussions that provided opportunities to connect in community. Many expressed feelings of overwhelm, frustration and feeling unsafe in their roles and sometimes, even in their identities. However, they  found motivation and strength as others shared strategies for self-care and navigating professional challenges. We soon discovered that a 90 minute session was not the answer, but it was a much needed start.

A Few Key Learnings & Poll Results

Session participants were polled on four key insights: the State of the Industry and their personal well-being, the evolving landscape of DEI within their organizations, the utilization of data in their practices, and what support looks like. Here are some of the notable findings:

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39% of respondents acknowledged having both good and bad days, but expressed a proactive approach to addressing challenges as they arise.
28% revealed feeling fearful and discouraged, yet remained steadfast in their belief in and commitment to the work.
22% mentioned occasionally experiencing the stress of their responsibilities, but maintained a sense of balance through daily practices.
6% conveyed heightened dedication and optimism, emphasizing a robust support system and a hopeful outlook on the future of DEI.

If you’d like to receive the full report, please fill out the form below:

If the insights we’ve shared are reflective of where you find yourself and you would like to be a part of our community of transformation, please consider joining us at our 2024 Next Level Leadership retreat May 15th – 17th, in San Diego, CA.


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