We’re celebrating our second annual Global Week of Belonging, a time to further educate, engage and involve colleagues in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts. This year’s theme, “Building Trust and Connection,” empowers colleagues globally to understand the importance of building trust and strengthening connections to foster a more respectful, diverse and inclusive culture. Employees will engage in activities throughout the week and hear from internal and external experts and leaders who put trust and connection at the center of their work. For this special edition of Inside Edelman, we profiled colleagues from around our global offices who are committed to deepening Edelman’s commitment to DE&I and are advocates for building acceptance and understanding within the firm and beyond.  

What does DE&I mean to you?

To me, DE&I is recognition of all the people that make the social fabric of where we are and of who we are.

What do you see as the link between DE&I and business progress, performance and growth?

The more diverse the voices are around a table, the richer the conversation is and the broader the view becomes. That richness and breadth of perspective make for more successful businesses. The data proves it.

Edelman’s 2022 Global Week of Belonging seeks to emphasize trust and connection. How have you learned to build trust and connection throughout your career?

Realizing that we have more things in common than things that set us apart. The former (trust) helps connect the dots, but the latter (connection) is where growth happens. Trust is earned, so you have to respect the process.

What has influenced your thinking around DE&I and motivated you to get involved in being an advocate for change? Have you ever been somewhere where there’s no diversity? No equity? No inclusion? Would you want to go back there? I want to create an environment where people want to come back, stay and contribute.

What is your approach to understanding the perspectives of colleagues from different backgrounds?

Listen and learn.

Have you ever had an experience or situation in which you felt like you didn’t belong?

I’m sure I have, but it wasn’t because of my race nor my gender. We can’t fit everywhere. When the vibe is not right, there’s no need to stick around. Keep it moving.

What can leaders and managers be doing to help improve a company's culture to ensure it is an inclusive workplace?

Realize that every voice in the organization matters. So, build platforms and environments where everyone is heard and seen.

Martine St-Victor is General Manager of Edelman Montreal.