Talking about diversity in the workplace always brings questions. For some, a sense of “Am I using the right language?” can lead to an avoidance of the subject because it makes us uncomfortable. When we avoid the conversation, our teams and hiring practices can be impacted, especially in smaller studios. Our goal is to have a safe dialogue about getting to a more inclusive, connected workforce.
The conversation will begin with a presentation by design leader and innovation consultant ELAINE LOPEZ, AIGA Chicago board member who leads Diversity and Inclusion efforts. Small companies are facing challenges when attempting to hire people of color. To learn why, she sent a survey to 17 small, privately owned design studios. She will present her findings to our community.
Elaine will then moderate a panel of creative leaders who are making diversity a priority in their companies. We will discuss how they find talent, overcome biases, expand outside of their network, and how diverse teams influence their business.
Join us on Wednesday, July 26 for networking, food and drinks from 5:30-8:00pm at our host closerlook. If you are attending, we invite you to submit anonymous Q&A questions by Tuesday morning.
SARA CANTOR AYE co-founded Greater Good Studio to apply her background in ethnographic research and design strategy to overlooked problems and underserved people. At Greater Good, she designs effective and inclusive engagements, guides the research practice, and develops partnerships with clients, peers and mentors. Sara speaks regularly on designing for social impact and has facilitated social innovation workshops around the world with a wide range of learners, from nonprofit executives to high school students. Sara holds a master’s in design planning from the Institute of Design at IIT and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University.
DON BORA is a partner and co-founder of Eight Bit Studios. He loves meeting new developers, seeing their tremendous potential, and giving them the opportunity to be great. Don has been an outspoken advocate for women and girls in tech, seeking to bridge the technology gap by exposing the fun and creative side of programming. He frequently mentors both high school and college students who display an interest in technology and coding.
JEWELL DONALDSON is an Aspirant Adwoman and Copywriter at Leo Burnett. Living and breathing her own effervescent brand of #BlackGirlMagic, she has been adding dimension to some of Leo Burnett’s top clients. A performance poet that broke into marketing, Jewell’s early career has been steeped in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. She has been lauded for her keen insight, creative voice, and providing a “real-talk” perspective that’s not often heard in industry circles.
JONATHAN SARMIENTO is creative director at closerlook who manages writers, designers and interactive developers and shapes the overall creative vision for interactive projects.