Many global companies are focused on promoting diversity, inclusivity, and representation in the workplace. Through open lines of communication, racial sensitivity training and unconscious bias education, managers and employees are working to navigate delicate personnel issues, avoid committing microaggressions, and prevent discriminatory behavior before it happens. Join Vernā Myers, vice president of inclusion strategy at Netflix, for a conversation examining the strategies for ensuring productive, inclusive workplaces that lead to mutual respect and trust among colleagues. Watch live on Tuesday, July 20 at 12:30pm ET.

Highlights

Myers emphasized that innovation comes from having teams composed of people from all backgrounds. “If any company wants to move into the future and wants to be resilient and competent and capable and relevant… and to serve their constituencies and customers, they’ve got to be on this journey of inclusion because it’s where the innovation is… where the creativity is.” (Washington Post Live)
Myers said systemic barriers like limited personal and professional networks stop both employers and qualified candidates from finding one another. “Many of us have very limited networks and so you are looking within this very limited world. And so the first thing I would do is, is I would say to our participant, ‘Are you sure, or is that just your understanding of who’s out there?’ Because we all know they used to say that about Black directors or they used to say that about Black actors, and it turns out there are many of them, right. So first, part of this work is to think about the systemic barriers that are preventing us… from even knowing who people are and what people are capable of.” (Washington Post Live)
The vice president of Inclusion Strategy at Netflix says innovative and diverse programming on their platform comes from changing who’s in front of and behind the camera and the stories they tell. “When we’re working with people like Shonda Rhimes or Janet Mock or Ryan O’Connell– I don’t know if you saw ‘Special,’ which is written and directed and acted by a person who has cerebral palsy and who is gay, right? If you look at ‘Lupin,’ coming out of France with this beautiful, brilliant Black protagonist. So, I think for sure it’s showing up… We still have an enormous amount of work to do, but I think you can see that we are creating such excitement and such innovation just by changing who’s writing, who’s directing, who’s behind the camera, who’s in front of the camera.” (Washington Post Live)
“We can’t have a conversation about that in 2021 without talking about what happened in 2020, and the tragedy of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and whole bunch of people before and after them. What I think we have – and let’s hope we can hold on to it– is the understanding that this stuff is systemic. That it is built in, that there was a social hierarchy established a long time ago that hopefully most of us don’t believe in but is nonetheless alive and well and on automatic every day selecting the same people, positioning the same folks and disadvantaging the same folks over and over again. So the awareness around systems I think has been powerful.” (Washington Post Live)

Vernā Myers

Provided by Netflix.

Vernā Myers is an inclusion strategist, cultural innovator, thought leader, and social commentator. A Harvard-trained lawyer and founder of The Vernā Myers Company, Vernā was recently made VP, Inclusion Strategy at Netflix. In this newly created role, she helps devise and implement strategies that integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of Netflix’s operations worldwide. Vernā is the author of Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing and What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People. Her inspiring TED talk, “How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them,” has been viewed almost 3 million times.