What an exciting time to be a part of a flourishing organization like DISTek Integration! With all the growth that is occurring, we strive to create focus around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As a company, one step we took this year was to participate in the Women Lead Change conference that was held this past April in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
What is diversity and why is it important? Diversity is presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, ability, age or political affiliation. It’s important to see each person as an individual and to encourage equity and inclusion in the workplace and in day-to-day life. DISTek is working to create an awareness of these beliefs and in so doing, asked three employee-owners to attend the Women Lead Change conference in Cedar Rapids.
First, it is clear this is a very well-organized conference. My coworkers and I enjoyed it both virtually, as well as in person. They had some big-name and very inspirational speakers come in to talk about the struggles they’ve overcome as women in the workplace. Some of the names include Valerie Burton (life coach and author), Sarah Thomas (the first female NFL referee), Chely Wright (country music star), Kathy Najimy (actress, director, producer), Kristin Chenoweth (Emmy award winning actress), and Cat Cora (first female Iron Chef). We benefitted from two days of focus on listening to our inner voices as women and learning ways to help to improve the situation for others, not just women but all underrepresented groups.
As a participant in the conference, I rediscovered the importance of taking care of one’s own mental health and advocating for one’s needs. I am bringing several ideas back to DISTek from this conference and beginning this month, DISTek will initiate a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Input team to help drive the strategy forward in the coming months and years. Also, DISTek became members of the Women Lead Change organization and more specifically, Cedar Valley Women Connect. I am looking forward to continued learning and comradery with this group in the upcoming year!