The Equalizer: Relationship Building as a DEI Tool

In this Diverse by Design virtual event, Tracy Palmer, Managing Director of Per Scholas Atlanta, interviewed Joey Womack, CEO/Founder of Goodie Nation, on April 22, 2021. As a self-named super-connector that is eager to impact one billion people by 2039, Joey was a standout choice to conduct a conversation about diversity and professional networking in the workplace. In a time when many jobs are filled through who you know, he made it part of his mission to change that narrative and connect more people to the right networks that have access to careers.

One way to counteract this is through relationship building and creating a professional network, which Joey stated is like having superpowers. How would our Learners and others in these communities build their professional networks?

  • Be intentional about constructing a network and attend events that relate to fields you’re interested in and where you could thrive. It’s about quality, not quantity.
  • Set up informational interviews to learn from senior leaders. These leaders believe in life-long learning and often like to help others. Don’t see them as a threat, as these can often lead to a strong mentor/mentee relationship.
  • Join groups such as Black, Latin, and Women tech organizations so that you can make quality connections beyond your existing network. The more groups you join and connect with, the stronger your network will grow.
  • Enter pathways to enter fields such as technology, like here at Per Scholas, and break down traditional barriers such as the need to attend 4-year colleges at prestigious universities for a chance at a strong professional network.
  • Joey Womack’s insight will provide more access to opportunities with a positive trajectory. We are excited for the impact these tips will have on our professional networking and growth as we directly help in Joey’s goal of impacting and connecting one billion people by 2039.

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