Reflecting on the PLEN X WGR DEI Summit

Women, by nature, are born to lead. Through the strategic efforts of organizations like PLEN, women can gather and embark on our blueprints for success collectively. My experience in the PLEN X WGR Diversity Equity and Inclusion Summit serves as a catapult for all of my current and future endeavors. I feel empowered to challenge my own goals, to lean in, and to stand up. This brief summit has left somewhat of a sentimental imprint on my professional journey when it is evident that rational matters of the heart are the crucial concerns of the state.

One of my favorite sessions was led by Nupur Amin. During her lesson, we could unpack the complexities of difficult conversations and navigate intent versus impact. While the constructive nature of her strategy can apply to any relationship, this skill based on compartmentalization will aid many inevitable professional discussions to come. DEI is commonly stated and meshed onto the strategic plans of companies and organizations. Still, when it comes to the actual implementation of its purpose, impact through change, resistance is often levied by the nature of such structures. Bringing attention to the true intent of the individuals running DEI initiatives can pave the way for continued progress and measurable impact.

Undeniably, the words of WGR’s Day II speaker, Ericka Hines, will stay with me forever. “Be humble and ready to fumble.” She mentioned this regarding the implementation of equity in organizations. However, it is also an essential motto for anyone looking to create and contribute to a just society. DEI work is not linear; it is paved through both horizontal and vertical interactions. Therefore, attending a DEI committee meeting is not your PSA for the month but rather a compelling obligation for those who understand that their personal advancement is interlaced with the advancement and inclusion of others.

“If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

― Lilla Watson

Throughout this virtual professional experience, we were able to network with so many powerful and inspiring women. I am incredibly grateful to have shared this experience with the wonderful women in my cohort, the most outstanding leaders of tomorrow. Within them, I see hope and promise waiting to be released into many sectors, from global affairs to public office. Thank you to PLEN for the continued preparation for what we are born to do, LEAD.

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Chloe Little attended the 2021 PLEN X WGR DEI Summit. She is a rising Senior at the Honors College at Florida International University majoring in International Relations.

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