NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)- Diversity in the workplace is meant to benefit both companies and employees, but how can we achieve it? Mariana Serrano, the Director of Diversity & Social Impact at The Connection, joined Connecticut’s Morning Buzz Host Natasha Lubczenko in the studio, to answer the question, ‘Where can we start?’

Mariana explains that the reason that Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) issues are so important at work, is because they are a part of our lifestyle and our livelihood as people, and how we show up in the workplace. She says, “So we spend, I would say,  90% of our time at work, throughout the week. So, a lot of time.” “..Diversity is a representation of all of our social backgrounds, our characteristics, and our ability to show up intellectually as diverse. With that representation, we as a workforce all connect with each other at different capacities.  So, there’s a level of inclusion that needs to be there, in terms of how we respect and receive each other and build each other’s voices into the work that we do, consistently.”

Watch this interview to learn about the work and training that Mariana Serrano does with the Connection and the communities and organizations it serves, as she explains why it’s so important:

•              Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) is a crucial aspect of modern-day organizational culture, and its implementation can make a significant difference in the success of an organization and our social efforts toward advancing equity.  

•              DEIB in practice is essential for building a workforce that represents the diverse communities it serves and fostering a culture of inclusivity, where every employee feels valued and empowered to contribute their best work.

•              DEIB work also translates to better business outcomes and greater employee retention – if you do the work and center people, you’ll see a return on that investment.

•              Centering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) takes more than just words, it takes action. The Connection offers training and consultative services that include DEIB and Racial Equity assessments. Visit The Connection’s website to learn more about ways you can partner with them! Their newest catalog includes DEIB-focused learning opportunities like Understanding Implicit Bias in the Workplace, Allyship 101, and Lifelong Learning Tools for Becoming a Partner in DEIB.

•              People who do this work often need connection and community support to move the work forward. So, The Connection is launching Unifying Threads: Community Sessions for Resilient DEIB Practitioners. These sessions will be a place where resilient diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging practitioners can come together to find solace, strength, and support. The first session is taking place on September 20th. Visit The Connection’s website to learn more and sign up!

The Connection was founded 50 years ago by social advocates Kätchen Coley and Nancy Flanner, as a community response to the need for continued safe housing for people after exiting treatment programs. Today the agency operates more than 40 programs across the state of Connecticut that help people with the complex challenges surrounding homelessness, substance abuse treatment, behavioral healthcare, child welfare, and people returning to their communities from incarceration.