How can we create organizational change to achieve equity within Boston institutions?


“Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard.” 

-Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy

Last Wednesday, October 16, YW Boston staff facilitated a workshop titled Organizational Change to Achieve Equity at the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network 2019 Annual Conference. During the session, YW Boston facilitators guided participants through strategies for assessing and advancing cultural and organizational change—two necessary components to achieving equity in the workplace. Our two facilitators included YW Boston President & CEO Beth Chandler and Vice President for Programs Kemarah Sika

Addressing barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace can feel daunting. In order to rectify inequitable behaviors, policies, and practices, institutions need to make a commitment to sustainable organizational change. YW Boston’s Organizational Change to Achieve Equity workshop aims to develop a shared understanding of key concepts relevant to achieving organizational change and creating inclusive workplaces. Throughout the session, facilitators will set participants up for success by developing a foundation for learning and engagement in systemic change.  

After exploring frameworks, YW Boston staff spoke about the learnings and successes achieved through our InclusionBoston program. InclusionBoston advances diversity, equity, and inclusion by partnering with organizations looking for improved results. Using an advanced assessment tool and the latest research on behavioral and organizational change, YW Boston partners with organizations to create an action plan and provide them with the resources needed to drive lasting change. Our customized, evidence-based approach builds internal capacity and promotes cultural change while supporting organizations throughout their journey.  

At the MNN workshop, participants had a chance to practice identifying barriers to inclusion on macro, meso, and micro levels. Some key takeaways from the session include: 

  • Everyone needs to become involved for organizational change to last 
  • Knowledge ≠ attitude. Changes in knowledge do not equate changes in attitudes and behaviors. One-time workshops serve as a starting point for those beginning DE&I work or as a refresher for those who wish to deepen their engagement. 
  • Data can be weaponized by skeptics, but organizations should make a commitment to data and measurement in order to hold themselves accountable.  
Interested in bringing this workshop to your organization?

Click here to learn about YW Boston’s workshop offerings. 

Ready to unlock the power of diversity and build a more inclusive and equitable workplace?

Click here to learn more about InclusionBoston and request a free consultation. 


About YW Boston 

As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been at the forefront of advancing equity for over 150 years. Through our DE&I services—InclusionBoston and LeadBoston—as well as our advocacy work and youth programming, we help individuals and organizations change policies, practices, attitudes, and behaviors with a goal of creating more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed.