Elevating Lives 2022: Learning Balance When Implementing DEI Efforts at Your Organization

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On Tuesday, October 11, YW Boston held its half-day Elevating Lives 2022 conference titled “How to Pace Your DEI Strategy to Ensure Meaningful and Lasting Change.” Taking place at the UMass Club in Boston, the event gathered over 150 leaders and professionals committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The event was a great success thanks to the generosity of our sponsors: Income Research + Management, Fletcher Consulting, and Sun Life Financial.

This year’s Elevating Lives conference focused on how organizations can respond promptly to the need for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) while also pacing this work to ensure lasting, systemic change. Attendees were first treated to breakfast and a chance to network, which provided an opportunity for participants to learn from one another about how to invest in their DEI work.

Soon after, Beth Chandler, President and CEO of YW Boston, officially welcomed everyone to the conference and provided a preview of the morning’s breakout topics. “We’ve discovered that thoughtful communication, clear expectations, leveraging mid-level managers, ensuring that work is measured, and sustaining participation across the organization can all help to address this challenge. Our breakout sessions were created to dig deeper into these strategies,” Beth said.

Beth then moderated a panel discussion featuring expert speakers who have previously partnered with InclusionBoston. Throughout the panel, Beth asked each speaker to consider how their organization approaches DEI. Panelists shared how their organizations celebrate progress and how they engage new staff members in DEI efforts. The panel included: 

  • Jay Babbitt, Vice President of Human Resources at Northland Investment Corporation 
  • Heather Magaw, Vice President of People and Culture at Chadwick Martin Bailey 
  • Louis Chow, Senior Director of Training and Network Development at Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program. 

“We’ve also committed to twice annually [having] an internal meeting to talk about where we are on our [DEI] progress. We just had one a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t believe how much we packed into 60 minutes and how much you may accomplish. Because when you’re doing the work, it doesn’t feel like you’re accomplishing those micro changes. But when you see it added up, it’s very impressive.”

Heather Magaw, Vice President of People and Culture at Chadwick Martin Bailey

Following the panel, attendees were divided into individual breakout rooms based on their specific interests and roles within their organizations. The breakout rooms included:

No Quick Fix: Communicating about DEI efforts and setting expectations 


  • Anouska Bhattacharyya, Ph.D. (she/they), Vice President of Programs at YW Boston 
  • Keith Marion (he/him), Head of Workplace Diversity Equity & Inclusion at Point32Health 

Spheres of Influence: Mid-level managers as agents of change 


  • Beth Chandler (she/her), President and CEO at YW Boston 
  • Kathleen Von Euw (she/her), Interim Director of InclusionBoston at YW Boston

Measuring Fast and Slow: DEI measurement from idea to impact 


  • Sarah Faude, Ph.D. (she/her), Director of Research and Evaluation at YW Boston  

Dream Work Through Teamwork: Advancing DEI work as non-managers 


  • Rebecca Booth-Fox (she/her), InclusionBoston Manager at YW Boston 
  • Kyle-Amber Clark (she/her), Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer at The Learning Center for the Deaf
Check out photos from Elevating Lives 2022!

Throughout the event, participants could share their learnings and experiences on an interactive social media wall. 

We want to give a special thank you to our amazing facilitators, sponsors, the UMass Club, and everyone who attended our Elevating lives 2022 conference! 

Our 2022 Sponsors


Income Research + Management


Fletcher Consulting
Sun Life Financial

About YW Boston 

As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been at the forefront of advancing equity for over 155 years. Through our DEI Services—such as InclusionBoston and LeadBoston—as well as our advocacy work and F.Y.R.E. Initiative, 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.  

Ready to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in your organization? 

As part of that work, we are helping organizations prioritize Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and become socially connected while staying physically distant. During this time, YW Boston is providing organizations with digital workshops and resources to help them better understand the challenges faced by their employees. For more information, please contact Sheera Bornstein at sheera@ywboston.org