YW Boston honored with Frank X. McCarthy Diversity Champion Award


On Thursday, April 11, 2019, the Northeast Human Resources Association honored YW Boston with the Frank X. McCarthy Diversity Champion Award during their 24th Annual D&I Awards Gala at the State Room in Boston, MA. Our President & CEO Beth Chandler accepted the award on behalf of YW Boston and spoke about the importance of driving inclusion within our communities and organizations. Frank X. McCarthy Diversity Champion Awards are given to an individual or an organization that consistently demonstrates an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Richard Curtis, VP of Global Inclusion/Workforce Development for State Street, was also honored that night as the Individual Diversity Champion.


Upon accepting the award, Beth Chandler addressed the audience and talked about the importance of YW Boston’s work around diversity and inclusion. “You know that less inclusive environments can lead to high attrition rates which negatively impact company culture, productivity, engagement, and overhead. SHRM estimates that an employee who makes $60,000 per year, costs an average of $30,000 – $45,000 just to replace and up to $120,000 in overall losses to the organization. You are also aware of the benefits of inclusive environments as highlighted by McKinsey and Co. Their reports show that leadership teams that achieve racial and gender diversity outperform their peers. And, you recognize the hard work required to create the conditions necessary to foster inclusive organizations.”

“As some of you know, YW Boston’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Last year, we went through a strategic planning process and decided to focus all of our efforts on helping organizations create more inclusive environments for women, people of color and especially women of color so that they can thrive at all levels. We realized that while some progress has been made, a new approach was needed to accelerate change throughout organizations. One that requires individuals and organizations to deeply examine the root causes of racial and gender inequity from a personal, group and societal level. To that end, our programs—such as LeadBoston and Dialogues—partner with organizations to create the cultural change necessary to drive results. We know that this work is on-going and people and organizations begin the journey in different places. So, our approach centers on meeting organizations where they are and helping them to identify the right tools to empower their employees.”


While it’s tremendously rewarding to receive this honor tonight, it’s not the reason why we do this work. We do this work so when the next Boston Spotlight report on race is released, there will be more than one out of 50 Black senior managers in Boston. We also do this work for women like the group of professional women of color who participated in our Dialogues a year or so ago. During the Dialogues, they shared how they felt underutilized in the office. They were rarely assigned to top assignments and in the rare instances that they were, they served as glorified administrators. The leadership team took their concerns seriously and started to pay more attention to who was assigned to what project. This led to the women of color feeling valued in the organization. It also led to their peers seeing them in a different light which led to stronger internal relationships. This work really does make a difference.”


Beth Chandler closed her acceptance speech by thanking NEHRA as well as YW Boston friends and supporters. 


About the Northeast Human Resources Association

With more than 2,400 members, NEHRA is the largest, most influential professional HR organization in the Northeast. Founded 30 years ago, NEHRA’s goal is to help HR professionals connect, grow and thrive by supporting professional certification, providing relevant and timely educational programs, offering access to tools and resources, and creating opportunities to build meaningful relationships with peers and thought leaders.


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 three programs—Dialogues, LeadBoston, and InIt—as well as our advocacy work and Stand Against Racism campaign, we help individuals and organizations create more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed.


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