Putting Action into DEI

About This Episode

Putting Action into DEI: Tachelle Lawson

Last year companies pledged over 50 billion dollars in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitments, showing they are ready to act and invest in change – yet only 250 million dollars has actually been spent. The message is clear; organizations are still not sure where to start. In part one of a special two-part episode featuring individuals from Skillsoft’s new DEI courses, TaChelle Lawson, Founder and President of FIG Strategy and Consulting, joins to share her perspective on where we go from here. Her answer? Awareness is only the first step. Next is accountability and process.

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About This Episode

Putting Action Into DEI: Stephanie Wade

Over the past year, we’ve seen that organizations and people are hungry for change – a change that shifts our work environments to one that exemplifies Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) inside and out. But with this transformation comes work and new challenges. On part two of this special episode, featuring individuals from Skillsoft’s new DEI courses, Stephanie Wade, a Political Organizer, Transgender Advocate, Educator, Speaker, and Former Field Representative and Veteran's Liaison to U.S. Congressmen Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. joins to share her perspective on what needs to be changed and nurtured to create a more inclusive work environment. In short, she states that a true and authentic work environment committed to DEI starts with shifting company culture.

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The views expressed by guests are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Skillsoft.

About Our Guest

TaChelle Lawson

Passion. Drive. Responsibility. Leadership. Integrity. These are the qualities that have cemented TaChelle Lawson’s reputation as a dominant force in the luxury service, hospitality, food & beverage, and fashion industries, for over two decades.

As Founder and President of FIG Strategy & Consulting, Lawson counsels a diverse and elite clientele who’ve come to rely on her brand-building and preservation prowess. Services include brand strategy, business management consulting, culture transformation, leadership training, diversity & inclusion, and strategic sourcing. As a strategic planner and business developer, Lawson has lent her expertise in business analysis, strategy, management, and media to multiple $100 million ARR companies looking to maximize the effectiveness of their outreach, brand-building, and marketing efforts.

To date, Lawson’s client brands include: Louis Vuitton, Lexus, NASCAR, Porsche, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Nike, Sprint, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Tyson Foods, Heineken, Lamborghini, and Lancôme, to name several. She’s also worked with the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Sonoma Motor Speedway, the America’s Cup, the U.S. Open, and the James Beard Foundation. Lawson is also a strong believer in and champion of a diverse workforce; to wit, she is actively working to change the narrative of diversity and inclusion by challenging companies to go beyond agency-centric metrics to instead focus on creating lasting value for their clients.

Lawson is an active mentor to young women entering the workforce and has served on several boards and advisory councils throughout the course of her career, including Las Vegas Business Academy, Serenity Springs, and Project Real. She currently serves on the Business Development Advisory Council (BDAC) for Clark County, NV and the Entrepreneurship & Leadership Advisory Board for UNLV.

About Our Guest

Stephanie Wade

Stephanie Wade is a former Marine Infantry officer, environmental activist and educator who left her public school teaching career in January of 2017 to take a leading role in organizing Swing Left in Los Angeles and then, as the Director of Volunteers for the Cisneros for Congress Campaign, was a part of Orange County's Blue wave. She followed Congressman Cisneros into office and for two years served as his Veterans Liaison and Field Representative in his district office. She was one of the first out-trans women to serve on a congressional staff and held a particularly prominent role in supporting the Congressman's legislative work on the Veterans Affairs and Armed Services Committees. In addition to her work as a congressional aide, Stephanie has been quite active in Democratic and LGBT organizing, serving as a President of the Orange County Veterans Democratic Club, a Founding Member and Co-Chair for the lavender Democrats of OC, and as a Member of the Board of Advisors for the Equality of California Institute and as Supervisor Doug Chaffee’s appointee to the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council where she is proud to have lobbied the County Supervisors who took up her suggestion and have lobbied the county’s congressional delegation for reforms that will make it possible for veterans to upgrade and correct the bad conduct discharges that were given because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. She is currently pursuing jobs in law enforcement where she hopes to be able to contribute to a new wave of police reform and to help the law enforcement better understand the needs and rights of LGBT and other disenfranchised citizens. She is the proud mom of a 10 year old girl and a 25 year old son both of whom are staunch progressives, feminists and LGBT allies. She likes cats, surfing and equity!

About Our Host

Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek

As Chief Marketing Officer, Michelle leads a global marketing organization, focused on transforming today’s workforce for tomorrow’s economy. Since joining the company, she has been responsible for Skillsoft’s global marketing strategy, which includes generating awareness, driving preference, and building affinity for Skillsoft. Additionally – and perhaps most importantly – Michelle serves as the company's brand evangelist, helping to build a vibrant community of passionate learners.

With more than 25 years of marketing, branding, and strategy experience, Michelle has made it her personal mission to support the advancement of women in business. Prior to Skillsoft, she served as Chief Marketing Officer of IBM Watson, where she was instrumental in developing the first “Women Leaders in AI” program, which honors women who put AI to work across industries and around the globe. She also served as the global head of marketing for The Weather Company, an IBM Business, helping companies understand how to anticipate, plan for, and ultimately make better decisions – with greater confidence – in the face of weather.

Michelle is a prolific speaker on a range of topics, including the war for talent, digital transformation, and marketing in a post-pandemic world. She covers these topics and more as the host of Skillsoft's podcast, The Edge, now in its second season. She has authored countless papers covering a range of business and marketing topics, was at the center of Skillsoft’s leadership role in DEI through free “Leadercamps,” and has taught two Percipio courses on the Pink Pandemic and Public Speaking.

Michelle is also a founding member of CMO Huddles, a group dedicated to bringing together and empowering highly effective B2B CMOs to share, care, and dare each other to greatness. Michelle holds a Master’s degree from Simmons University and sits on the pro side of the Oxford comma debate.