A Message from Michelle Ray

Since those early years, the telecommunications industry assumed a leadership role in cultivating and advancing issues around diversity and inclusion into the culture which is today evidenced by the continuing work we do here at the Walter Kaitz Foundation. Our charge is to not only offer a vision for the industry at large but to implement clear and results-based programs and initiatives in today’s dynamic workplace.

In fact, Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report highlights how two-thirds of more than 10,000 global leaders surveyed, cited diversity and inclusion as “important” or “very important” to their businesses. I was particularly inspired by some of the key findings from the survey. Here are a few worth noting:

1. Diversity without inclusion is not enough.
2. Inclusive leaders can cast a long shadow.
3. Middle managers matter.
4. Rewire the system to rewire behaviors.
5. Tangible goals make ambitions real.
6. Match the inside and the outside.
7. Perform a culture reset, not a tick-the-box program.

At the Walter Kaitz Foundation, we continue to seek out this type of research to help inform our approach around diversity and inclusion. Through our key partner organizations – the Emma L. Bowen Foundation, the National Association of Multi-ethnicity in Communications and Women in Cable Telecommunications – the industry continues to innovate and offer programs and solutions that are producing a dynamic impact on today’s workforce from top to bottom.

In fact, our goal for the next 35 years is to continue our work in helping to close the gap between aspiration and reality and to partner with inclusive organizations that inform our thinking about strategies that we can develop in concert with our partner organizations. When our member companies and employees feel empowered to grow and do their best work, we all win!

On a final note, as acting director of the Walter Kaitz Foundation, I am honored to have been entrusted with the stewardship of this organization, particularly as we look back at our rich history while navigating into the future. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge and salute the thoughtful leadership provided to the Foundation by my colleague, Dr. David Porter, who departed his post this past spring to explore new opportunities. The industry is indebted to David for his invaluable contribution to the Foundation and we wish him the very best.

I hope you will all join me in October at our 35th Anniversary Dinner!