A NOTE FROM NISI
Dear NAWBO San Antonio members,
I am honored and thrilled to be your DEIB Director for NAWBO San Antonio and I look forward to all of the amazing adventures that we will be embarking on together! I believe that our chapter has the potential to achieve great things and I am excited to be part of such an inspiring group of women.
We will be working to create an inclusive and diverse environment that welcomes all women in business. Our goal is to create a culture that fosters collaboration, mutual respect, and support. We also strive to build a strong network of women who are passionate about their work and are constantly learning and growing together.
I am excited to harness the power of our chapter members and to create a better business environment for us all. I am confident that together we can make great strides in the business world and create a world of opportunity for women in business.
At first, DEIB can seem like a daunting concept, but it is important to remember that it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every chapter is different and requires its own approach to DEIB.
DEIB is all about understanding and appreciating the differences in people and creating an environment where everyone feels safe and valued. It is about creating an environment where everyone can contribute, be heard, and feel respected. This includes understanding and respecting a variety of cultural backgrounds, gender identities, abilities, and beliefs.
DEIB will sometimes require us to have difficult conversations. As leaders, the goal of these conversations is not to agree — it is to gain a deeper understanding. It does require us to participate to the fullest of our ability because Chapter growth depends on the inclusion of every voice. Regardless of position or title, we are all leaders and leaders lean into discomfort. Learning happens on the edge of our comfort zones and when we push ourselves to be open to new ideas and experiences even if they initially seem uncomfortable. NAWBOSA is not asking members to change their beliefs but to understand National has crafted our DEIB statement that needs to be upheld as a local chapter; in principle and practice.
Thank you for your support and I can’t wait to get started!
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
IN PRINCIPLE AND IN PRACTICE:
Lip service; to say that you agree with something but do nothing to support it is harmful to our chapter. Without accountability, DEIB statements ring hollow and perpetuate continued inequities.
To make room for accountability and correction, we must make room for difficult conversations. Equity will result from appropriate policies, practices and leadership modeling that will eliminate barriers to diversity. The driving forces behind achieving equity are valuing and supporting those who present differently, allowing differences or diversity to help achieve success in a way that hasn’t previously been done.
VALUES AND SEEKS A DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE MEMBERSHIP:
Diverse chapters build a stronger sense of identity and have better outcomes when their diverse strengths, abilities, interests, and perspectives are understood and supported. Inclusion represents feeling respected, supported, and valued. Ensuring a welcoming environment that embraces differences and offers respect for everybody in terms of words and actions. By doing so we allow members to bring their entire, authentic selves to the chapter. To continue to have safe conversations, respect must be mutually exchanged. There is no safe space where discrimination or disrespect is tolerated.
FULL PARTICIPATION OF THE ORGANIZATION:
Our chapter's approach is to create a people-first DEIB strategy. This requires the ongoing support of the entire chapter. By design, our DEIB Committee is heavily focused on liaisons scattered in all corners of membership. The foundation of our DEIB efforts has been created by National, but the priorities, initiatives, and implementation belongs to our chapter members.
SUPPORT OUR MISSION TO EMPOWER WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS, REGARDLESS OF RACE, RELIGION, AGE, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, OR DISABILITY:
Women’s full economic participation is critical for local prosperity and vital for community economic growth. Economic advancement empowers women in our community. Empowered women create strong foundations on which women can build their financial futures. No one should be denied the ability to create financial equity based on diversity.
EFFECTIVELY REPRESENT THE FULL DIVERSITY OF THE WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER COMMUNITY:
Diverse representation in our chapter allows people to feel accepted. It can shape not only how the chapter views women with different diversity but also how individuals in those unique diversities view themselves.
EQUITABLY EXPAND ACCESS TO LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FULL SPECTRUM OF OUR MEMBERSHIP:
Equity-centered membership is essential because, through a sharp equity lens, we can diagnose and assess equity within the culture, policies, programs, practices, and processes within our chapter. It is critical that leaders model and set direction; as they shape an environment where equity and excellence are the standards for everyone. The leadership opportunity belongs to all of us. Some are due to titles within the chapter, and for some, it is our character and how we show up for fellow members.