Why Diversity & Inclusion Matters at Asurion
Yanika Smith-Bartley, Vice President & Special Counsel of Diversity & Inclusion for Asurion, tells Lipstick Economy why diversity and inclusion has moved from being a buzzword to being the way the marketplace and the workplace must operate today to represent the culture we live in.
What should we know about Yanika?
Yanika’s path has taken her from a respected law firm where she was responsible for employment litigation to her role today where she provides leadership and counsel to more than 20,000 employees. She tells us that while her career has been a winding path, it has been grounded in wanting to help people. Her role with Asurion puts her in a more proactive space in overcoming barriers to diversity and inclusion.
What’s the difference in diversity and inclusion?
Yanika explains that diversity represents the mix of people in the workforce, and inclusion speaks to how they are valued and feel they have a place there. Verna Myers, a respected practitioner in the area of diversity and inclusion says, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” We all want to go to the party and feel we are part of the party.
How can we prevent unconscious bias in the workforce?
At Asurion, it starts with understanding that we all have biases. We need to become aware of them and then work to mitigate them – but being sure not to overcorrect. She talks about some of the most prevalent biases that are seen in recruitment today.
How does a large company attract a diverse workforce?
A change in culture within the organization must precede actual recruitment. Yanika says that when a shift in culture happens, the employees within the company actually become the billboards that attract a new diverse workforce. Asurion has created 10 employee resource groups with some 5,000 participants to help shape the collective voice of Asurion.
Has policy changed because of the focus on diversity and inclusion?
Policies have changed around many areas, informed by the employee resource groups. Examples she shares include standardizing mothers’ rooms, creating maternity leave policies for men and women, and updating EEO to include gender identity and gender expression.
Resources and Links
Yanika Smith-Bartley – LinkedIn