35th Annual Conference

March 27-29, 2023


Tales from Inside Corporate DEI in Tech: Wanting to Be an Activist, Needing to Be a Practitioner

90-minute Workshops

Day 1

Session Code: S2-E
When: April 5, 2022
Level: Intermediate
Track: Social Responsibility
Presenters: Larry Baker, LCW  |  Bernard Coleman, Gusto  |  Jesse Gutierrez, Upwork  |  Diane Krieman, Uber


In today’s world, the pull of activism is clear and compelling for those working in DEI. More than that—being an activist is often aligned with one’s very purpose and self-identity and is why one chooses to work in DEI in the first place.

And yet, if the goal of working in corporate DEI is to ultimately change people’s behavior and achieve social impact through the organizations where we work, experience tells us that as DEI practitioners we must effectively navigate several key questions that activists may not, including: How do we meet people where they are (without shaming or blaming), in order to bring about the change we wish to see? When do we push and when do we pull? Which of our cultural identities are most salient to a given moment, conversation, or project—and how might self-awareness about our cultural identity impact how we choose to act as a DEI practitioner versus an activist?

Join us as we share stories of lessons learned, tools developed, and mistakes made.

Learning Outcomes

• Compare and contrast the work and responsibilities of DEI activist with corporate DEI practitioner
• Explore corporate systems for deciding when and how to respond to current events and issues
• Clarify how your own salient cultural identities impact your work as a DEI practitioner

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
2211 Riverside Ave, CB 54
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 373-5994

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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