Managing Director of Health EquityCompany: BCT Partners
Role: Session Presenter
2022 Conference Session:
Imagine Belonging—an Organization Without White Supremacy Culture
Riikka Salonen, MA, has been devoted to equity, diversity, inclusion, and intercultural awareness work for the past 28 years. She serves as the Managing Director of Health Equity at BCT Partners, a Black-owned consulting firm that delivers research, consulting, training, technology, and analytics services nation-wide. BCT’s mission is to harness the power of diversity, insights, and innovation to transform lives, accelerate equity, and create lasting change.
Riikka is one of the 112 global expert panellists who developed the 2021 Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmarks. She is an active board member of the Southwest Washington Equity Coalition. SWEC advances racial equity through dismantling structural white supremacy, creating transformational action, and advocating for the community. SWEC remains rooted in Re-Indigenization, Black Liberation and the emancipation of oppressed immigrants and Ancestral Americans. Riikka was recognized as a Top 21 DEI Influencer by HonestCulture Inc. in 2021. Glaser & Associates Inc. named her to be a Leadership Communication Thought Leader in 2022.
Prior to joining BCT Partners, Riikka served as a healthcare leader in the Pacific Northwest for nearly 14 years. She specialized in the DEI strategic planning and clinical process improvements for culturally responsive and affirming care. Riikka partnered with various culture-specific organizations in advancing health justice during the pandemic, offering testing, vaccinations, PPE, food distributions and community-based health services. Her skillset is particularly strong within diversity talent acquisitions, that includes programs for diversity recruitment, equity scholarships and internships, mentoring Students of Color and Culture, job carving for individuals with disabilities and Veterans’ employment programs. Riikka has been a catalyst for programs that advance economic prosperity of diverse communities, including supplier diversity and development of BIPOC healthcare workforce.