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News | Dec. 10, 2021

Diversity communications, mentoring, included in DLA Aviation Senior Leader Conference

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs

University of Richmond mentoring consultants facilitated a communication segment for Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s senior leaders Nov. 17 focused on diversity, equity and inclusion during their recent DLA Aviation Senior Leaders Conference Nov. 16-17 in Richmond, Virginia.

The segment titled “Real Talk – Using Dialogue to Unlock your teams’ talent” was facilitated by Dr. Betty Neal Crutcher, who has a doctorate in educational administration and is the president and chief executor officer for BNC Associates, LLC and a University of Richmond professor; and Keith McIntosh, founder and Partner Eminere Group, LLC and University of Richmond vice president of Information Services and chief information officer.

McIntosh shared why he thought diversity (the presence of differences), equity (promoting justice, impartiality, and fairness) and inclusion (an outcome to ensure those that are diverse feel welcomed) were important.

Keith McIntosh co-hosts a diversity segment Nov. 17 for DLA Aviation senior leaders at their conference Nov. 16-17, 2021,
Keith McIntosh, founder and Partner Eminere Group, LLC and University of Richmond vice president of Information Services and chief information officer, co-hosted a diversity segment Nov. 17 for DLA Aviation senior leaders at their conference Nov. 16-17, 2021, on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. During the segment, he shared topics to spark conversations between team members on what can be perceived as difficult diversity topics. (Photo by Jackie Roberts).
Keith McIntosh co-hosts a diversity segment Nov. 17 for DLA Aviation senior leaders at their conference Nov. 16-17, 2021,
Diversity communications, mentoring, included in DLA Aviation se
Keith McIntosh, founder and Partner Eminere Group, LLC and University of Richmond vice president of Information Services and chief information officer, co-hosted a diversity segment Nov. 17 for DLA Aviation senior leaders at their conference Nov. 16-17, 2021, on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. During the segment, he shared topics to spark conversations between team members on what can be perceived as difficult diversity topics. (Photo by Jackie Roberts).
Photo By: Photo by Jackie Roberts
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“You never arrive at diversity, it is a journey,” he said.

McIntosh and attendees discussed the four layers of the Diversity Wheel and what we, as individuals, can control on the wheel and what we can’t.

The wheel’s personality layer focuses on how your early life shapes you: beliefs, likes, dislikes. McIntosh said the internal dimension layer is where divisions start to form between people and focuses on characteristics like age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and physical ability. The external layer focuses on items like appearance, marital or parental status, personal and recreational habits, income, religion and educational backgrounds and geographical locations. The fourth layer of the Diversity Wheel focuses in on organizational elements like management status, functional levels, work content fields, work units, divisions and locations, seniority, and union affiliation.

“How I was raised in Atlanta is different from how someone was raised in Washington State,” said DLA Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. David Sanford as he shared the need for emotional intelligence and realization that it is good to have people with different thoughts and backgrounds around you.

Crutcher spoke about the importance of mentoring using Eleanor Roosevelt’s mentoring of C. Alfred Anderson, a Tuskegee Airman, to define cross-cultural mentoring.  Cross-cultural mentoring is the intentional, ongoing mutually enriching relationship with someone of a different, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, culture or socioeconomic background, sexual orientation or nationality mentoring another individual, different from ourselves.

Amy Parker, DLA Aviation chief of public affairs, agreed with the importance of cross-cultural interactions.

“We can get caught up in the mission and the team,” she said.  “Yes, we are a team, but the team is made up of individuals.  We need to get to know each other.”

She said taking the time to learn about each other’s cultures and acknowledging our differences help us to know people on a more personal level and to bridge gaps.