Takeaways from the Executive Leadership Conference Recognition Gala

Diversity is a fact. Inclusion is a choice. This mantra was the highlight of the Executive Leadership Conference Recognition Gala in D.C.

Several members of the Uptake team recently attended the annual event hosted by the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) that brings together people from a range of organizations to honor and celebrate individuals and corporations for their support of diversity, inclusion, and achievement in business. The night was filled with networking, guest speakers, recognitions, and impactful connections that will help our team grow in their careers and their perspectives.

We asked a few members of the team about their experience leading up to, during, and after the event, and here’s what they had to say.

“My biggest anticipation was being in a room of noteworthy, accomplished, and respected women and people of color who’ve climbed their way up the corporate ladder. I was excited to hear their stories firsthand and learn something new.” – Lindsey Jefferson, Recruiter at Uptake

“My favorite takeaway from the night was from Clifton Wharton, who was honored for a lifetime legacy award. He spoke about how to combat adversity, racism, and inequalities as individuals with influence. “We all have ‘weapons,’ different and unique, that allow us to take on these challenges. Find out what your unique tool is and put it to work.” I thought this was a powerful statement and something I could act on.” – Tyler Qahhaar, Recruiter at Uptake

“I always thought about diversity as simply being diverse in thought, gender, nationality, hiring minorities, etc., and I learned that it goes beyond that. One thing that has been ringing in my head since the gala is “Diversity is a fact, inclusion is a choice.” These are such powerful words because a company can check the box of hiring all the ‘right’ people, but if they don’t create opportunities for those of different backgrounds to advance or lead, then they’ve not created an inclusive culture.” – Dom Merritt, HR at Uptake

Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion benefit from a lively mix of perspectives, experiences, and viewpoints—the same rich variety that reflects our customers, our community, and our world. An inclusive culture means we can better understand and serve the varied needs and viewpoints of our market environment.

Liz Durkin is on the Marketing team at Uptake.