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By: KnowBe4 HR
Published: 6 Oct 2021
Last Updated: 28 Mar 2022
At KnowBe4, we recognize that people are at the heart of our success. We celebrate the creativity, innovation, and increased performance that comes from an inclusive and diverse workspace culture. In today's post, we hear from Chelly (she/her), Director of Global Diversity Inclusion & Belonging, who shares about her passion for this role and how she plans to expand efforts to continue to cultivate a diverse and inclusive workplace at KnowBe4.
Personally, my background is extremely diverse. I come from a blended family, which is why I am so passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion. In my family, there is a lot of intersectionality in groups that would be considered diverse. I’m a bi-racial woman, but all of my brothers and sisters are of African American descent. Some members of my family are also a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. My fiancé is of Filipino descent. As dysfunctional as my family can be, sometimes they are my reason. Their issues are my issues and vice versa which is why I feel so connected to this line of work.
Professionally, my expertise in DEI has developed into advocacy, coaching, mentoring, training, and employee engagement. I currently serve on several committees with a focus on DEI and education. I have spent the last half-decade teaching classes and mentoring newcomers into the HR/DEI space. I love teaching and training; it never gets old for me! Currently, I'm on the Board of Directors for the Florida National Diversity Council and the Advisory Council for the National Coalition for Racial Justice & Equity. Education has always been viewed as a core value in my family; I am currently in the MBA program at Saint Leo University.
DEI and advocacy have always been a part of my life; it runs in my family! My sister is an Anti-Discrimination/Civil Rights Attorney and my father has been practicing DEI and Organizational Development for over 20 years. Influencing change in the workplace is inspiring. Who wouldn't want to make an impact in their daily work?
In 2020, I was lucky enough to attend a presentation by our Chief Human Resources Offer, Erika, and Director of Career Development, Dave, that highlighted KnowBe4’s amazing company culture. I didn’t know at that time of the presentation that my path would lead me to KnowBe4, but I am extremely grateful it did!
I am most passionate about people and serving others. Anyone who knows me knows that I am always up to something and involved in everything! I love networking and meeting new people. (Shameless plug: let's connect on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelledconley/.) I’ve also always been involved in mentoring programs, including the University of South Florida's Corporate Mentorship Program (Go Bulls! That’s my Alma Mater), Big Brother Big Sister, and the University of Tampa HR Mentor Program amongst others.
DEI is not a sprint, but it's all about the long game. It is easy to get lost on what the main focus should be because there is simply so much to do. Right now, the focus is to create a strategic DEI plan that involves effort from every single person at KnowBe4 in order for DEI to be embedded in everything we do. This next year will consist of new DEI training programs, development programs, international DEI plans, and much more. We have to crawl before we can learn to fly! DEI will be a competitive advantage to KnowBe4’s goal of global growth.
We have quite a few: Black Knowsters Network, Women in Tech, Knowster Parents, LGBTQIA+, and Military and Veterans Resource Group. We also just launched an employee resource group for our Latinx/Hispanic communities during Hispanic Heritage Month, which we are very excited about!
As KnowBe4 continues to expand globally, we have to take the time to listen and act in regards to the needs of a continually evolving diverse culture. Success will be driven by people of diverse backgrounds coming together with a shared sense of purpose and living the KnowBe4 values.
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