ADB Together Spotlight: Bianca Strickland
KeeleyOne is focused on creating an atmosphere that promotes Diversity & Inclusion. Bianca Strickland, member of the ADB Together team team and Vice President of Human Resources at ADB Companies, has a passion for people and fostering an ALL IN culture. She knew that ADB Together would be an incredible opportunity to get involved and encourage her fellow A-Team team members to make Diversity & Inclusion a priority.
Bianca is dedicated to ensuring that every person at ADB Companies feels safe and comfortable. She is excited to help the A-Team grow both personally and professionally while driving inclusivity where everyone feels equally valued, no matter their background. As a woman of color, Bianca is passionate about being ALL IN for Diversity & Inclusion.
“To me, Diversity & Inclusion means building relationships with people different than yourself. No one is better or worse than anyone else and whether you are the CEO or a laborer just joining the ADB family, we all drive value and contribute in a meaningful way.”
Fostering a new cultural pillar to a team of thousands around the country can pose quite the challenge. ADB is experiencing rapid growth, with new team members joining every single day. Cultural initiatives like this take time, and this has been the biggest challenge for Bianca. Tapping into unconscious biases or trying to influence a long-held opinion is a very sensitive action that requires an individual to acknowledge that the bias or opinion exists. They must be open minded to different perspectives, and it can be very hard for some people to do that. Bianca appreciates this challenge, as it is incredibly rewarding to see a breakthrough moment for someone, and they begin to grow as an individual and form new, stronger relationships. Overcoming these challenges has also allowed the team to learn many valuable lessons. The most important lesson that Bianca has learned is:
“I think it’s easy to say we want to drive diversity and set quotas to drive diversity within the workplace. When not focused on Inclusion, it can lead to a negative outcome and even undo all the diversity efforts that were in place. It takes complete buy-in and getting the influencers within the organization engaged makes the process much more successful.”
Bianca is ALL IN for everything ADB, and she is excited for the individual and company-wide growth that is going to come with embracing ADB Together. ADB is built on a strong mission and core values and leadership truly cares about each person on an individual level. This family culture gives Bianca a strong vision for the future of ADB Together and she is excited for the limitless growth ahead. This culture shift is going to positively impact every aspect of the organization – recruiting, retention, performance, satisfaction, development, quality, etc. A-Team members are going to have to be actively involved in everything offered to see this positive change. Bianca believes that the best way to get involved is to reach out to someone different than you and start open and honest conversations in a respectful manner. You are who you surround yourself with and the more team members that are excited to embrace change, the quicker the results will come. This is a journey that is going to take time, meaningful conversations, and an open mind. It can be hard to make that first step towards change, so Bianca has a piece of advice for the A-Team as we embark on this journey together.
“As difficult as it can be, be ok with having dialogue with someone that is from a different background, culture, position, religion, etc. than you. Shake up the status quo and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The worst thing that can happen is you disagree with someone’s perspective or viewpoint, but what you could gain is much bigger. Being uncomfortable leads to growth, so it’s truly a win-win.”
Outside of ADB Together’s initiatives, there are plenty more ways to get involved with Diversity & Inclusion while educating yourself. Bianca recommends the following TED Talk:
Rosalind G. Brewer: How to Foster True Diversity & Inclusion at Work (and In Your Community)