Dyvergent Change Makers

Episode 13: Interview with Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman, Chief Engagement Officer of Global Engagement Consultants

June 04, 2021 Kerry D. Rosado Season 2 Episode 13
Dyvergent Change Makers
Episode 13: Interview with Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman, Chief Engagement Officer of Global Engagement Consultants
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Dyvergent Change Makers
Episode 13: Interview with Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman, Chief Engagement Officer of Global Engagement Consultants
Jun 04, 2021 Season 2 Episode 13
Kerry D. Rosado

In episode 13, I interview Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman, the Chief Engagement Officer of Global Engagement Consultants. Join us as we discuss the challenges that come with doing work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.  

About Guest
Dr. Chanel DeGuzman, Chief Engagement Officer
Global Engagement Consultants

With over ten years of academic and corporate training experience, she combines her extensive knowledge base and experience as a diversity, equity, and inclusion professional to determine objectives and customize content for schools and organizations that is meaningful and delivers agreed-upon outcomes. Audiences find her to be highly engaging and professional; someone leaders trust with their teams. Dr. DeGuzman’s primary focus is to create inclusive and inviting spaces where learners and employees increase their self-awareness and pursue expansion to their highest good.

About the Host
Kerry Rosado, Founder & Principal DEI Consultant
Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC - www.dyvergentcg.com 

Kerry is the Founder and Principal Diversity Consultant of Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC. Named among the 146 Inspiring Women Leaders in 2021 by Diverse IN. She is an elected official serving as a school board trustee with 7 years of diversity and inclusion experience in tech, healthcare, and education. She is a proud mother of two boys with autism and a neurodiversity advocate.  She is a Latina in Tech that has worked at top tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon to advocate for diversity and inclusion to empower women and minorities.​

She is a former board member for People Acting in Community Together (PACT), where she empowered the community to solve social issues related to housing, immigration, education, and social justice. She led community rallies to advocate for equitable education for all. Mentored youth through Google's CS First Program and Microsoft TEALS Program, and led and won hackathons at Women Who Code Silicon Valley.  She holds a Masters in Business Administration, a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science, and a DEI in the Workplace Certification.

Learn more at www.dyvergentcg.com or schedule a call at calendly.com/dyvergentcg.

Podcast Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/podcastdyvergentchangemakers

Youtube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJmzVICfMuyp41W1_y8bi6A/featured

Podcast Guests  - Schedule a pre-interview at calendly.com/dyvergentcg

How to Get Started with D&I - 6/4/21
Register at Eventbrite - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ask-me-anything-about-how-to-get-started-with-diversity-and-inclusion-tickets-156156234501 

Gifts for Listeners:
Get a free $15 gift card from Amphy at https://www.amphy.com/gift/dyvergent.  Amphy is the largest marketplace for live classes, connecting and enriching humanity through knowledge.

Show Notes Transcript

In episode 13, I interview Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman, the Chief Engagement Officer of Global Engagement Consultants. Join us as we discuss the challenges that come with doing work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.  

About Guest
Dr. Chanel DeGuzman, Chief Engagement Officer
Global Engagement Consultants

With over ten years of academic and corporate training experience, she combines her extensive knowledge base and experience as a diversity, equity, and inclusion professional to determine objectives and customize content for schools and organizations that is meaningful and delivers agreed-upon outcomes. Audiences find her to be highly engaging and professional; someone leaders trust with their teams. Dr. DeGuzman’s primary focus is to create inclusive and inviting spaces where learners and employees increase their self-awareness and pursue expansion to their highest good.

About the Host
Kerry Rosado, Founder & Principal DEI Consultant
Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC - www.dyvergentcg.com 

Kerry is the Founder and Principal Diversity Consultant of Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC. Named among the 146 Inspiring Women Leaders in 2021 by Diverse IN. She is an elected official serving as a school board trustee with 7 years of diversity and inclusion experience in tech, healthcare, and education. She is a proud mother of two boys with autism and a neurodiversity advocate.  She is a Latina in Tech that has worked at top tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon to advocate for diversity and inclusion to empower women and minorities.​

She is a former board member for People Acting in Community Together (PACT), where she empowered the community to solve social issues related to housing, immigration, education, and social justice. She led community rallies to advocate for equitable education for all. Mentored youth through Google's CS First Program and Microsoft TEALS Program, and led and won hackathons at Women Who Code Silicon Valley.  She holds a Masters in Business Administration, a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science, and a DEI in the Workplace Certification.

Learn more at www.dyvergentcg.com or schedule a call at calendly.com/dyvergentcg.

Podcast Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/podcastdyvergentchangemakers

Youtube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJmzVICfMuyp41W1_y8bi6A/featured

Podcast Guests  - Schedule a pre-interview at calendly.com/dyvergentcg

How to Get Started with D&I - 6/4/21
Register at Eventbrite - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ask-me-anything-about-how-to-get-started-with-diversity-and-inclusion-tickets-156156234501 

Gifts for Listeners:
Get a free $15 gift card from Amphy at https://www.amphy.com/gift/dyvergent.  Amphy is the largest marketplace for live classes, connecting and enriching humanity through knowledge.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Hello everyone, my name is Kerry D Rosado. I am the host of divergent changemakers podcast, which is available on Apple, podcasts, Spotify, Google and Amazon as well. I'm also the founder and principal D&I Consultant of Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC. Today I wanted to share something special for our listeners a free gift card for $15. From Amphy. They are the largest marketplace for live classes connecting and enriching humanity through knowledge. So thank you for the gift card app be so be sure to check out the link you will find it within the description of this podcast. I also wanted to encourage you to attend our event coming up on Friday, June the fourth at 9am Pacific Standard Time, where we will be discussing how to get started with diversity and inclusion. Especially if you're an organization who is looking to launch a D&I program and improve the culture. We'll discuss different resources that are available. So I highly recommend you check that out. You can register on Eventbrite. Again, the link is available in the description of this week's podcast. In addition, I encourage you to check out a our Facebook group for the podcast. It's a great place where you can provide feedback. Definitely subscribe to our YouTube channel as well. If you're more of a visual learner. There you will find all the recordings of the podcast in addition to the recordings of our summit, which we had earlier this year. And if you're interested in being a podcast guest yourself, definitely check out the link within the notes of this week's podcast. Thank you for listening. You appreciate the support. Enjoy the intro music and this week's episode. Welcome, everyone, to another episode of The Dyvergent Changemakers podcast. I'm your host Kerry Rosado. I'm also the founder of divergent Consulting Group, which focuses on providing inclusive leadership training and supporting organizations who wish to launch a more inclusive culture. today's podcast we have our guest guest speaker today is Dr. Chanel De Guzman. She is the Chief Engagement Officer for Global Engagement Consultants. Welcome Chanel, could you please share with us a little bit more about your background and your journey and how you got involved in this kind of work?

Guest - Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman:

Absolutely. Well, thank you, Kerry for having me on. It's a pleasure to be with you and, and certainly have been enjoying your podcast. So I basically am an educator at heart. And I started my educational journey at nine years old and my grandparents basement, teaching my siblings all sorts of subjects. They didn't really care for that they were forced volunteers. But that's honestly how I knew I wanted to be at that time a teacher but basically, I'm an educator, as I journeyed on and went to, you know, college and graduate school and eventually getting my PhD, I've been an educator in all those facets. And specifically, I teach or I, I provide diversity, equity inclusion work. And I provided that in a number of different roles, specifically as a director of academic diversity initiatives for the University of Michigan School of Public Health, where I provided the strategic planning for the school and received a couple of awards. So that was an awesome experience. And I took that knowledge, and pretty much it stayed with me. So I'm just I'm a lover of people. I'm a lover of culture. And so that's where I get my energy. I just I love being a light and I loved connecting with people, all people. And specifically in terms of how I got into this work more specifically, in terms of my business Global Engagement consultants, is in the role of a director for educational services for small business. I am responsible for 14 certified teachers who provide what we call Title One services meaning supplemental support in reading and math for kids who are below grade level in private schools. So sometimes we think just because you go to a private school, everything is all set. And that's not the case. And the government says no, every child needs to receive the support they need to be successful, no matter if they're in public or private school. And I knew the majority of our kids 500 kids are students of color. And it was important for my students to be my teachers to be educated on how To connect with students of color, what are their learning styles? What cultural background? do they come from? What is their home life like? And how can you bring more of their home culture into the classroom. So they feel connected, supported, validated. And that's how I really got started in terms of really providing workshops and training, it was for my own staff to be successful. And then as our company achieved more contracts in professional development, then I was the one to go out and provide that training to different schools. So I thought, you know what, I'd like to have a larger reach. And so I started providing diversity, equity, inclusion, strategic planning, implicit bias training, cultural responsive teaching, to organizations, to healthcare systems, to sheriff's offices, technological companies, and continuing to grow. And so that's what I currently do. And my why is because I just believe that we can make a difference, we can move the needle forward, we can be a more unifying country, my firm belief is that people need to, I guess, have experiences to, you know, better understand where they're coming from, and then put yourselves in other people's shoes so that you can connect, we're all about relationships. And so I think it's a matter of us getting to know each other and understanding where we're coming from, but that nobody's better than anybody else. And that's the reason why I do this. And so I feel like I've got the experience, and the lived experience, to help organizations help individuals in those organizations, you know, except become aware, accept and take action, to move us to a more unifying country and society.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for sharing all those thoughts. I appreciate how you highlight the importance of, you know, everyone getting along, and really highlighting the importance of being more inclusive. I also value education very much I currently serve on the school board, as a trustee, and always no advocate for equitable access of education. And yes, you're very correct. The kids are, who are getting left back are black and brown children and education. So I really appreciate the work that you do. And that helped me elevate them. I did want to know more about what have been the best resources to have helped you along the way in your career, as far as what you currently do, that you share.

Guest - Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman:

I would say my colleagues in the business who, you know, are a little bit ahead of me who had gone through this journey, who can share, you know, their road, their roadmap, but then also to be an encourager, um, Carrie, you know that this work, takes energy, emotional energy. And so being able to be reinforced and be, you know, sometimes even encouraged, or having a sounding board. That's been a wonderful resource for me. So I would say my colleagues, you know, people like yourself, on people that you can collaborate with. So for example, you and I collaborated on the divergent what the change maker 2021 vi summit, so just having other colleagues in this business, taking on this work, because this work is not for the faint at heart, I will say. And so having strong supports has really been the best resource for me.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for sharing that. And yes, you did an awesome job at the summit, discussing bias. So thank you for that. What have been any lessons that you wish you had? You've learned before starting in this work in this industry? I would say

Guest - Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman:

having a realistic expectation of how long it takes things to get done, and how long it takes things to change. So especially in academia, we have a joke that says it takes 25 years, you know, for change initiative. I know that's an exaggeration, I know. But honestly, I wish I would have known I'm a doer, I take action, I get things done. And that's just not how it works in the eye. When I started at the School of Public Health, my dean at that time did have some foresight, and he told me literally, I don't want you to do anything except to get to know the people. That was probably some of the best advice that I actually had received. Because this work, it's about having stakeholders, what we call green light stakeholders, people who are pretty much on the same page and then encouraging those yellow, you know, the yellow, green, you know, I'm talking about Red, yellow, green light, we've kind of categorized as those who are ready to take action, those who are on the verge, and then those who are resistant. So if you can focus on developing those relationships really across the board, but kind of focused on where you've got some energy and synergy, then you can get things moving. But it takes relationships, I have a saying that relationships are everything, relationships require cultivation, and cultivation requires time. So that was the best thing that I learned is that this work takes time, you've got decision makers who have to go through proposals, and you have to go through boards and an approving body sometimes to get the training or get the strategic planning approved. And so it just takes time. And so that's something that I wish I would have known, I would have just just managed my expectations and maybe become a little bit even more creative. In terms of my approach.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

I highly agree. And thank you for highlighting the patients and how long it does take for change. The same thing happens in, you know, public administration, we see how the laws how long it takes for a law to pass, and how much support it needs to even get on the ballot for voting. So similarly with, yeah, definitely, that changing organizational culture takes time and patience is needed. And yes, you're right. There are a lot of decision makers involved. And so that that can cause sometimes delays. But you're right, yeah, it's definitely you do need to have a patient education. What have been actually the biggest challenges in this line of work that you faced, and how did you overcome them.

Guest - Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman:

I guess the biggest challenge, and I guess I would just use this as a lesson that I've learned is that you really do have to have collaborative collaborators around you. So when I first started doing this work for the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, I, even though I was you know, sort of charged with the relationship building, the hardest lesson that I learned is that, while I thought I was doing that, I was really out doing committee work. And when I say out, meaning outside of my office doing committee work in representing the School of Public Health, for which I was, you know, charged to do, and to learn all that I can to advance our school within the university. And in doing so, I kind of alienated my office, or alienated my home, my home base, if you will. So while I was getting awards for myself, and di work, and even we ended up getting a team award, and di, it came at a cost, because while I was out doing, I didn't attend to the relationships that I just talked about, in my office to build sort of a coalition to build that support around me. So when things maybe like a restructuring happen, I really didn't have people to, to, you know, raise your hand and say, you know, yay, for Chanel, or I support Chanel, or, you know, I didn't have the advocacy. And you have to really build that in when you're doing this kind of work, because you can be off on a mission. But it requires everybody and I happen at that time to be a one person bi office, which is not ideal. So you really have to take the time to build the internal support along the managerial and leadership ranks. And I thought I was doing that. But clearly, I didn't do it, to the extent necessary. So I think that has been the biggest lesson is that you have to have support around you both internally. And as you're trying to advance whatever mission externally, you cannot forget about those closest to you and around you. I hope that made sense here.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for highlighting the importance of having that support system in place. Because oftentimes what I've seen in this line of work, organizations may want to put all of the DNI work onto one individual, you may do it, put it all on just HR or just as chief AI officer can expect a miracle to happen without realizing this person needs the support system to progress and push things through. Oh, thank you for highlighting the importance of having that in place. It's important. Absolutely.

Guest - Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman:

I would just add curious, you know, in hindsight, it's really difficult for one person to affect that type of change. It really requires the stakeholders from the board from leadership or managerial to the employees to The customer to the competitors, to the members of the community, it really does take a integrated approach for change management, which you already know.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

What advice would you give someone who's looking to pursue a career in D&I and what would you recommend to them?

Guest - Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman:

I would recommend that they that they do it because they really want to do it, not because they were asked, because they are, you know, might have an affinity, and then someone, you know, ask them in the organization, can you take this on, I support a number of what I would consider younger professionals who are new in their industry. And by the chance that they and these are just my examples, they're women and women of color, they've been asked or charged with leading the DNI initiative. And I just think, if you're going to do this work, do it intentionally set out to do it, and we all come to this in different rows. But I just wouldn't want anybody to do it, because they were charged to do it. And so if you are really, you know, have the affinity and you want to do it, I would say get the, you know, the education, meaning attending workshops, conferences, getting certification even. And then surrounding yourself with other di professionals who have already walked the walk and study the best practices that are out there. So that you can, you know, develop a plan for, you know, your organization, your office, and then continue to have support around you. So that you can, you know, be encouraged when you hit resistance, and to really be able to make impact, because that's what we're trying to do, right, we're trying to have impact, not just check a box on somebody's agenda in the eye. And so you have to really want want it because you're going to have to really, you know, be a strong advocate, when you're faced with resistance, or inertia, you know, you have to be able to create a sense of urgency for this work. And so you really need to come in with some energy and ready to, you know, tackle the obstacles, seek out resources. And I'm really, again, to develop relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders. So you have to be, you know, that kind of inclusive person, right. And just, again, from my standpoint, I happen to love people, I love culture, I have a lived experience. So all those things help to I think, make a really good di professional.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for highlighting all those different areas. And yes, I highly agree that, yes, connecting with individuals who are more seasoned in this line of work definitely helps helps you along the way to avoid any bumps on the road, for sure. Is there anything as far as any myths about this profession that you would like to debunk?

Guest - Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman:

I think right now, I think we're all becoming aware of our biases, right. And I think a lot of us are now understanding that we all have biases. But I think that's just not enough. And so while I appreciate that we're coming into that awareness, and we all have different journeys, but we don't want to the myth to be Oh, we all have biases, okay. But there has to be not only that next step, which is acceptance of, you know, your biases, but then how do you take action to interrupt to move beyond your biases, so that we can become, you know, as you said, a more inclusive society, a more just society, so that we're not making decisions based on, you know, conditioned, preconceived notions of people and groups of people. So it's just not enough to say we all have biases, it's continuing in the work, to take action to interrupt, to get individual plans to get organizational plans to really disrupt bias, and to make a difference in terms of every sector of society, because, as you know, carry bias runs through all sectors of our society. And there are really consequential, consequential impacts that are more detrimental to certain people than others. And so until we get to the point to where we're all taking action, we're all, you know, increased our understanding and awareness and taking action. I think that's the myth. We're not there just because we all accept that we all have biases. So that to me, is sort of a common myth.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for highlighting the vices. And yes, it's true. We all have them. And it's hard to fight against them because they're very ingrained in us sometimes. So thank you for highlighting that. What would you say is something that you have read recently that has truly inspired you, perhaps is something you read or listen to?

Guest - Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman:

I actually happen to have it right here. Yeah, this is Amanda Gordon Foreman's the hill, we climb her inaugural home for President Joe Biden. And the reason why it's it inspires me not only the actual content of her delivery and her poem, but the fact that she's or you can see, or you might be able to see your picture on the bat. But it's the fact that a young woman address the entire American society and maybe global society. And she was unafraid, unapologetic, she spoke her truth, the power and conviction. And she didn't. The fact that you know, she's a younger, young lady did not face her in the lease. And so just taking on that power, and her voice and sharing her voice, and her power, is inspiring to me, and has been inspiring to me.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for sharing that. Yes, she's definitely an amazing writer. So that's definitely it, obviously. So who would you say are the three most important individuals that have influenced your life to this point.

Guest - Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman:

So I have to who are people that this audience necessarily wouldn't know, but I certainly there, I hope that they hear their names. So one is my college counselor, and my undergraduate college counselor, her name is Denise Harvey. And the reason why she was so influential in my life is because she pushed me and she challenged me, but she did it with love. And she got a really good result. I think, and the fact that I graduated, and I'm, you know, I felt like, I'd have a certain degree of success. But it was because she kind of got into my face, meaning she didn't let me be mediocre. And not that I was, but that maybe some of the choices that I was making that not optimize the potential that she saw in me. So just having somebody who is in your corner who can push you is not afraid to push you. But they do it with love and support, it actually gives you the optimal growth. And that's an actual theory from Stanford, actually, challenge and support. And then a young lady named Rita Thomas, who at that time, was the executive director of IU University of Michigan Health Systems, she gave me my first internship just because I asked for it. And, you know, I'm sure she saw something in me. And that led me into the professional world of University of Michigan, which really kind of launched my career there. And so she went on to become the Vice President of human resources for the University of Michigan, and just an incredible, incredible leader. And so I credit a lot of my success in my start to her. And then the third person would be Oprah, just for the mere fact that she's just a super empowering woman. She has a huge platform. And she to me is the consummate educator, which I aspire to be. So she is absolute and has wisdom. And she's so open to share that through a variety of different, you know, modes, that she totally inspires me in being bigger and bolder, and sharing my message for change.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for sharing all of that. I'm also a major Oprah fan. So I agree. Thank you for highlighting how those other individuals really helped challenge you to help bring out the best in you. And sometimes those are the most inspiring individuals, for sure. Is there any additional advice you would like to give our audience as far as DNI work, and also how they can stay in touch with you if they wish to learn more about you and your organization?

Guest - Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman:

Sure, thank you for that opportunity. I would say, you know, again, find out what you are really passionate about. And if this is the work that you're passionate about. I would again surround yourself with the knowledge and the people that can help you really have impact. And so you know, putting your name up there and making change, I think it's super important. And being able to develop the kind of impact that really makes a difference is also important. And so, you know, find out what you really want to do and be a strong advocate for the people that you are effecting change for, you know, let your voice be heard, even if it's scary, you know, step out there and make things happen with the support and the, you know, collaboration of those around you. And I would say, again, thank you, Kerry for this opportunity. And if people would like to stay in touch with me, I'm sure you'll put my information in your podcast, but my name of my company, again is global engagement consultants, and I will definitely share all of my contact information with you here.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

What thank you so much for joining us today and let you know later on when the podcast airs. And thank you everyone and enjoy the long holiday for Memorial Day weekend. So thanks, again.

Guest - Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman:

Thank you Kerry again for having me. Take care and much success in your continued work.