Chantalle Couba in Conversation with Gregory D. Jones

Chantalle Couba recently created a presentation for Gregory D. Jones – Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. She put together evidence based research to link inclusion, perceived organizational support and why inclusion creates integrated teams. 

One of Chantalle’s biggest strengths lies in providing diverse and evidence based solutions for complex problems. She is not afraid to confront difficult topics if they help create advancements for vulnerable or underserved people. Chantalle works towards creating a safe professional space for women, and diversifying work places and institutions. 

Chantalle Couba – an authentic voice for change – is an executive-level advisor with considerable experience serving clients in financial services, human resources, healthcare, risk, and regulatory compliance. 

Read below a conversation between Chantalle and Greg, about integrated workplaces. 

Chantalle: Greg, integrated workplaces are not created by accident – they take effort and commitment. As Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, you know this best. A feeling of homophily often arises amongst coworkers, which is the tendency for people to prefer to associate with others who are like themselves. Have you witnessed this phenomenon?

Greg : I have, Chantalle. Individuals automatically and unconsciously categorize others, and these categorizations form a basis of similarity or difference. This interpersonal similarity can form the basis for interpersonal attraction such that individuals similar to one another tend to easily communicate and share common interests. That is why I always ensure that my teammates are aware of, or rather believe, that we as an organization really care about them. This evidence-based theory of Perceived Organizational Support (POS) creates a culture of greater productivity and opportunity for meaningful connections. You mentioned integrated workspaces, through your research, what steps have you seen companies take to foster such an environment? 

Chantalle: For a company to provide inclusion and anti-bias training to employees and foster a culture of lifelong learning is crucial. Companies that architect an integrated leadership approach often develop core mantras which fuse their diversity goals and ethical principles with business strategy. Leaders tend to articulate this vision in every internal speech and company communication which demonstrates a good sense of congruence. A key to supporting this integrated approach is grounding the importance of individual and group intersectionality  – the concept that we all have multiple identities and associations that are integral to who we are and the value we deliver. 

Another important step taken by such companies is to cultivate and harvest new talent. They do this by offering summer internships and contributing to funds which enable underprivileged students to go to college. Widening talent acquisition to historically Black and women’s colleges, recruiting in Latinx areas of the country, tribal reservations and communities with recent immigrants are other methods to do the same. This diversification of the workplace really goes a long way in creating an integrated workplace. 

Greg: So true. Creating a secure, reliable system through which employees from all over the world can communicate safely to a company executive is important too. I want my teammates to always be able to express their concerns to me – about how they are being treated by other members of the company and to feel safe to share their personal experiences. I am also always open to all feedback and to discuss what is not working, via meetings with managers and employees.

Chantalle: It was great talking to you Greg. Looking forward to our next conversation. 

Greg: Thank you, Chantalle. 

If your organization is in a place that requires a refresh of current and future state approaches to inclusion, Chantalle is able to blend systems-based thinking and design to address strategic diversity and inclusion and tactical planning to deliver sustainable change to your organization. 

Tags: Chantalle Couba, Namaste Consulting, Authentic Voice for Change, Executive-Level Advisor

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