Diversity and Inclusion in Action is a new feature highlighting employee stories of inspiration, perseverance and management best practices in workforce development and diversity. If you know of someone who should be considered for the series, please email a short summary to Emmanuela Menard or Dianne Austin, Human Resources.

How did you come to work in your current role at the MGH?

Fifteen years ago, I started my job in the Core Lab in MGH Pathology. I earned my bachelor’s degree in social work, but after three or four years, I felt burned out. In the Core Lab, I had two great supervisors – the type to push you. They would say “Don’t get stuck! There is more for you to do!” I was fortunate that they pushed me to keep moving forward and never let me get too comfortable. I went back to school to get my master’s degree in Intercultural Relations with a focus on Diversity & Inclusion. I decided to do my internship at MGH and found an opportunity within Pathology.

A few months after my internship, I attended the Appreciating Differences workshop offered to MGH employees and expressed my interest in diversity and inclusion work to the presenters. I was redirected to Dianne Austin, director of Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement at the MGH, and that led me to my current role in Human Resources. I now work with the recruitment teams as support staff and work on diversity and inclusion initiatives. I oversee the MGH YMCA Achievers Award as well as some employee leadership development programs, such as The Partnership Inc. Conexion and the Boston Future Leaders program.

Has your career path taken any surprising turns?

Yes, drastically.  Pathology and Human Resources are very different. I worked evenings in Pathology. I came in, did my job and left. I had no idea these sorts of programs and resources existed for employees. I have always wanted to get involved and now I am able to. This new role opened a whole new world for me.

During my internship in the Pathology Department, I helped with research on the level of diversity among Pathology residency applicants. I was interested in learning whether we had a diverse pool of applicants and if they were being hired by the department. Since starting my new role, I am looking at MGH as whole – are departments hiring diverse groups, is the hospital representing the communities we serve?

Why do you think diversity in the workplace is important?

The evening shift group I worked with in the Pathology Core Lab was very diverse. Everyone was from a different ethnic background and brought different outlooks and opinions to the lab. We had international dinners together and celebrated one another’s holidays.

I have found that people are productive when they feel valued and appreciated, and they feel confident in their ability to share their ideas, thoughts and opinions. That often leads to better work results.

What advice would you give for those looking to create a more equitable environment here at the MGH?

Look critically at what you hope to accomplish in your diversity and inclusion efforts. Stay committed to the plan. Keep educating yourself and your team because the ways to create a more equitable environment are always changing and evolving and we need to work hard to keep up.

Read more articles from the 01/11/19 Hotline issue.