By Adam Slone, Chairman & Founder, Slone Partners; Co-founder, Wolf Hill Group
In 2020, following the George Floyd murder, our leadership team at Slone Partners experienced an ah-ha moment when we realized that we were part of the problem by unintentionally participating in systemic racism. Although, at the time, we had an amazing company with amazing people, we only had one person of color on our team. Sadly, while I was aware of systemic racism and the harms that it causes, the issue didn’t resonate personally with me because I strongly support diversity in my own life. But then I watched this video, and everything changed.
That video made me realize that our company needed to change.
We had built much of our team over the years by having our best people refer other great people they knew, and thought would be a great fit. While they were right, we were not interviewing many people of color, as studies suggest that most white people know very few non-white people. We decided we would no longer continue with business as usual, but instead would make substantive and intentional efforts to recruit a diverse team. But we would also need to implement longer-term practices to create an even more inclusive culture where everyone feels valued, listened to, and engaged, and understands why that it is so important.
Our leadership team felt so strongly about this that we decided to start a diversity, equity, and inclusion division to help our clients implement DEI programs themselves. We hired an amazing Black woman who has built and leads our incredible DEI division at Slone Partners and Wolf Hill Group. And, after only eighteen months, twenty-five percent of all new hires are diverse.
In 2021, we were named by the Washington Post as one of the top workplaces in the country! We continue to thrive and grow. Our commitment to diversity has made us an even more desirable place to work, improved our financials, kept turnover down, and has given us even more reason to feel very proud of our company. We hope that what we have accomplished will serve as an inspiration to others who want to do their part to make their companies and their world a more fair and better place.