How Effective Leadership and Corporate DEI Became My Passion
As a Black Muslim woman, my race, my culture and my gender have all shaped my experiences in corporate America. As proud as I am of my background and cultural heritage, they haven’t always been respected by my colleagues and managers. At times, my voice has been silenced and my opportunities limited by those around me.
Through my many years of work and research with various Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions, I’ve learned about the lived experiences of thousands of leaders and employees. I've come to know that every marginalized member of society—every Black, Indigenous, person of color, woman, differently abled, and LGBTQ+ person has a unique story of being excluded. But too often their stories remain untold. Their talents are rarely optimized. And the inequities they experience are seldom addressed and dismantled.
It is the role of my soul, in this life, to help create a more kind, just, equitable, and inclusive world. I've worked for and owned multiple businesses, so I understand there is no mission without margin. I'm passionate about helping organizations realize the deep correlation between doing good by people and making good business. What I know for sure, we all need and deserve equision.
If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.
Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.
Are your customers raving about you on social media? Share their great stories to help turn potential customers into loyal ones.
Running a holiday sale or weekly special? Definitely promote it here to get customers excited about getting a sweet deal.
Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.
Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.
Corporate America is the backbone of our country’s economy. It’s the sum of its employees and a microcosm of an ecosystem that’s historically oppressed and marginalized factions of people. For centuries, these systems have maintained and often defended racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, social and criminal injustices, and health and wealth disparities. However, Corporate America is uniquely positioned to create equity and inclusion.
Moreover, Corporate America has the power and responsibility to make sure its existence positively impacts its employees, customers, and communities. I've worked with hundreds of corporate and HR leaders and deeply understand the unique business challenges and needs they face. The survey responses from 800+ HR professionals revealed that building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce was amongst their biggest challenges in 2019.
As a strong DEI practitioner and scholar with more than 15 years of business leadership and experience as an adjunct professor for a graduate Learning & Development program, I'm highly skilled at illuminating varied paths for organizations to optimally navigate their unique diversity and equision journey. Through customized approaches, I provide executives, leaders, and employee resource groups with the tools needed to build cultural competence and foster inclusion.
This work is life-altering and rewarding. I passionately partner with executives and organizations who are open to learning and committed to change. Through our interactive engagements, I facilitate processes that move organizations to a shared vision that inspires positive and transformational change.
Exploring the Antecedents, Practices, and Outcomes of Inclusive Leadership in America's Workplaces
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), LLC
Neuro Leadership Institute
Governors State University
Governors State University
Salwa has it going on! She is a powerful presence who emanates strength, confidence (w/o swagger), intelligence and professionalism. From the perspective of someone who has been around a while and had the blessing of working with a lot of terrific D&I folks...She's got it!
Salwa is a vision forward, inclusive leader. In my role as the CEO of the Global Women's Leadership Forum, Salwa and I partnered on several diversity initiatives. I found her to be a highly invested, outcomes driven, leader. She embodies and exudes the characteristics of a transformational leader by combining both the head and the heart. She listens deeply and delivers well. I highly recommend Dr. Salwa Rahim Dillard.
So blessed to have had the opportunity to work under the leadership of Salwa Rahim-Dillard, Ph.D. to plan and execute this year's Inclusion Summit. Everyday I have the pleasure of learning from and being challenged by her DEI knowledge to stretch my own skills and competencies. During the Summit, she pushed our organization to own our power and emphasized how "allyship in the workplace is advocacy."
Salwa is one of the most knowledgeable Diversity and Inclusion leaders in the field. I have personally learned so much from her. Salwa's knowledge on organizational dynamics, creating diverse and inclusive environments of belonging, and strategic ways of tying inclusion to the bottom line are highly valued. She has deep expertise and is also a fun and inspiring person to work with. Its been an honor working with her.
Salwa is a D&I expert who inspires change in people. She has a powerful presence and an expansive wealth of knowledge. Her passion and commitment to equity and excellence is evidenced in her work. She's a true thought-leader who has been instrumental in building best-in-class D&I strategies. I highly recommend her.
Dr. Salwa is an expert in the development and execution of key corporate programs. She is a skilled strategist and always seeks to ensure systemic business outcomes. Additionally, Salwa is highly skilled at establishing and maintaining professional relationships. She is civically connected within the Chicago-land area and beyond. She is a principle-centered leader with an excellent reputation inside and outside of her company.