NNS Spotlight: ‘There is a solution to this problem’: One company’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-06-09 07:00:35 –

Morgan Phelps, CEO and founder of Colorful Connections, has finished talking about workplace diversification. Instead, she put her words into action. (Photo courtesy of Colorful Connections)

When Morgan Phelps first moved to Milwaukee, she didn’t expect much.

“As a transplant, I was lucky to find a friend early on,” she said. “When I came back, the climate was different.”

Born in Chicago, she was accustomed to growing up in an isolated city. However, she realized that Milwaukee was a “faction” and wanted to make the new city better.

Phelps is CEO and Founder. Colorful connectionHelps companies hire diverse talent and create collaborative workplaces.

“It’s always been needed,” Phelps said of the company he launched in 2019.

The idea of ​​a colorful connection came to Phelps while working for a major agency trying to attract a diverse range of professionals. At the same time, she ran a group for professional women of color seeking career opportunities.

There was this break, she said. There was a diverse group of professionals looking for a job here, but recruiters didn’t know where to look or how to look.

“Speaking is great,” she said. “But after a while, we need to take action. Otherwise it’s just a story. There is a solution to this problem.”

And that solution has evolved into Colorful Connections.

The company has local and national customers, including American Family Insurance, Wisconsin Voices, and the Hmong Chamber of Commerce.

Phelps works with clients in two main ways. She supports recruitment and offers workshops and training to establish a supportive and impartial workplace.

Create a connection

“You may be farther from your goals than you think,” Phelps said. “And hiring one person is not enough to solve it.”

Amy James, a human resources generalist at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, said the Foundation was initially in contact with Phelps to learn more about Phelps’ work. And a year ago, it recruited new talent. I contacted Colorful Connections for this.

“It’s nice to have an organization that understands what’s important to us, especially when it comes to racial equality and inclusion,” said James.

In June 2020, Katie Avila Loughmiller, Innovation and Special Operations Manager at Colorful Connections, joined the team.

“If the company isn’t ready to support them, it’s okay to hire people from diverse backgrounds,” she said, adding that the work of diversity and inclusion is an ongoing journey. Was.

Social change begins with the individual, said Avila Ruffmiller, which means being able to talk about offensive topics, especially at work.

“We need to have these conversations about privileges and what diversity means,” said Avila Lafmiller. “Do it at work. Do it at home. With friends and family. Let’s do it together, and we’ll see progress. ”

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