NASFAA’s 2023 Virtual Conference kicked off on Monday morning with a session from LaQuenta Jacobs, who gave tips and examples on how to build and ensure an inclusive work environment amid challenging times as a leader.
Jacobs, the global vice president of inclusion, equity, and diversity at Kimberly-Clark, acknowledged that the past year has been difficult for the financial aid profession, with chronic staffing shortages and high turnover rates.
“Although we have come out of a pandemic, the effects are real and are still very much felt for you and your staff,” she said. “The other nuance to your industry is that financial aid is going through the biggest regulatory changes experienced in the last 30 years, which brings more of an administrative burden to each of you as leaders.”
Jacobs stressed how collaboration and inclusion can create a resilient aid office during these challenging times, and asked attendees to think about the relationship between inclusion and collaboration, noting four common principles:
Additionally, Jacobs noted the five traits of inclusive leadership, as outlined by the consulting firm Korn Ferry:
Ultimately, Jacobs stressed, today’s workforce is looking for an inclusive culture that allows individuals to be themselves, is flexible about where and when work gets done, and has purpose.
“Today's workforce is looking for work cultures to go beyond only addressing how inclusion looks, to meaningfully addressing how inclusion feels,” Jacobs said.
Publication Date: 7/11/2023