Championing Transformation: Point B’s Commitment to DEI Goes Beyond Checking a Box

At the core of the consulting firm’s transformative work is an unwavering commitment to DEI, embedded in everything from supply chain management to employee-led business resource groups.

Written by Brigid Hogan
Published on Feb. 10, 2024
Championing Transformation: Point B’s Commitment to DEI Goes Beyond Checking a Box
Brand Studio Logo

At Point B, transformation is part of the job.

Each day, the firm’s consultants serve as champions for change at organizations across industries. Point B’s toolbox of solutions includes disruptive digital products, insightful data analysis, actionable growth strategies and connected employee experience plans — and cutting across every segment of the firm’s work and internal processes is a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

“DEI is the core of the business at Point B,” said Farad Ali, a principal on the environmental, social and governance team who focuses on the firm’s DEI efforts. “DEI addresses how we attract, retain and develop a diverse workforce at all levels. Cross-cultural competency also directly informs how we work, interact, support and engage internally with colleagues and externally with business partners.”

Beyond the human-focused commitments to DEI, though, Point B provides an avenue for advancing its work and that of its business partners.

“Many may view DEI as a compliance requirement, which is short-sighted because it’s a competitive strategy for business and community economic development,” Ali said. “DEI is inextricably connected to both economic advancement and social justice.”

DEI is inextricably connected to both economic advancement and social justice.”

 

This interconnected vision is also true of how Point B integrates DEI into its business.

“Point B truly embeds DEI into everything we do — how we deliver our work, how we market our company, how we treat our people and how we grow,” said DEI Director Nell Haslett-Brousse. “Because we are a company where DEI is supported from the top down, it becomes layered into how each leader thinks about success for their business unit.”

In external partnerships, too, Point B is able to present DEI as one solution to some of its customers’ most challenging concerns.

“Whether through assessing the maturity of customers’ DEI efforts, helping leaders learn more about how DEI impacts their organization or creating DEI strategies, DEI not only impacts how we operate but it is directly tied to how we deliver on our mission,” Haslett-Brousse said.

 

Finding the Competitive Advantage

The fragility and value of the global supply chain has become increasingly visible in everyday life over the last four years. Building supplier diversity into the procurement process offers the chance for Point B to help its customers both invest in DEI and build a more resilient and efficient supply chain.

With one recent business partnership, the ESG team scoped the client’s supply chain concerns and began making recommendations, Ali recalled. As the partnership moved forward, one key to long-term advancement and stable success became clear.

“The leadership recognized that transactional changes to address the supply chain concerns were not transformative enough without addressing human rights, sustainability and supplier diversity,” Ali said. The resulting recommendations embedded these priorities at the core of the key strategies and policies.

Transactional changes to address supply chain concerns were not transformative enough without addressing human rights, sustainability and supplier diversity.”

 

According to Ali, supplier diversity offers four crucial business outcomes beyond the anticipated procurement efficiencies. The competitive advantage includes enhanced supply chain resiliency, new opportunities for top-line revenue growth, a demonstrable commitment to community development and improved business performance by opening up the business to a diversity of ideas and collaborative partnerships.

 

Building Culture on an Inclusive Foundation

Point B’s ability to advance meaningful DEI efforts for clients is thanks to the firm’s strong internal culture, which encompasses business practices and structures alongside special events.

That internal culture isn’t built on a “set it and forget it” approach, though. Point B is as committed to advancing and transforming DEI efforts internally as it is with external partners. Just last year, the firm launched a new annual event: CultureFest.

With events hosted by representatives of Point B’s business resource groups and local offices, the new initiative celebrated the different cultures represented across the firm.

During CultureFest, Senior Consultant Ogechukwu Ezeokoli enjoyed a hands-on soul food virtual cooking session and had the opportunity to attend events where she learned about origami, American Sign Language and deaf culture, and Vietnamese coffee.

“CultureFest was an enriching opportunity to learn some of the cultures and heritages of my colleagues,” she said. “It’s important to honor different backgrounds that make up employees’ identities, and I was glad to see that Point B invested time and effort into doing so.”

Special events like CultureFest and Pride aren’t the only occasions when Point B’s BRGs bring people together across experiences and identities.

“Not only do our BRGs create a safe space and sense of belonging for the communities they serve, they are widely supported by and inclusive of allies,” Haslett-Brousse said. 

The inclusive nature of the BRGs allows for broad connection even while fostering safe communities for associates with shared identities or priorities.

“The true strength of these groups is the formal and informal mentorships, friendships and sponsorships, which ultimately improve the conditions and processes for both leaders and colleagues,” Ali said. “I have found a true sense of camaraderie, which allows people to discuss solutions to find better outcomes personally and professionally.”

 

DEI TRANSPARENCY AT POINT B

“One area where Point B is different is its level of transparency around its DEI metrics and goals, specifically tracking our progress in achieving pay equity across gender, racial and ethnic lines,” Ezeokoli said. 

Since 2020, Point B has implemented a DEI scorecard that establishes goals and tracks and reports progress towards meeting those benchmarks.

“The DEI scorecard is fundamental to the direction we take and how we measure progress,” Haslett-Brousse. “Since our first scorecard, we have added more sophisticated metrics, which is a reflection of how our analytics and mindsets have evolved.”

The advancements haven’t only been in the metrics on the scorecard. Ezeokoli has seen Point B’s team commit to the established goals — and meet them.

“I am proud to work at a company that has both strived for and achieved these milestones,” she said. 

 

Career Impact and Advancement

For Haslett-Brousse, integrating Point B’s DEI work across the employee experience begins before an individual applies to a role and continues across their career journey at the firm.

One notable advancement within Point B’s inclusive hiring practices has regarded how to best connect with veterans, service members and their families. For many in the military community, years of service may not easily translate to a standard civilian resume, but Point B has taken a new approach.

“We have learned to map military experience to our job levels, which has helped us find the best candidates through Hire Our Heroes,” Haslett-Brousse said.

Once a member of the military community joins Point B, a relevant BRG awaits to continue offering support as they advance within the firm.

Point B has also invested in external opportunities to advance both DEI efforts and individual leadership growth.

As a CEO Action for Racial Equity Fellow, Ezeokoli represents Point B in a coalition of over 100 businesses focused on advancing public policy solutions and corporate engagement strategies to address systemic racism and societal injustice. Ezeokoli said that with the fellowship, “I have had the opportunity to enhance my leadership skills, experience professional growth and learn many new things.”

As a CEO Action for Racial Equity Fellow, I have had the opportunity to enhance my leadership skills, experience professional growth and learn many new things.”

 

Within the fellowship’s economic empowerment platform, Ezeokoli focuses on fair chance hiring.

“Fair chance hiring is the practice of recruiting, evaluating, hiring, developing and retaining the best candidate and employee for a job, regardless of whether the person has a criminal record,” she explains. “It is an important and necessary practice because approximately one in three American adults have a criminal record.”

As with increasing supplier diversity, fair chance hiring offers interconnected benefits for business and DEI.

“American employers are facing a talent shortage and need to find additional talent pools to recruit from, and people with criminal records represent a large portion of such talent,” Ezeokoli said. “Research has proven that when employers have hired employees with criminal records, they have experienced benefits such as higher retention rates, lower turnover rates and strong performance. Furthermore, since people of color and other marginalized communities are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system, fair chance hiring can also positively impact employers’ DEI efforts.”

After presenting to senior leaders about the importance of fair chance hiring, she was able to connect Point B with community partners providing professional development opportunities to individuals who have been incarcerated. Plans continue to be made on how to integrate fair chance hiring at Point B to ensure long-term success and integration with the firm’s overall DEI strategy.

In addition, Ezeokoli has seen advancement on her own career journey.

“As a fellow, I have had the opportunity to enhance my leadership skills, experience professional growth and learn many new things,” she said.

As Point B grows, the team’s diverse and inclusive culture will continue to flourish — creating possibilities for individuals and businesses alike.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Point B.

Hiring Now
Blackline
Cloud • Fintech • Information Technology • Machine Learning • Software