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IIDA – Hiring For Diversity

Published: Wednesday August 9, 2023
i i d a southern california chapter e d i hiring for diversity event banner with a picture of alycia sergio and jarred

IIDA EDI Hiring For Diversity event

To kick off my advocacy work in August, I traveled to the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Southern California Chapter’s – IIDA EDI Hiring For Diversity event hosted in the heart of Los Angeles. This event was an incredible chance for members of IIDA and their guests to connect, learn and engage in meaningful discussions about promoting diversity in our workplaces.

Hosted by Haworth

The IIDA’s members consist of interior design firms from all over the world, and the SoCal Chapter’s event was hosted by Haworth, a leading global furniture maker and leader in helping create inspirational spaces, at their showroom on the 48th floor with a 360 degree panoramic view overlooking the entire city.

A lofty space to dive into the ground floor goals and aspirations of our work in Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and Accessibility!  I was asked to deliver my keynote speech Getting to the Heart of Disabling Ableism to the leaders of these interior design firms and I was thrilled to share my life experiences and expertise in the field of disability inclusion with them.

IIDA distinguished panelists

Following my keynote, I joined distinguished panelists Sergio Lechuga (Design Director at HMC) and Jarred Walker (Co- Founder of GCX) on a panel that was expertly moderated by Cheryl Durst (Executive Vice President and CEO of IIDA).  Our panel dove deeper into the inherent benefits of hiring a diverse workforce, and the finer nuances of working in design.

My biggest takeaways from IIDA EDI Hiring For Diversity event:

  • Interior design firms have the unique opportunity to directly impact the accessibility and hence inclusion of people with disabilities in public and private spaces all over the world.
  • I was inspired by the intent and the willingness to absorb my words as they would share with me how important it is for them to consider every person who enters their spaces in the design process.
  • It was a wonderful opportunity to learn participate in meaningful discussions about promoting diversity in our workplaces.

Best of luck to IIDA and all their members as they continue the work of attracting all forms of diversified talent into their honorable profession of Interior Design, and thank you @iidasocal for the opportunity to share my message of disability inclusion in the workplace and provide its rightful place in the IDE discussion!