A few weeks ago, I connected with extraordinary women at ColorComm’s sixth annual conference, with “Get Ready” serving as this year’s organizing theme. ColorComm is an organization for women of color in communications committed to connecting with like-minded individuals to build a strong network of industry leaders. I became overcome with joy from witnessing 500 women of color in a single space ready and open to growth, and as many as 35 of those women were from Publicis Groupe.

Get ready for some of my takeaways:

Purpose = Community + Service

The conference opened with a motivational keynote from the illustrious Jovian Zayne, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant. Zayne’s session on living and working on purpose challenged each of us to answer the questions: who do you want to impact; how do you want to impact them; what are you committed to shift. As human beings, we each have a calling to bring an intention of service to our communities to empower us to live on purpose.

“I come as one, but I stand as 10,000.”  – Maya Angelou

Zayne also encouraged us to curate our network. In a space like ColorComm, brimming with high achieving women ready to “throw glitter, not shade,” I was inspired to be intentional about who I build and sustain relationships with. I cannot be everything for everyone. I can focus on the 10,000 who stand with me on challenging status quos and honoring those who came before me.

Diversity and inclusion is not solely about getting the right people in the room; it’s about how they feel once they are in the room. Do more than welcome people into your culture; let them add to it.” Jen Rubio, Co-Founder of Away

To make sure everyone can build their best careers, we need to be focused on cultivating a sense of belonging. We each add our unique flavors to the communities we live and work within. Rubio’s session solidified that diversity, inclusion and belonging are journeys not destinations. My focus is beyond getting the right people in the room; it’s about how people feel in that room. Do they feel welcomed; do they feel heard; and do they feel safe to contribute? I am committed to doing more than welcoming people into the spaces I occupy; I want to let them add to it and leave their mark.

I am grateful to the women who embraced me, I cannot wait to cultivate our relationships and further celebrate ColorComm’s mission.

 Author: Jessica Watson, Talent Inclusion Manager, Publicis Media