One dynamic diversity coach is changing lives for minorities in corporate America by using her personal experiences to teach companies how to navigate the new social normal.
Beth Ruffin is a diversity coach, public speaker, author and consultant. Ruffin, a graduate of the University of Pittsburg, majored in Writing with a Fiction concentration and minored in Africana Studies.
For 20-plus years, she supported companies in the spaces of inclusion and technology. “My last day in corporate America was June 7, 2019. I left because I wanted to be in control of my career and have a larger impact on the world. I knew the only way to do that was by having the ability to do things my way,” Ruffin said.
“I want every executive to remember to be inclusive in everything they do.”
Ruffin spent many years overlooked (working over and beyond without recognition) and overwhelmed (trying to fit the mold of who others wanted her to be instead of living authentically). She ultimately grew tired of being passed over for opportunities by those with less education and experience, which was the impetus to creating a podcast, “At the Table.” Ruffin’s goal is to support women and give them a safe space to converse openly about acceptance in corporate America.
‘At the TABLE’ But- what exactly is the table?
“The table is where decisions are made. It’s the CEO boardroom, your local statehouse, the White House, country club, golf course, back office – it can even be your family’s kitchen table. And unfortunately, the table is not always representative of the people that it affects.”
Ruffin describes “At the Table” as a medium in which the voices of women are elevated. Specifically, the podcast focuses on voices like hers of those who are underrepresented — Black women who want to feel safe, those with chronic illnesses, her queer siblings, women who want to enter politics, small business owners, and so many more.
“I want ‘At the Table’ to be a place without judgment where people can speak their truths and listeners can learn how to be allies to those who are different from them, and to hear their stories.”
“…The CEO boardroom may not have any people of color. Legislators make decisions about women’s bodies without any women at the table. Principals make decisions about children who are in low socioeconomic brackets without ever having experienced poverty. And when this happens, people lose. People are forced to deal with the consequences. People aren’t given a chance to be part of the solution. So, I teach women how to get seats at the table, how to use their voices at the table, and how to build their own tables if necessary.”
Question and Answer Segment with Beth Ruffin
LookWeAreIncluded.com: What type of consulting do you facilitate?
Beth Ruffin: I consult around the matters of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. I work with leaders and organizations that want to build inclusive work environments. I help leaders develop inclusive mindsets and remove barriers that lead to culture shifts. I do offer support in various ways:
- Assist organizations in avoiding making excuses for not focusing on inclusion (Inclusion Assessment)
- Assist leaders in developing an inclusive mindset (Executive Coaching)
- Assist organizations in level-setting their current efforts (Goals & Outcomes)
- Assist leaders in developing strategic plans (Inclusion Strategy & Strategy Impact Assessment)
- Assist leaders in broadening their mindset across organizations (Keynote speeches, Training & Programming, Tools)
LookWeAreIncluded.com: Beth, what’s your overall vision and goal for your company?
Beth Ruffin: My overall goal is to make our world more inclusive, so I’d like to have an international presence in which I’d work with leaders and organizations on their DEI strategies. I’d also like to be recognized as an international speaker, inspiring millions with my words. Finally, I’d like to license my teachings and classes so that other coaches can teach the material, further increasing my impact.