2023 DEI Committee: In Review

2023 marks the second year of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Our Committee serves as an authentic and proactive filter to assess policies, procedures, and programs within Multnomah Group. We are proud of what we accomplished this year and want to make sure we "show our work," not only to our internal team but to our industry as well. DEI initiatives are futile without accountability, so each year, we will continue to share the work our Committee is doing to strengthen our organization and our industry.

Here was our 2022 Review.

Our Committee set several goals for 2023. Below is the progress we made this year.

Internship Program

What we did: We started our search process this year creating interview matrixes for the two candidates we were seeking to hire. For each intern job function, we drafted a set number of questions we wanted the managers to ask to ensure each candidate had the opportunity to answer the same questions, providing the best opportunity for equity across all interviews. In addition, members of our DEI Committee did the initial interview screenings with the candidates. We also altered our full orientation process used for full-time hires, to a summer intern-sized program. This process ended with exit interviews to provide feedback to our HR team in hopes of helping us continue to grow and improve our program. Throughout the summer, we hosted social events to allow our team to spend time with our interns outside of projects and calls.

What we learned: While we started our search process sooner than in 2022 as we planned, we still need to kick off our intern search sooner for our 2024 class. Pairing down our orientation process to something more suitable for a summer internship was successful, but we can improve on that with the next class of interns.

Mentorship Program

What we did: We know there is a desire among our team to have a formal mentorship program. Our committee spent time this year discussing and researching what this program could look like for Multnomah Group. Also, we surveyed our employees to see the level of interest for those who may feel they would want to be mentors and/or mentees.

What we learned: To implement the type of mentorship program we envision for our organization may be a few steps ahead of where our team is in the readiness for a program, time to dedicate to the program, and the foundation to build the program on. We are looking toward 2024 to continue this goal by identifying what mentorship looks like for our organization as we are right now and building something from that. From there, we can expand as we grow.

DEI Monthly Newsletter

What we did: We started with the idea for a newsletter where we could highlight DEI events and professional development opportunities for our team. We also wanted to include more information on monthly cultural or DEI-focused holidays with the team. From there, we continued to expand on what we could include in the newsletter that not only spotlight specific DEI items, but also focuses on highlighting aspects of our team.

Now, in addition to initial plan for the newsletter, we include a team member spotlight each month with a short interview asking questions to help better learn about them and families/interests/pets, etc. It also includes birthday highlights, monthly work anniversaries, a focus on a client we work with, plus any new or fun things we have had going on recently. For example, we include photos from team-building events or volunteer opportunities.

What we learned: Our team is stretched from Portland to New York, with people working fully remote to a hybrid in-office schedule. And there is a desire to build a connection with our colleagues. Something as simple and knowing a colleague has a birthday coming up or seeing photos from a recent event can help bring connection to the team. Those touches, paired with the foundation of the DEI newsletter, have created a valuable tool we share each month.

Culture Curators

What we did: We implemented two new social activities this year. The first is focused on highlighting specific cultural holidays (Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, for example) and choosing a local restaurant owned by a person of that nationality and hosting a lunch and learn at the Portland office. Team members who can attend have a chance to try food from this culture and also watch a short educational video about the holiday.

The second is what we are calling MG Meet Ups. Each month, the DEI committee provides lunch for four team members, to be shared virtually, so that more opportunities to connect with our full team across the country can be made possible.

What we learned: The desire for connection among our team members is very clear and creating time and space for these shorter social touch points during the workday are proving to be appreciated and successful.

You can download our 2023 DEI in Review resource here.

Multnomah Group is a registered investment adviser, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any information contained herein or on Multnomah Group’s website is provided for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies.   Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed.  Multnomah Group does not provide legal or tax advice.  Any views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Multnomah Group or Multnomah Group’s clients.

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