DE&I influencer DeLibra Wesley has a message about the trap of hiring for culture. “Your culture can be that everyone is different. It concerns me when someone says, ‘We’re not going to hire her because she doesn’t fit the culture.’”
And during Wesley’s 18-year career at The Delta Cos., she made huge strides in cementing company culture while forwarding its DE&I initiatives as she rose to the role of COO. She created and chaired The Delta Companies Diversity Council, which is responsible for Wesley’s favorite achievement: “Courageous Conversations,” which she led every two weeks after the BLM protests started happening in 2020. “At first it was an hour filled with tears. As time went on, the tears were less, and people went away with action items.”
The council changed the company’s hiring process as well, replacing résumés with skill sheets to remove bias from the hiring process, developing unconscious bias training for the enterprise, and adding inclusion and equity to the list of leadership competencies.
The council also created a cultural calendar, started a mentorship program, extended parental leave, and made MLK day a company-recognized holiday.
Outside Delta, she partnered with the University of Texas at Dallas to create a leadership development program, was appointed to The Joint Commission’s Healthcare Staffing Services Advisory Council, and started her popular blog Goals with DeLibra.
In 2021, she founded National Recruiting Consultants to focus on K-12 special education staffing. “There’s a huge need for it. Kids with autism, ADHD and other special needs don’t get the same shake at education as other kids do.”
Wesley hopes to influence the school system at large as well, noting that while most teachers are women, most principals are not. “No matter the industry, the problem is the same: unconscious bias. A lot of training needs to be done.”
2021 DE&I Influencers List