Monday, November 13, 2023
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Expect the Unexpected: Opportunities and Challenges of Working with Diverse Teams
Session ID
F2 - Panel: Expect the Unexpected: Opportunities and Challenges of Working with Diverse Teams
Equity & Empowerment
Nicole Wroblewski De McCarthy-Doyle Paul Douglas Mabell Garcia Paine Kecia Washington

Energy professionals need to recognize the value that diversity in team composition brings – at every level – and prepare for the inevitable challenges that will arise. Our industry is working together to achieve energy equity – a future state where low-income households benefit most from lower electricity bills associated with advanced energy solutions. To get closer to this goal, organizations are prioritizing diversity in team composition, both internally and market-facing. This evolution to more diverse teams is critical to the future of the clean energy industry – and it’s also a process that’s full of unknowns. It’s important to “expect the unexpected,” and proactively explore the real-world challenges that can arise when people of different backgrounds work together. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are critical in both internal staffing and when developing extended teams of market actors, including subconsultants, trade allies, clients, and community partners. Any team formed from these groups, reflects diversity in race, gender, age, cultural norms, and other traits. And every individual has varying priorities, communication styles, and preferences for dealing with challenges. This panel will present a working definition of diverse teams (and the value they bring), discuss inherent challenges in forming and working with diverse teams, consider the importance of continuous education about trauma informed behavior, and offer a few considerations for addressing diversity challenges based on panelists’ experiences. Attendees will hear first-hand accounts from energy professionals whose roles center on normalizing DEI in the energy marketplace. Attendees will learn: o How developing and working in diverse, inclusive teams results in better service to and engagement with disadvantaged populations o How effective workforce development relates to local partnerships with and investment in small and diverse businesses o Challenges diverse teams may face when implementing energy services o Actions energy professionals can take to prevent and address challenges effectively

Supporting Document 1