Meet the DEI Board Membership Director, Jordona Smith

March 22, 2024

DEI Board Membership Director Jordona Smith shares what it means to be an expert advisor to senior DEI brand leaders at billion-dollar companies.

Video Transcript

Speakers: Jordona Smith, Membership Director

Jordona Smith: Hi! I'm Jordona Smith, and I'm a Membership Director with the DEI Board.

What does a Membership Director do? How do you work as an expert advisor?

Jordona Smith: As a Membership Director, I see it as my job to connect with all of my members, understand what all of our members are struggling with, what they're doing well, what vendors they're using, where they have questions, what they're not thinking about that other members are. And at the end of the day, I'm just looking to connect people with the right resources, with the right other people, with the right conversation that's going to help them address those challenges, or get unbiased opinions about those vendors, or gain a better understanding of the things that they haven't considered that other members are thinking about. So really it's understanding each person, and then connecting them with the people and resources that I think can help them.

What is one of your favorite memories of supporting a DEI Board Member?

Jordona Smith: I think one of my favorite ones is having one member post in Fast Feedback -- that's our written forum -- that they were looking for help to plan a seminar, a three-day seminar for their ERG leaders. And they were looking for some input into how to do that. And a direct competitor of that company chimed in and said, 'Here's all of the information for the one I just did. It's our agenda. It's our music for Icebreakers in the morning. It's the guest speakers. It's pricing' -- every piece of information she could provide she shared, and then offered, 'I can also speak at your event if that would be helpful.' And just seeing that even in competing companies, they were jumping in to lend each other as much support as possible. Help competing companies to approach things in a way that would save them time and money and energy and really help them bring their own initiative to the next level. I just love that, and it's something that I really love about the DEI Board. It's just the willingness to give as much as you can and really help to bring others whatever insight or experience you can that's going to be helpful to them.

What’s something new members are surprised about after they join?

Jordona Smith: I think something that surprises our members when they first join the community is that it really is as simple as we say, and we really provide all of the resources that we say we're going to provide. I know there are a lot of DEI organizations out there, and I know that at face value, they all seem very similar. I know some of our members have joined other communities where they expect one thing, and they get another. So I think it's surprising when members get into our community that yes, every conversation is protected. Yes, everyone here is a DEI leader. It's someone who's in a similar role to you who's having similar challenges, looking for similar approaches, just like you, they're looking to take their DEI strategy to the next level. And unlike other communities, there are no vendors here. No one's trying to sell you anything. Every opinion you get here is unbiased, and we have Membership Directors on our end who are with you every step of the way to help you catch anything that you might have missed or to flag conversations that are going to be valuable to you that weren't on your radar. And so I think members are just surprised at how easy it is to be a member, and how much value you can get from this community. That it really is exactly what we say it is, which is unbiased, peer insights from people like you at companies like yours.

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