Judith Sol-Dyess talks TXI, values, and creating an inclusive company
Judith, a TXI delivery lead, is sitting in her office filled with a lush garden of plants that creep up her wall giving way to a collection of framed lithograph art. She moved across the pond to Catalonia last year with her family to begin a new chapter of her life. Even though Judith embarked upon a new phase, she still has strong ties to Table XI and has managed to find a balance so she can continue working with the company as a consultant.
The relationship started when Judith was a neighbor across the hall from the founders nearly two decades ago. It started as a friendship, then blossomed into a client relationship spanning over 8 years. A former YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago senior director of information systems, she trusted Table XI to help build the very first front end of the program registration system, allowing YMCA members to register for programs online. Judith officially joined the team as an employee and delivery lead, “It’s been inspiring to see how far they have taken the company in such a short period of time. I was able to witness an evolution of change, arriving at their core values which really gave us the opportunity to bring our true self to work.”
“We have a team of bright and diverse minds; we learn from one another and grow beyond our own expectations”
To deliver the best solutions, we need diversity
Today, she plays an orchestral part in running TXIs DEIB program; diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. “Leadership invests significant time and money into anchoring the principles in everything we do. DEIB related work contributes towards billable hours for consultants, emphasizing how valuable inclusive, diverse and equitable work is to the company.”
Judith has worked for other firms in the past that are at the cusp of adopting a DEIB mindset. In hindsight, she reflected on the significance of how its absence can negatively impact workplace productivity, continuity and broadening social awareness. “Even down to the way our product innovation projects are delivered, Table XI finds ways to incorporate these as guiding principles. For example, we instituted what we call a team agreement on how to best collaborate, work together, and get to know each other on a personal and professional level. Everyone has different working styles and preferences that stem from their own personal backgrounds. By fostering trust within the team as well as with our client, we instill the confidence needed to tackle conflict if and when it arises - it’s a safe place where all voices are heard and valued,” she explained.
“We are openly vulnerable and it helps the client humanize us and participate in reaching the end goal.”
Creating an environment that is inclusive is our priority
What’s next for Judith and Table XI? The DEIB team is expanding their program to focus on three initiatives: to engage community organizations that support their pillars (racial justice, disability justice, and environmental justice), to conduct an equity audit, and apply an equity lens to recruiting and promotion to guide Table XI consultants. “One of the most important factors to consider is the need for leadership support. Our CEO, Mark Rickmeier, has been a passionate advocate by not only funding the initiative but by participating in our meetings, contributing thought leadership, publicizing our stance, and promoting this beyond our walls.”
Our responsibility and duty is to create the conditions for belonging
Table XI wants to hold themselves accountable for DEIB within their community. Their goals shared in this report are to help describe the current state of the company, set a baseline to measure change, and to apply the insights gained from this study toward meaningful change.
Published by Esther Galantowicz in Culture