Community

Enabling a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

by Lizzy Morris

I've always been inspired by a bible story about a woman who was asked in hard times "what do you have in your house?" In the story, she felt she had nothing until she paused, took stock and realized she had a small jar of oil.  She was instructed to borrow vessels from her community and pour what she had out of her jar into theirs.  Now you may say Lizzy, I don't get it.

I spent so much of my time feeling like I had nothing I could truly give to make a difference to what seemed like insurmountable problems. I didn't have the articulation in my mind to navigate the issues being faced. For a logical person like me, I don't do well when I can't find a possible solution. 
 
Conversations with colleagues weren't making me feel anymore capable; in fact, I started to feel overwhelmed by a sense of hopelessness. That's when I heard the question that was asked to the woman in the story; "what do you have in your house?"
 
I teach Scrum and Agile certification workshops, and it helps people reposition their careers and financial remuneration. That's what I have in my house.
 
When the lightbulb went off for me, I reached out to my community at the Scrum Alliance.  I asked them to partner with me and help attack systemic racism through gifting the CSM (Certified Scrum Master) and CSPO (Certified Scrum Product Owner) Scrum Certification workshops to African Americans that have been adversely affected by the COVID pandemic.
 
The Scrum Alliance answered my cry for help. They opened their hearts and held hands with me in a unified effort to challenge systemic racism against African Americans. Through our commitment to enabling and championing the continual creation of workplaces that are not just diverse but inclusive to professionals of color.  
 
As a Black female business owner, I am committed to helping young African Americans know it's possible to be a successful person of color in corporate America. I am focused on challenging my corporate community to make our organizations inclusive and diverse. Telling me, I can come to the dinner table, but never including me in the dinner table conversation ticks the box for "diversity" but does nothing about "inclusion" and sustained change.
 
To my fellow Black professionals if you are in the:

  • Project Management Field
  • Technology Space
  • Product Management Space
  • Aspiring Entrepreneurs 

Or those wanting to simply position yourself to sit at these tables, and you have been furloughed or made unemployed. Allow us to dress you for dinner with CSM and CSPO Certification which will be offered on July 11-12 CSM and CSPO August 15-16; both are weekend workshops.. For more details, visit this page.
 
Our Scrum Community believes in continuous improvement by applying transparency inspection and adaptation regularly. Today, myself, my organization BeardedEagle and The Scrum Alliance, are committed to actioning our intentions to make tomorrow a world where African Americans are economically empowered through holding cutting edge certification that promotes world changing innovation.
 
Lizzy Morris is a Certified Scrum Trainer based in Arlington, Texas. She has been a member of Scrum Alliance since 2008 and holds the following certifications A-CSPO, A-CSM, CSP-PO, CSP-SM, Path to CSP Educator, CST. She can be reached at https://www.linkedin.com/in/youragilelady/.
 
Read about our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion here.