The Fjordian talks inclusion and diversity, Liz Lemon and what it’s like to be serenaded by a big pink gorilla
Role: Global Inclusion & Diversity Lead | Principal Director, Fjord for Accenture
Years at Fjord: 3.5
What exactly does your role entail?
As I&D lead, I am trying to foster an environment where all Fjordians feel respected and valued, and that we have diverse perspectives represented in our workplace and our work. As the director of FFA, I put together teams of Fjordians to solve Accenture’s biggest challenges.
How did you end up in this role and what do you love about your career choice?
I ended up as FFA lead by total happenstance. I wanted to move to New York and there was this open need with no definition whatsoever that needed my skillset. Fjord leadership supported me in the move, and so I was like, “Sure, I’ll do it! What’s the worst that could happen?” It turned out to have been one of the most interesting and challenging jobs I’ve ever had.
Quite the opposite, the I&D role took a lot of personal soul searching and learning, followed by strategic movements and bold actions. The job demands deep daily thoughtfulness on a topic that is emotionally charged and affects a lot of people in different ways. I have a constant inner dialogue going on to balance when it is right to push or hold in every situation. It’s exhilarating and exhausting, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
What’s been your favorite part of working at Fjord?
The people, of course. Without interesting, fun, quirky people to hang with, why get out of bed?
Where do you find inspiration?
I love mentoring. Every time I see someone reach beyond what they thought they could do — attain a skill, trust their instincts, have a breakthrough learning about themselves — it is the ultimate inspiration that drives me to do the same for myself and to continue pushing others.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?
Tina Fey as herself and as Liz Lemon. Both prove to me that a successful woman is smart, funny, determined, beautiful, and best of all, unapologetically human. Plus, how fun that dinner would be!
What’s the weirdest or funniest thing that’s happened to you on the job at Fjord?
The San Francisco studio hired a pink gorilla singing telegram on my last day before I moved back to New York. It was the weirdest and most pure expression of love.
What are your three favorite things to do on the weekend?
Yoga keeps me centered and help ease the stress of the week. I love to hike, and it’s so important to get out into nature so the stress of the city doesn’t become a burden. I fly home to Chicago as much as I possibly can to see my family and particularly my two young nephews. If they grow up feeling supported, understood and inspired to make an impact on our world, I’ve pretty much succeeded at life. #auntiegoals
How does your role as Fjord affect your life outside of the office, and how do your hobbies and passions impact your job?
For me, the two are intertwined because I care so deeply about both. I’m very lucky that I&D is part of my job and also my passion. I am grateful that I get to spend a lot of time doing what I care most deeply about, which is a privilege most people don’t have.
My friends and family could probably stand to do with a little less ranting about inequality, but they seem to keep me around anyway.
What are your three office must-haves for a successful workday?
Coffee to kickstart my brain in the morning, headphones to stay connected with folks around the world, and Bitmojis to express myself when words just won’t do.
If you didn’t have this job, what would you be doing?
I’ve always wondered how you get a job naming paint colors. I think I’d like that job one day.
What’s your hope for the future ?
My hope is that the design community can lead the way for other industries in practicing empathy, vulnerability and respect to drive inclusion in our interactions and our work. Being service designers, we have a great ability to impact huge amounts of people. When we choose to make services that resonate with diverse users, the world gets a little more inclusive.
We’re always looking for smart, talented and passionate people like Lori. Want to join the team? See all open positions and find out more about why it’s good to be a Fjordian here!