VIDA Fitness has launched a Diversity and Inclusion Board in order to more effectively combat the issues pertaining to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
Michaela Brown, the group fitness manager at VIDA Fitness and the chairwoman of VIDA’s Diversity and Inclusion Board, sat down with host Rachel Zabonick-Chonko in this episode of the Club Solutions Magazine podcast.
Brown shares how the board came about, how they are addressing EDI at VIDA, and advice for other operators seeking to prioritize EDI in their companies.
Show Notes on the Diversity and Inclusion Board
- Why VIDA Fitness created this advisory committee.
- How is the board structured? Brown tells all about number of members, type of members, etc.
- Acknowledging holidays and celebrations — like Black History Month or Veteran’s Day — can go a long way for staff and members. VIDA has done the former big this year.
- A key task has been to view the team through the scope of, “Is there equity in this area?”
- The most important thing the board does is building a culture where EDI conversations are welcomed.
- Starting in 2020, VIDA hosted several Town Hall Meetings for the company as a whole, the housekeeping team specifically, etc.
- We are going to mess it up, but it’s better to be on the front-end of the mess up rather than the backend.
- The response has been shock, awe and gratitude in the internal community at VIDA.
- The board has taken steps to elicit trust — i.e. a separate email that is not connected to VIDA Fitness, a secure complaint form, etc.
- Why having the leaders at the top make EDI an important thing is so impactful — think trickling down effect.
- Start with looking at the demographic of your clientele, and then try to offer options at every level of personnel that represents that.
- The board is looking at talent in the community who may not be able to achieve something due to financial constraints, and they are stepping in.
- Brown’s call for others to take this opportunity, this conversation, and do something with it.
- One great thing about the board’s composition is the fact they bring people in from the outside.
- Bylaws for a board are everything.
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