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We’re Recapping Chilled 100 ELEVATE 2023: Lynnette Marrero’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion panel discussion

The entire ELEVATE group attended the seminar, Navigating the Future of Hospitality: A DEI Panel Discussion.

Panelists included Lynnette Marrero (she/her), partner and chief mixologist at Delola; Ariel Neal (she/her), owner and operator of Good Farms Healing Haven; Emma Alexander (she/her/they/them), a traveling consultant, mentor, and spirits cocktail competition judge; and Carlos Cuarta (he/him), a bartender and mixologist at High Proof Chicago.

The panel discussed what diversity, equity, and inclusion means to them; shared their personal experiences about the topic; and offered ways that those in the industry can help create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.

Neal described DEI as hospitality at its finest, explaining that it all boils down to treating everybody with respect.

“If you want to be taken care of,” she said, “take care of somebody else.”

Marrero added that asking about and including individuals’ pronouns is part of being inclusive.

Alexander talked about how when she started bartending in the early 1990s, no minorities were working in the hospitality industry. Accommodations for neurodivergent individuals were also lacking, and she found herself trying to make sense of written cocktail recipes with pictures and songs.

Though diversity and inclusion have improved since then, all the panelists agreed that there is a lot more work to be done. Cuarta urged people to, “be open to helping and pushing for a change,” adding that leaders in the workplace are tasked with motivating their teams to be a part of that change.

Alexander said that creating a diverse and inclusive culture begins even before an individual is hired. Job postings should be accessible, include inclusive language, and reflect all different types of people. Interviews should reflect inclusivity, so people feel comfortable being themselves; the interviewer should ask individuals about pronouns and how to correctly pronounce their names. Additionally, prospective employees should know that they will not be required to wear gender-specific uniforms. We need to, “bring the ‘hospitable’ back in ‘hospitality,’” Alexander said.

The post We’re Recapping Chilled 100 ELEVATE 2023: Lynnette Marrero’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion panel discussion appeared first on Chilled Magazine.

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