Ensuring progress in a culturally responsive organization has always presented an array of challenges for those dedicated to addressing inequities and underrepresentation. In 2020, those challenges were significantly compounded by the onset of Covid-19 and intensifying race relations due to police brutality. For that reason, LinkedIn LEAD charged Yardstick with the task of creating a unique and robust virtual experience designed to drive diversity, equity and inclusion efforts during a time of crisis. LinkedIn LEAD is a group within LinkedIn dedicated to creating a space for meaningful conversations around the biggest topics in talent acquisition, leadership, and management.
One of the strategies recommended to LinkedIn LEAD was the Jeffersonian Dinner. The goal of this dinner was to engage diverse leaders in a single and communal conversation with the first installation titled, Keeping D&I Momentum During Crisis. Yardstick and LinkedIn worked in partnership to carefully curate a small list of attendees and key speakers to facilitate purposeful dialogue and foster authentic connections across numerous verticals. Yardstick was there, not only to oversee logistics and operations, but also to create a personalized space for thought leaders to engage, virtually. All attendees were sent company branded swag and mementos prior to the event. Additionally, participants were provided with a menu consisting of minority owned restaurants from each region, providing hand-selected dinners and wine to be delivered to their homes on the evening of the event. Through subject matter expertise, adaptability, personalization and attention to detail Yardstick was able to assist in the transformation of an ordinary speaking engagement to experiential event designed to inspire, inform and challenge attendees.