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DTMB welcomes new equity and inclusion officer

Ti'Kyra NapoleonThe Department of Technology Management & Budget (DTMB) has taken another step forward in its commitment to providing an organizational culture that is equitable to all with the hiring of its first full time equity and inclusion officer Ti’Kyra Napoleon. The new position serves as a member of the senior leadership team, leading the department’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee efforts and establishing priorities to ensure a sustainable, high-performing organization and workforce. 

Coming from a non-profit, Napoleon was drawn to the position after reading the goals and values of DTMB. For her, it is important that she joins an organization where employees genuinely enjoy coming to work and whose leadership actively supports employee engagement. Napoleon brings a strong background in organizational psychology to her new role at DTMB, with a particular focus on identity in the workplace. She believes that a strong foundation for an inclusive work culture begins with providing employees with the tools to assess and reflect on their own identities and biases. 

“In simple terms, our identities are all of the pieces of who we are,” Napoleon said. “Social identity can be tied to our hobbies and things we do, but also to those legally protected classes such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or ability status. 

“A lot of the time we have preconceived notions of how someone else’s identity operates. These biases are informed by society or previous experiences with someone sharing characteristics.” 

According to Napoleon, being able to self-identify those biases and recognize that they may be misinformed is a positive step anyone can take. Napoleon hopes to provide employees with the tools to reflect on their own identity and biases and enable them to take appropriate measures and steps to change their actions. This also serves to interrupt the Cycle of Socialization and breakdown biases. 

“Bringing on someone with Ti’Kyra’s experience and general outlook on organizational equality is going to immediately make DTMB a better place to work,” said DTMB Director Brom Stibitz. “With an even stronger focus on our core values of equity and inclusion, we will be a much stronger organization where employees have the opportunity to thrive and make a difference in their career.” 

Napoleon is still familiarizing herself with DTMB by establishing relationships with employees and department leaders as well as  reviewing past survey data, such as the state-wide employee engagement survey. 

“It’s so important to show people that I’m here to help and be a resource for them,” she said. “It’s those kinds of conversations, along with survey data that is going to drive the work.” 

Napoleon emphasizes that providing opportunities for employees to learn about self-reflection is just a foundation for enabling an equitable and inclusive work environment and that addressing the workplace culture of an organization needs to take place at multiple levels of the organizational structure.