Checking in with the DEI Council

December 19th, 2023

The DEI Council was established in late 2021, with the stated objective to relate diversity, equity and inclusion to the company’s mission, values and objectives, and as we round up on two years, we checked in with council members to see how they feel about what’s been accomplished, and what they’re looking forward to in the coming year.

Why is DEI important for you personally, and for Ribbon overall?

Petrena Ferguson: “I’m passionate about diversity, and it’s also a business imperative. Not only is it the right thing to do, research proves that having a diversity of perspectives makes companies stronger and more resilient. We all benefit from learning about each other, and that’s why educating ourselves about our differences is a key area of focus for the DEI council.”.

Lionel Dorismond: “Our employees represent a microcosm of society at large, and by embracing diversity we help to widen the talent pool that we can attract. Our DEI Council is also an opportunity for our global employee base to share their cultures, challenge their differences and foster inclusion. While diversity is often viewed solely through the lens of race and ethnicity, we wanted to be more global and inclusive in nature and also include culture, religion, sexual orientation and more.”

Penny Zhang: “I lead the C&E Technical Support team, which is spread across Australia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia, to support APAC customers as well as global customers during APAC business hours. We have a mix of Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, Filipino, British and Japanese within the team, and we’re better able to respond to customer escalations and meet the needs of different customer bases with a diverse workforce. And on a more tactical level, running  shift operations in a multi-culture environment means we always have staff coverage when regional holidays such as Ramadan, Diwali, and Chinese New Year festivals are celebrated.”

What made you want to join the DEI council?

Patrick Macken: “I believe in diversity, I’ve seen how it helps advance both individuals and organizations. I’m also passionate about learning, and that includes learning about people and cultures. I’ve seen the growth that comes from these encounters.”

Catherine Berthier: “ Knowing our colleagues better makes Ribbon better, both as a company and as a place to work, and I wanted to participate in that process. It’s also an opportunity to bring about positive change while enhancing the company’s reputation and competitiveness.”

Lionel Dorismond: “I love being able to share positive stories, the opportunity to change people’s minds, educate and be educated. It’s also a chance to share who I am, what I am about, and my culture.”

Ribbon Team
Ribbon Team Members

What are some of the things you’re proudest of that have been accomplished and what are some of the areas you want to put more focus on in 2024?

Penny Zhang: “This year the DEI council organized a number of educational seminars open to all employees, dealing with topics including minority diversity, gender bias and eradicating violence against women. We also partnered with HR and corporate communications, to bring forth individual employees’ blogs on a number of representative issues and celebrations, helping to highlight many different voices. Along with video clips, and quarterly spotlights on women leaders, these have been extremely well received, helping to drive conversation and gain a better understanding of our colleagues.

Looking ahead in 2024, I want to focus on increasing engagement and participation with employees at every level. It’s important that we all participate and join together to help foster an inclusive, productive workplace cultures that support greater collaboration and innovation from a diverse workforce.”

Lionel Dorismond: “I’m proud that we’ve helped create a framework where employees are able to showcase their talent, cuisine, festivities, and others, and express their opinions on different subjects, and I was honored to share some of my own history when blogging about Haiti, the world’s first Black Republic. I look forward to doing more that helps facilitate collaboration for people from diverse backgrounds.”

Petrena Ferguson: “One area I really want to focus on in 2024 is our employee engagement teams – they are a critical link in the chain and will help us drive some of these initiatives at a more local / regional level. We want to make sure our DEI programs are happening in real life, beyond the virtual, company-wide work we do at the council level.”

Related Blog Posts

Petrena Ferguson, Senior Vice President of Human Resources
July 13th, 2023
Moyra Torres, Accounting Operations Specialist
September 20th, 2023
Lionel Dorismond, EE, MBA, PMP, ACP, Technical Supply Chains Manager, Ribbon
June 19th, 2023