2022 marks the fourth year of Ethos as a company. To celebrate how much the team has grown since its beginning, we’ve been spotlighting all of the talented and hardworking individuals who make up our team! Through Our Ethos, you will discover what each team member enjoys most about working here and what their personal ethos is.
This week’s highlight is our Senior Consulting Associate, Ariel Henley!
Describe your role at Ethos
I currently work as a Senior Consulting Associate here at Ethos. My role includes researching and developing solutions to help clients achieve their DEIB goals while prioritizing the experiences of underrepresented employees.
What made you want to start at Ethos?
Though people with disabilities make up roughly 20% of the global population, disability is typically excluded from conversations around DEIB. I wanted to work somewhere that valued my knowledge of disability, accessibility, and disfigurement while exposing me to new ways of thinking. I was drawn to the company’s unique approach to DEIB, the hard-working and passionate team, and their commitment to ongoing learning opportunities.
What has been your favorite aspect of working at Ethos?
Due to the team’s wide range of expertise and collaborative nature, I am constantly learning something new. My colleagues are brilliant, and I enjoy observing how everyone’s individual strengths are leveraged to best serve our clients.
What has been your favorite project you have worked on?
So far, I’ve enjoyed presenting on disability and accessibility and using that knowledge to analyze data through an intersectional lens.
What do diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging mean to you?
I think a lot about the Vernā Myers quote, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” Jeff Hutchinson expanded on this analogy, writing, “Equity is having an accessibility ramp to the door” and “Belonging is deciding the music, decorations or food.”
Diversity refers to the demographics of people that make up a group and includes factors like race, disability status, body size, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, veteran status, age, and location. It emphasizes the importance of representation and ensuring not everyone in the room looks, acts, or thinks the same way. For me, the heart of diversity is about acknowledging and embracing the wide range of individual differences and how people’s identities shape how they show up at work and in their daily lives.
Equity is ensuring everyone, regardless of their identity, has equal access. Everyone should have access to the resources needed to do their jobs well. When it comes to working styles and navigating the world, there is no one size fits all. To me, equity is about allowing everyone the opportunity to succeed. This may require the removal of procedural or attitudinal barriers, while understanding these barriers may differ depending upon the person.
Inclusion is about normalizing the things that set us apart and understanding the value of diversity when creating policies and procedures that impact workplace culture. To be truly inclusive, everyone should have the opportunity to provide feedback and insight in whatever way feels best for them. I often think of the disability slogan, “nothing about us without us.”
Belonging requires people to feel like their differences and perspectives matter. It’s not just getting people with a wide variety of perspectives into the room or amplifying marginalized voices, but creating a space where people feel safe enough to show up as their authentic selves.
What does the word “ethos” mean to you?
For me, Ethos is how my character shows up in the work I do. In the context of DEIB, I think it describes the attitudes, beliefs, and guiding principles a company or group is based on.
What is your personal ethos? How does it show up in your everyday life?
My ethos is focused on finding the similarities in our differences. It’s using our own stories and life experiences to connect with the world around us because we all want to feel like we belong at the end of the day.
I approach my work through a lens of accessibility and disability awareness, and I firmly believe that one cannot be inclusive if they are not accessible.