Jun 12, 2024

Better Together: POWER Unites Three Initiatives for Inaugural Summit

Culture Better Together: POWER Unites Three Initiatives for Inaugural Summit

For the first time ever, POWER’s three initiatives dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion — Power Women’s Initiative (PWI), Power Veterans Initiative (PVI), and Power Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Initiative (CD&I) — combined each of their annual conferences into one event called The Summit. A first-of-its-kind, The Summit’s goal was to create more awareness of other’s experiences, unite under one goal, and ultimately foster a greater sense of solidarity among these groups. 

We sat down with the leaders of POWER’s initiatives to get the inside scoop on what went down at the event, why they decided to unite, and what the future looks like. 

Why One Summit Instead of Three?

National Director of CD&I, Olumidé Cole leads a more intimate breakout session during The Summit — an opportunity to bond with new teammates, learn, and understand other’s experiences.

 Olumidé Cole (National Director of CD&I): It felt like a natural evolution to bring us all together. Each initiative has had such great success within their communities and the reality is that we need one another to hit the next stage. What we uncovered at The Summit is that intersectionality is so apparent. When we looked at initiative’s attendee lists and how many people were on each other’s lists, it made sense for us to do a combined summit.

Can You Explain What The Summit is and What Took Place at the Event?

Social Connection Speed Dating was part of the event “Breakouts” series — a more intimate event that gave way for developing deeper connections with coworkers.

David “DLo” Lopez (Regional Manager of Military Affairs, Marine veteran): The Summit gathered over 420 employees from across the country in sunny Tampa, Florida for three days of team building, alignment of goals, collaboration, and fun. Attendees are tenured employees who either belong to, or are allies of POWER’s PWI, CD&I, and PVI initiatives — which is 51% of POWER’s employee population!

From engaging panels discussions about ego and leadership, to social  connection speed dating, to fun evening receptions — the event was educational, productive, and impactful for our people. 

Solidarity Was a Major Lesson at The Summit. How Can all of POWER’s Initiatives Work Better Together?

POWER's Summit
POWER employees from across the country — both members of our initiatives and allies alike — descend upon Tampa, Florida to form a better future, together.

 Ilysa Raphael (National Director of PWI): While I can’t announce all of our plans just yet, the three initiatives have been working to build a consistent cadence of joint meetings, new structures across our teams, and consistency with our community impact outside of POWER’s walls. With this approach, we’re creating this united momentum. Also, the idea of ‘Shared Equity’ has helped us achieve solidarity. We’ll celebrate each other’s wins together.

With the combining of the Summit, does this mean that POWER’s initiatives are combining? 

DLo: To answer that as easily as I can – no. These will continue to be three separate Initiatives that celebrate unique cultures and experiences. We’ve just built the groundwork to better understand one another, benefit from each other’s strengths, and move forward together while still maintaining our uniqueness.

What Does the Future Look Like for the Initiatives?

employee interacting installation at event
Summit attendees engage with an interactive installation at the event, mapping out what the future holds for POWER and its initiatives.

 Olumidé: Positively impacting our respective communities (women, veterans and military spouses, LGBTQ+, and people of color) outside of the workplace has been a major pillar of each of our initiatives since their inception. As POWER continues to grow, we realized we could better scale the impact we’re having on these communities. 

The Summit was also an opportunity to share with our employees how we plan to do just that. We’re excited about sharing that news publicly soon, so check back at a later date for that exciting announcement!

What Was Your Biggest Takeaway from The Summit?

employees pose for group photo at event
At POWER, we aim to foster an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging.

 Ilysa: Everyone embraced the idea of coming together. I appreciate that the attendees brought such great energy and positivity into an unchartered space. I think combining the summits gave us all an elevated purpose.

DLo: That we’re not all that different. We face similar challenges — they’re just shaped differently.

And when more of us have that realization, meaningful change can occur not just in our workplaces, but also within our communities. 

If you’re looking for a new career opportunity with an organization that is championing that kind of change, explore open positions here

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