In recognition of Black History Month, we interviewed one of our incubator tenants, Stephan Reeves of Montage Diversity, which offers, among other services, diversity and inclusion consulting.
Q: Can you tell us about the mission of Montage Diversity and its work with MBEs?
A: As stated in our core values, one of the components that drive us is Equity. Equity guides our interactions with W/MBE firms: We believe that everyone deserves a piece of the pie, and they should be allowed to eat it too. W/MBEs should be at the table, engaged in work and held accountable for delivering excellence! Montage works with W/MBE firms to provide them with strategic opportunities to grow their enterprise and connects them to resources to enhance their ability to deliver (technical assistance). We are always ready to refer or introduce W/MBEs to resources like Temple SBDC and others.
Q: What are the most common findings from your diversity assessments?
A: Our findings have been varied. The easiest way to decipher the information is to break it down into the three categories of participants that are typically polled:
- For the most part, we see leadership seeking strategic guidance on designing and action mapping diversity, equity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives for their enterprise.
- We see a varying level of understanding as to how D&I can be an effective growth strategy (this is typically dependent on size and industry of the enterprise, wherein general, larger firms typically understand it better than smaller firms).
- Here, we generally see that managers want to find a way that diversity, equity and inclusion can help their teams to perform at a higher level, sell more and engage more in the communities they serve.
- We also see compliance issues being at the forefront of managers in more public or pseudo-public entities (school districts, transportation departments, higher education, etc.)
- Staff/ Team Members:
- In this segment, we are generally seeing staff seek deeper involvement in organizational initiatives around equity, diversity and inclusion.
- We see this segment’s heightened desires motivated by personal experiences or a desire to make an impact in their own communities.
Q: What have been your biggest success/accomplishments with Montage Diversity?
A: This is a great question. We have had the pleasure of increased success and growth over (40%) the past three years. We were awarded the 2018 MBE of the year in Palm Beach County, Fla. We were also selected to the top 25 MBEs in the Philadelphia Region in August 2019 in the #14 spot (as reported by the Philadelphia Business Journal). Most recently, our first construction compliance project (The Philadelphia Logistic Center @ 3025 Meeting House Road) was nominated and won for one of the top Industrial Projects in the City of Philadelphia!
All these accolades pale in comparison to what I believe has been our greatest successes, maintaining and growing a small yet gifted and dedicated team to go to battle with each and every day!