A force in the fight to achieve diversity in the media industry, Pamphile successfully pivoted in the coronavirus pandemic and still was able to place more than 50 interns this summer, albeit virtually, through T. Howard’s internship and talent development programs for minority college students. Through her leadership over the past 14 years, T. Howard has placed more than four times the number of interns, nearly doubled the number of participating media companies and developed a year-round internship program. Pamphile says that companies need to “make sure that diverse candidates and employees are genuinely accepted not only for the ethnicity but also for their skills and ability to contribute to the company’s objectives in a meaningful way.”
The conversation about racial injustice in 2020 has been… long overdue. However, it must continue until a national solution is developed that is unilaterally enforced.
In what ways can companies show a sincere commitment to diversity and inclusion?
There are several ways companies can show a sincere commitment to diversity and inclusion for example:
- Incorporate diversity and inclusion objectives in the company’s short term and long term strategic plans.
- Develop career pathways that enable diverse employees to qualify and compete for promotions.
- Invest in staff development and training that is coordinated with the skills that will be needed in the near future, so that the company can look internally for qualified individuals, who they know have the needed skills.
- Provide incentives for departments that refer and hire diverse candidates.
- Tie diversity objectives to bonus plans for senior executives, this has proven to be effective.
In addition to the above, make sure that diverse candidates and employees are genuinely accepted not only for the ethnicity but also for their skills and ability to contribute to the company’s objectives in a meaningful way.
How have you been a champion of diversity & inclusion in your professional life?
My professional life which has been largely in the not-for profit sector has included addressing the lack of diversity as it relates to both ethnicity and gender.
My commitment started when I founded “The Image Building Workshop”, which was housed in a program called “A Taste of College” on the campus of FIT in New York City. The challenge was to work with students in the Taste of College program, so they wouldn’t feel looked down on by the FIT college students. They were High School dropouts working on their GED and learning textile design and screen printing at FIT.
I developed classes on personal presentation, including grooming, speech, and self-pride.
The program was successful and I was hooked on working with students of color, helping them to raise their self-esteem and to carry themselves with pride and confidence.
I continue to do this work with the Foundation.