Change does not come easily to many of us. It happens all around us all the time, however. Sometimes in small doses. Sometimes out of necessity. Sometimes fast and furiously when we are least prepared for it and are forced to grapple with how to digest and accept it.
The pandemic has put change at the forefront, not only in the way we live and manage our lives both personally and professionally but in how we can accept change that we thought we were either ill-prepared for or not ready to accept. That change includes how we view diversity.
Recently, I was the guest of James Pogue, Ph.D., on his podcast “The Right Kind of Uncomfortable,” where we discussed issues of diversity and inclusion. These issues have come to the forefront this year, particularly in light of tensions stemming from racial inequality, police misconduct, and the protests that continue throughout the country.
As a result of these issues, several of our TMA leaders and I have called upon our leaders and members not to just talk about diversity and inclusion but to make a change for the better on this front.
This change is not easy. Although some view it as unnecessary, most acknowledge that it is something we as a profession struggle with. At TMA, we are not looking create alienation by advancing this critically important dialogue. We seek to embrace it to create a more welcoming professional community by inviting into the conversation those who have long been in the restructuring profession to share their advice on how we can improve.
As I discussed with Dr. Pogue, who participated on our Mega Trends panel at IMPACT 2020 and spearheaded a diversity and inclusion workshop at the conference, we must be unafraid to challenge ourselves and learn more if we are to be personally and professionally better. He poised questions that make people uncomfortable, demonstrating that without being brought out of our comfort zone, we cannot be better as a society or a profession. That is the right kind of uncomfortable.
In the coming months and into 2021, Dr. Pogue will continue to be part of the TMA conversation on diversity and Inclusion. He will offer diversity and inclusion programming for the incoming TMA Global Executive Board and Board of Trustees and will invite all to be part of this critical conversation, culminating in an address to our 2021 joint Executive Board and Board of Trustees at the Distressed Investing Conference in February.
In addition, we will convene a thought leadership roundtable of TMA leaders who have been invited to participate and help shape the road map of TMA Tomorrow on this front. We will continue to do university and collegiate outreach to institutions representing many diverse demographics to introduce these future leaders and professionals to opportunities that exist in the restructuring community.
It takes the fearless to overcome fear, and there are many in TMA who are fearless enough to support this next important step for our organization and profession. It is sometimes difficult to be unafraid, but unafraid we must be to initiate progress and change that bring us closer together and create a pipeline of diversity and inclusion aimed at creating a better tomorrow.
There is hard work to be done here. But is must be done and will be done because the leaders and members of TMA demand that it be done. We are better together for many reasons. In this era of great change, this is yet another moment for us to shine as we learn, grow, support, and create a more diverse and inclusive tomorrow.