Ericka DeBruce, Sedgwick
Vice president, colleague experience and corporate citizenship
Years in the industry: 4
As a part of her role at Sedgwick, Ericka DeBruce constantly seeks out new training opportunities to ensure she is as knowledgeable as possible on issues like unconscious bias, mediation and intersectionality. “As an industry, we must constantly look for improved ways to communicate and implement change on a broader level,” she says. “A big part of my role is leading Sedgwick’s efforts to foster a culture of belonging and allowing people to feel comfortable expressing dissenting opinions. There’s a common misconception that having a diverse organization automatically results in diversity of thought. This simply isn’t the case. Rather, this is where inclusion comes into play. Inclusion and belonging, combined with diversity, drive innovation.”
In addition to her work at Sedgwick, DeBruce regularly speaks on D&I topics and hosts D&I trainings for various organizations. She also led the first Dinner and Dialogue series at Art Village Gallery in Memphis in 2008 and has since facilitated nearly a dozen such events, all centered on complex narratives around race, social stratification, diversity, and inclusion and how this plays out in the arts.
“Passion for diversity and inclusion is more than a professional responsibility for me – it is also a personal devotion, being that I am a woman who comes from a multiracial background,” DeBruce says. “During my early years, I watched my father experience exclusion in the workplace from unconscious biases, micro-inequities and missed advancement opportunities because of his race. I saw what could happen to people who are underrepresented in the workplace, and I use this as my motivation to help other people get the opportunities they strive to attain in their careers.”