In this Faces of Unity post, we’re welcoming Unity’s new Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Tai Wingfield. Read on to learn more about Tai’s past experience, passion for Inclusion work, and more.
What do you do at Unity?
I lead global diversity, equity, and inclusion, partnering with stakeholders across Unity to ensure we have an inclusive culture. That means a culture in which all of our employees have a voice and are empowered to contribute, and where we have representation globally that reflects the diversity of our users and customer base.
Why are you passionate about this work?
I have lived and worked as a Black woman for my entire career. This work is personal for me. I understand and have experienced a lot of the barriers and pain points that diverse talent across intersections face in the workplace. And, I know that those challenges and barriers vary based on where you live, how you grew up, and your gender, racial, and ethnic background. I am committed to ensuring those in the workforce – and future talent – have an equitable opportunity to progress and succeed.
Professionally, I enjoy leveraging my talent and experience as a communicator and diversity practitioner to drive more inclusive and equitable practices across the business. I believe data is critical to diagnosing problems and identifying ways to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace, but I’m also keenly aware that we can lose sight of what this work is intended to do when we only talk about data and percentage points. The Inclusion team is focused on people, and all of the complexities and differences that make us unique. I’m committed to welcoming everyone at Unity into this work through storytelling, transparency, two-way dialogue, and partnership. These are all aspects of effective communication, and we can’t drive our strategy forward if we’re not sharing, listening, and bringing all our people along on this journey.
Where were you before working at Unity? Any interesting jobs that led you to where you are today?
Every job that I’ve had has led me here. Most recently, I led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Weber Shandwick, which is one of the world’s largest PR agencies. My responsibility there was to ensure we were bringing clients best practices and ways to enact diversity and inclusion strategies that would have impact, while also centering communications and change management as core drivers of those strategies. I firmly believe that if you’re not accountable and transparent about the progress you’re making (or not making), it’s impossible to effectively advance your D&I strategy.
Prior to Weber Shandwick, I worked for a D&I think tank and did a lot of consulting work with diversity leaders at Fortune 500 companies, partnering with them to articulate their D&I stories, develop strategies, and manage crises.
What about Unity's approach to Inclusion stands out to you?
That everything is explicitly grounded in empathy. Empathy is so core to my work; I think it’s the starting point for everyone as they advance on their personal diversity and inclusion journeys. And, as an organization trying to build a culture that centers inclusion, we have a responsibility to acknowledge the tools, the stories, and the lived experiences of the colleagues, clients, and communities that we serve. Empathy is foundational, and something that I try to bring to my personal relationships, as well. I pride myself on being an empathetic person – it’s a word I would use to describe who I am.
Can you share a few fun facts about yourself?
I have a three-and-a-half-year-old son and a four-month-old puppy, so we basically have two toddlers. For some reason, we weren’t busy enough with just one, so we decided to get a dog right before Christmas.
I love science fiction, horror, and crime movies and books.
After 15 years in New York, my husband and I decided to move back to our hometown of Washington DC in May, in part because of the pandemic and not seeing family for a year and a half, and also because we were sharing our home office with a toddler in a two-bedroom apartment. It’s been great having our families close by with support and childcare.