Eight Ways We Built, Refreshed, Grew at the Inaugural BRG Summit

Nov 07, 2022
BRG Summit 2022



Last week, RBS hosted our inaugural Build Refresh Grow Summit, convening over 200 members of our Business Resource Groups to learn, collaborate and discuss what it means to make RBS an inclusive workplace.The two-day virtual event was hosted by and for our associate BRGs, and featured an exciting lineup of speakers and activities to promote our culture of belonging.

After two days of sessions, covering everything from wellness to professional growth to inclusion mindfulness, the first-ever RBS Build Refresh Grow Summit is now in the history books. A recurring message participants heard about establishing safe spaces and understanding colleagues: Give each other a little bit of grace.

Valencia Seals, DE&I Manager

“Our executive sponsors and BRG members spent two full days immersed in rich DE&I content and discussion that is sure to spark robust conversation, creativity, and action in our BRGs for 2023,” said DE&I Manager Valencia Seals. “I look forward to all that’s to come!"  

Each of the 18 sessions and break-out activities gave associates plenty to ponder. Here are eight key takeaways: 

There are certain skills that make a leader, but not all leaders are the same.

It is important to understand how people see you. To build the brand you want for yourself, rock your strengths and passions and foster key relationships. Create a personal ‘board of directors’ that can support you and candidly offer feedback.  

How to Invest in What Really Matters: People 

  • Break the gender and racial gap  
  • Identify implicit biases to ensure your leadership team is equitable  
  • Encourage your team to take time to do what they love  
  • Find creative ways to mitigate burnout 

Take a Win-win Approach to Negotiating  

Consider how both parties can benefit from the target outcome and build your case. Listen carefully, communicate clearly, manage your emotions and go in with a plan. Ask questions to understand everyone’s goals – it's one of the most powerful tools of negotiating.

Allyship is about having each others' back. 

Have you ever heard someone say I got your back? Think about how that made you feel. Not just hearing it but believing it and knowing that you have somebody in your corner – that’s what being an ally is to another person.  

The 7 Things You Must Give Up to Be an Exceptional Leader 

  1. The need to always be right 
  2. Gossip 
  3. The need for frequent praise  
  4. Distractions 
  5. Labels and biases 
  6. Excuses  
  7. The fear of change 

The Dangers of a Single Story 

Many of us have preconceived notions about different countries and cultures. These single stories, or stereotypes, are not an accurate reflection. Take time to look at something from all angles to remove unconscious bias. 

Disability Rights Benefit Everyone 

Closed captioning, curb cuts, ramps and elevators are just a few of the countless examples of accommodations often put in place for disabled people that non-disabled people also benefit from. More people have disabilities than we think, so making accessibility for all a forethought rather than afterthought means we can each feel seen, valued and safe in our homes, workplaces and out in the world.   

The Secret to Success: Using DE&I as a Superpower  

Putting your head down and getting work done isn’t always the best path to success. In fact, building your network and social capital is the more impactful route, especially when those connections are varied and diverse. 

Associates Share Their Feedback

Summit attendees are digesting what they learned and are ready to make the lessons a part of their daily lives.

Associates share their feedback from the summit

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