We all want a sustainable society, a diverse and inclusive workplace where one does not just survive but thrives! How often have we encountered the “us-versus-them” syndrome that creates a divide, a rift that transcends personal and professional spheres of diversity? This holds people back from being themselves, from feeling welcome, valued, and respected for their differences, affecting their mental well-being and productivity at work. The need of the hour is a paradigm shift in perspective to support each other and join hands to make society more restorative and workplaces more inclusive. The goal is to break down structural barriers to address the systemic inequities that have long persisted. Vonda Page, founder and CEO of Radical Change LLC, and most importantly, a trailblazing changemaker, guides leaders and organizations to grow and experience meaningful outcomes.
Vonda refers to herself as an “Equity Mentor” as she challenges the current norms and advises on alleviating anti-Blackness and promoting inclusivity in the workplace. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Temple University and her Master of Arts degree in Professional Communication from La Salle University, Philadelphia. Her other credentials include Certified Change Management Professional, CCMP, Prosci Change Management Practitioner, and Certified Myers-Briggs Practitioner. She boasts more than three decades of experience as a management consultant, DEI leader, executive coach, operations trainer, employee productivity specialist, and trusted advisor to senior-level decision-makers. Yes, Vonda has been all over the place and done it all, besides excelling in everything she puts her magical touch into.
Vonda landed her first job when she was just a tenth grader at a small insurance office in 1984. As she moved into college and grad school, she took up several jobs in restaurants and hotels, which exposed her to new technologies, structures, and systems and prompted her to study their impact. According to Vonda, this interest in the intersection between people and tech edged her toward a career in various companies in various roles, ranging from web developer to organizational change manager. Her most recent role as Organizational Change and Technology Adoption Leader at Paypal helped her understand the integration of technology in business which is critical and unavoidable in the present-day world.
Vonda leverages this knowledge even as an entrepreneur, where she focuses on remedying gender disparity in technical roles which are largely male-dominated. She shifted from being a corporate change leader to consultant-entrepreneur with the founding of Radical Change LLC in 2020 to help change aspirants move from “leadership to legendary”.
Diversifying IT Workforce
Vonda has had an enriching experience being an expert organizational change practitioner and digital transformation strategist for years, which also shines in her work with Radical Change. Here, she supports decision-makers, practitioners, and advocates with adequate tools and techniques to grow and achieve their professional dreams and become better versions of themselves. The services on offer include high-touch strategic leadership advice and organizational change management consulting, team success, group guidance, and signature talks that aim to develop leadership skills for overall success.
Vonda believes technology can be intimidating for young women and people of color even today. According to a study, only 30% of women with an engineering degree hold onto their jobs in the field after a few years. Many reasons have been cited behind this trend, including family issues, changes in interests, and lack of opportunities, but the one reason that stood out was the workplace culture. Men mostly dominate the highly technical roles, and women tend to take up “softer roles” where the stress on technology is less and communicating and building a network takes precedence. While some may consider it a deterrent, Vonda believes women can leverage their communication skills and make themselves “heard” to create an impact and be taken seriously.
Lead the Change
A fierce and brilliant business consultant, Vonda has another side that she feels very strongly about and works towards the cause – being at the forefront of anti-Blackness alleviation. She wishes to do the same with Destination Dump DEI and make it happen. Having lived and experienced life as a Black American woman herself, she brings in her academic prowess mingled with management expertise in different sectors worldwide to tackle the issue that crops its ugly head now and then. Vonda feels that the intent for equitable inclusion stems from the right effort, and she is here to guide and mentor those who want to take those steps.
The pandemic has proved disastrous for people of color both on the personal and professional fronts, and Vonda wants to remedy this plague. A community will only thrive when its members join hands and encourage each other, and she wants Black people, especially women, to be that guiding force for one another. But she also advises them to heal from within first by taking care of their traumas to be able to help others take on the world of discrimination. As an advocate for such women, she wants to be a mirror for them so they can be inspired by how she has inhibited change in herself to bring the same in the world around her.
According to Vonda, change should not “suck” and change can only take place outside once it happens inside you. And the most important aspect of bringing about that change is to be yourself and stop trying to do what somebody else wants you to do. For Vonda, women need to step up and speak up, be in their personal or professional lives as employees or business owners. “Stop trying to fit the mold and be somebody else’s version of you. What is required to level up, to make a change is to be ourselves and be bold and brave. Also, find a mentor who has succeeded in doing what they are doing so that they can guide you. If I could, I would go back in time and seek help from relevant people who could have supported me a lot back then. Network with people you think are doing the same thing and follow them,” said Vonda.
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