In The Suite Podcast Episode 35: Finding Your Personal Voice and Speaking Up for Race, Gender Equity, and ESG with Sonya Dreizler, Solutions with Sonya

In The Suite Podcast Episode 35: Sonya B. Dreizler

In The Suite Podcast Episode 35: Sonya B. DreizlerWe’re delighted to welcome Sonya Dreizler of Solutions with Sonya to this episode of In The Suite. Sonya is a leading industry consultant, speaker, and thought leader whose work focused on three main areas: Race, Gender Equality, and ESG.

Sonya makes a living by using the power of her voice. Her company, “Solutions with Sonya” is appropriately named for what she brings from farm to table, whether it be an industry presentation to thousands of people across the country or a bespoke marketing and communications plan for an RIA, Broker/Dealer, or Custodian, one thing’s for sure, Sonya is a leading industry authority who reaps what she sows.

Long before the Black Lives Matter movement, Sonya, a White-American professional, spoke up about diversity in the workplace as a powerful voice for doing what’s right. Today, she fosters candid conversations about gender and race in financial services and consults with other companies and business leaders to create more inclusive workplaces. She has a passion to speak and write about issues and current events focused on diversity and race relations—an unequivocal drive for equity and justice for all.

“We should look like, and be from, the communities we look like and serve.”

In this episode, Sonya shares why diversity, equity, and inclusion matters and how organizations should reflect the race, ethnicity, and population of the U.S. census, not just entry-level but to the boardroom. It’s a modern view of the world formed by Sonya’s 14-year history of working in traditional financial and investment roles, including CEO of a Broker-Dealer and RIA, and 4 years as a consultant.

Sonya is also a subject matter expert in ESG, and Responsible Investing. At Solutions for Sonya, she consults with a select handful of mission-aligned financial companies in that area. ESG is also in her DNA 🧬 Sonya’s financial planning father introduced her to the concept in the 80s, when as a young girl, she would file mutual fund statements and learn about Calvert and investing strategies focused around ESG.

Time with Sonya In The Suite gave me a deeper appreciation of who she is and what she’s accomplished given the backdrop of a world divisive and partially rooted in hatred, discrimination, and harassment around women, especially women of color. In fact, one of the most poignant parts of my conversation with Sonya In The Suite occurs at 17:32 where we dig deep on the Do Better series, a 10-part blog series of real stories from women who have been assaulted and harassed, even drugged, at industry conferences and in the workplace. The roots of Do Better started out as a call on Twitter asking women to share their stories anonymously.

“I couldn’t hit Publish because I was so nervous. And when I finally did, I almost threw up.”

And like sudden pouring rain, Sonya found herself completely drenched in over 40 stories within the first 24 hours. It’s is a huge accomplishment with humble roots. One year later, Sonya’s grateful for the experience and the chance to reach a few good men who wish to be part of the solution.

As an advocate and influencer, Sonya’s work has earned her numerous awards and garnered industry recognition from LinkedIn, Morningstar, Refinitiv, US News & World Report, Aspire Magazine, Investment News, and Females & Finance. She has a fierce tribe of active and devoted #FinTwit family of supporters on Twitter @SonyaDreizler, LinkedIn, and a leading industry blog with a fresh voice that feeds and nourishes the soul of inclusiveness. You can (and should) subscribe here: https://www.solutionswithsonya.com/subscribe

Sonya Dreizler Be Present TattooIn this episode, Sonya will inspire you to lead and act boldly by embracing these three principles:

  1. Find your voice and use it. Be true to yourself and speak about what’s important to you. However, be aware of compliance, policies and limitations within your organization around being vocal about issues you care about. Understand that not all work environments promote an active voice on social media around race and gender.
  2. Organize around who you are and what you stand for. By building an audience and a personal and professional network deeply rooted in core values, you’ll experience the power of the network effect organically. Your followers will naturally gravitate and build a collective.
  3. Be present. Enjoy the moment and try not to worry about everything else around you. Resist the temptation to think about all the to-do items on your list. Instead, try to quiet your brain and be intentional at the moment by using “Be Present” as a mantra or even a tattoo like Sonya!

Show Notes

Today In The Suite welcomes Sonya Dreizler, founder of Solutions with Sonya. Sonya is a leading industry consultant, speaker, and thought leader whose work focused on three main areas: Race, Gender Equality, and ESG. She works with RIAs, Broker/Dealers, and Custodians around the country and is a subject matter expert in ESG and responsible investing.

In this episode, Sonya, a White-American professional, shares why diversity, equity, and inclusion matters and how organizations should reflect the race, ethnicity, and population of the U.S. census, not just entry-level but to the boardroom. It’s a modern view of the world formed by Sonya’s 14-year history of working in traditional financial and investment roles, including CEO of a Broker-Dealer and RIA, and 4 years as a consultant.

“We should look like, and be from, the communities we look like and serve.”

Long before the Black Lives Matter movement, Sonya spoke up about diversity in the workplace as a powerful voice for doing what’s right. Today, she fosters candid conversations about gender and race in financial services and consults with other companies and business leaders to create more inclusive workplaces. She has a passion to speak and write about issues and current events focused on diversity and race relations—an unequivocal drive for equity and justice for all.

Join the conversation to hear about:

  • The importance of race and gender in the workplace (5:41)
  • Sonya’s early career in the financial services industry (7:34)
  • Enjoying working in the back office (10:40)
  • Sonya’s path to becoming the CEO of a Broker-Dealer (13:14)
  • The Do Better Series: The Back Story & One Year Later (17:32)
  • COVID-19 as an opportunity to reset (26:53)
  • Three important phrases to use in situations of racial discrimination and harassment (30:05)
  • The number one thing for women to do at conferences (35:40)
  • How to bridge conversations around race (37:27)
  • Sonya’s early exposure to Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and ESG
  • Sonya’s involvement with CUESA – Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture
  • What it means to find your voice (51:20)
  • How Sonya is present and stays grounded in her work (55:06)

Referenced Materials:

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