Fostering equality and cultural diversity is a top challenge that the entire society is facing at the moment. However, there are a handful of truly empowering leaders determined to guide us through this challenge. They are inspiring us to appreciate our differences and uniqueness, because let’s face it, without diversity, life would be very boring and what divides us pales in comparison to what unites us. One such ambitious and dedicated DE&I leader is Kym Ali.
With expertise in leadership consulting, Kym Ali is a Registered Nurse and a leading Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and a Wellness Consultant in the Oil & Gas and Energy Industry. She is a speaker and the founder of the organization Kym Ali Consulting.
Pivoting from Nursing to DE&I leadership
Kym founded her company rooted in a deeply personal experience. Her path from a nurse consultant to a DE&I expert was neither planned nor conventional. While living in Qatar and serving in a nursing consultancy role, Kym faced a harsh reality: the sting of racism, which ultimately led to her unjust termination. This personal setback, however, came right before the world faced a collective one – the onset of the pandemic.
This challenge in her life gained a global spotlight after the tragic murder of George Floyd. The world’s anguish became even more palpable with this gruesome event. Moved by the global outcry for justice and recognizing the parallels in her own experiences, Kym decided to share her story. To her astonishment, her narrative resonated deeply with many, and it swiftly gained traction, and popularity.
When Kym decided to share her narrative with a modest media outlet, she never anticipated the ripple effect it would create. “The story went viral, and in the following days, my inbox was flooded with messages from individuals who faced eerily similar challenges,” she says.
These stories were a poignant reminder to Kym that she was not alone in her experiences, and neither were they. It became glaringly clear to her that this was bigger than just her story; it was a collective cry for justice and representation. Recognizing this profound need to champion the voices of the marginalized and advocate for equitable workplaces, Kym established her business. The widespread recognition underscored the dire need for change, not just in isolated pockets of the world, but globally. Sensing this urgency and driven by her personal experiences, Kym Ali Consulting was born.
Kym Ali Consulting and its services
At Kym Ali Consulting, they are not just any DE&I practitioners; they have a clear and impactful niche. While the vast field of DE&I has various professionals offering broad solutions, their sole focus is laser-sharp: empowering leaders in the energy sector to champion diversity.
“We understand that in the fight against climate change, diverse talent is not just a bonus but an essential ingredient. By recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce, energy companies are better equipped to innovate, adapt, and drive forward in this crucial battle for our planet,” says Kym.
Complementing their consultancy is the “DE&I in Energy” podcast, an initiative under the Oil and Gas Global Network, that Kym states she is particularly proud to host. This podcast provides a platform to delve deep into the energy world, spanning sectors from oil and gas to renewables.
“Through engaging interviews with industry leaders, we uncover stories of triumphs, obstacles, and invaluable lessons in the realm of DE&I. The insights shared are not just theoretical; they come from the front lines, making them both relatable and actionable,” Kym explains.
Kym’s vision for the organization extends beyond local horizons. She aims to establish an international office, fostering a team of global consultants specialized in coaching and consulting. Diverse perspectives lie at the heart of this ambition.
Kym says, “Navigating the complexities of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) is challenging, but the rewards are profound. I firmly believe that if we manage to positively impact just one individual through our efforts, it signifies a ripple effect of change. By embedding this global mindset, not only do we aim to broaden our reach, but we also strive to be a beacon of inclusive excellence, demonstrating the powerful effects of understanding and unity across borders.”
The ever-evolving landscape of DE&I
In the expanding DE&I industry staying updated with best practices is essential for competitiveness. Kym’s commitment to this principle is unwavering, and it begins with an investment in herself. Recognizing that expertise is honed and sharpened with guidance, she actively seeks out and hires coaches. These experts ensure that Kym is not only on point and current as per industry standards but is also consistently pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in DE&I.
“I believe in the power of community and collective wisdom. I frequently engage with my network of DE&I practitioners, individuals whose work I deeply respect and admire. This continuous dialogue allows for a rich exchange of ideas, strategies, and insights. By seeking their support and advice, I ensure that my approaches are both innovative and grounded in real-world experience,” states Kym.
While the momentum for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives seems to be waning in several industries, Kym’s work in the energy sector tells a contrasting story. Here, DE&I is not just a fleeting trend but a cornerstone of transformation.
The energy industry’s heightened commitment to combating climate change plays a significant role in this unique dynamic. As the sector grapples with the pressing demands of sustainability and environmental responsibility, it recognizes the undeniable value of diverse perspectives. A diverse workforce brings a myriad of innovative solutions and strategies, crucial for addressing the complex challenges of climate change.
Kym’s thriving DE&I consultancy in the energy space is testament to this industry-specific shift. As companies increasingly prioritize sustainable practices and green innovations, they also understand the interconnection between diverse teams and groundbreaking solutions. As a result, even when DE&I enthusiasm ebbs in other domains, within the realm of energy, it remains a driving force, reflecting the sector’s broader commitment to a sustainable and inclusive future.
Success is a subjective notion
Success is a concept that is highly individualized. At its core, it’s subjective, varying from person to person based on personal goals, values, and experiences. While many people equate success with professional milestones like ascending the corporate hierarchy, others might associate it with personal accomplishments, such as being a dedicated parent or pioneering a startup.
In Kym’s perspective, true success isn’t solely about reaching specific markers or titles. It’s about alignment with one’s purpose and finding joy and satisfaction in life’s journey. A successful individual, in her eyes, is someone who has identified their true calling and strides towards it with passion, irrespective of society’s benchmarks.
“This person is content and fulfilled because they are living authentically, walking in their unique purpose, and experiencing genuine happiness,” she explains.
Leadership is a skill that can be developed
Throughout Kym’s journey, one recurring roadblock has been consistent: poor leadership. Time and time again, she has encountered leaders who were ill-equipped to guide, inspire, or even make effective decisions. These experiences, though challenging, became valuable lessons for her. Instead of merely seeing them as setbacks, Kym viewed them as a mirror of what she should avoid in her own business.
Each encounter with inadequate leadership reinforced the lesson of what not to do, highlighting the importance of qualities like empathy, vision, and effective communication. While poor leaders showed Kym the pitfalls and consequences of bad management, they inadvertently became the best teachers for how she wanted to lead.
Best recognition received as a great leader
Being acknowledged as one of the top 25 speakers of 2023 isn’t just an accolade for Kym — it’s a testament to her journey of personal growth and transformation.
At her core, Kym is an introvert, naturally inclined to the quieter, more introspective side of life. The mere thought of public speaking used to be a source of great anxiety, given her reserved nature. However, this recognition is symbolic of Kym’s dedication to push beyond her comfort zones and face her fears head-on.
“It stands as evidence that with passion, determination, and a desire to share one’s message – even the most daunting challenges can be conquered,” she exclaims.
Living a fulfilled and balanced life
As an entrepreneur, striking the right balance between professional and personal commitments can be a daunting task. However, a unique approach sets Kym apart: She prioritizes listening to her body.
By staying attuned to its signals, Kym can discern when to push forward and when to pull back. Instead of adhering strictly to external pressures and deadlines, she gives herself permission to rest and recharge when needed.
“This self-awareness ensures that I’m not only productive in my ventures, but also present and fulfilled in my personal life,” states Kym. The key lies in understanding that balance isn’t a destination but a continuous act of tuning in and adjusting based on one’s needs.
After traveling to 66 countries, Kym Ali knows the true meaning of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. She is a tenacious and an empowering female leader who works with Fortune 100 companies and has been featured in numerous media outlets such as CBS, Newsy, and Voice of America. Her amazing team of DE&I Consultants, Therapists, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers provide unique and effective solutions emphasizing the importance of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, leadership consulting and wellness consulting in the workplace.