📻 — Nicole Felter: Tips and Strategies to Build Diverse & Inclusive Communities

This is your Community, Daily.

Reading Time: ~ 5 min.

Morning yeniverse!

We’ve got a fun #deepdive to jump into in a moment, but, here are a few links and fun reads for all my builders, creators, and yenizens out there!

  1. NBA players and equity? That’s interesting. Beeper!? Wow.

  2. Alex becomes a Chief Community Officer. Cool! Re-purpose video.

  3. $0 to $34k in 6 months? Okay. I like those numbers.

  4. Trainn: Product walkthrough vids. UI kits. Notion PM?

  5. And yes, I’m hard-core endorsing this calendar app.

  6. Frame.ioRecut… so many video editing platforms. Offline Kanban?!

  7. Manage Twitter like a boss? Patreon going public.

  8. Time for money sucks. Go platform SaaS (or a CommSaaS).

  9. a16z “cozying” up to the creator economy. Git… live?! Neato.

It gets harder and harder to choose which links to share since there are so many, every single day! Love you all.

To infinity & community,

— john

Today’s another talk via CMX 2020 event and we all know that our industry needs more folks talking about diversity and inclusion.

AND! If I’m to be so bold, the community and creator space(s) — especially — should be the most welcome and most diverse! Sadly, that’s not always the case and so the solution, at least in the beginning, is to showcase, highlight, and conversate publicly about these topics in an open, honest, and humble way.

After reviewing Nicole Felter‘s talk about intentionally building diverse programming, I had to include it in one of our issues! So, without further ado, here are some of my notes from this great talk:

Let’s jump in!

Nicole jumps right in and shares her agenda with the audience:

  1. About herself and PowerToFly!

  2. What she does at PowerToFly!

  3. What have she personally done in D&I?

  4. What do the numbers say?

  5. What are the actionable steps others can take?

  6. What are today’s key takeaways?

I love how she also doesn’t walk away from the fact that she’s a “white gal talking about diversity and inclusion” and how that might not seem to make sense at first, but she candidly shares her perspective:

There’s a power that I have; a privilege to amplify and lift under-represented voices that have been historically repressed. I realized (after George Floyd) that I have a calling to do what I can in my professional sphere; to push diversity and make sure we’re being inclusive of those within our community.

Nicole Felter

So, what’s Power To Fly!?

From their own lips:

We are the fastest growing global platform connecting women, non-binary and gender nonconforming people with companies committed to creating more diverse and inclusive workforces.

Very, very cool! And then she dives into what she does as an associate marketing manager; more specifically, the “Chat & Learn” program:

The program, as she describes it, is a one-hour questions & answer session with professionals and leaders who identify as women; a moderator opens up the experience and takes questions from the audience.

They focus on actionable conversations, storytelling strategies or landing your dream job and resume tips and even “breaking your own glass ceiling” when it comes to women’s careers.

Then, they connect them together to provide further resources for growth. If this isn’t a recipe for starting a new community, I don’t know what else there is! This sounds very familiar to many of the community-building playbooks, especially the ones that center on events and experiences!

Don’t miss the growing list of resources, tools, and platforms too for these types of engagements.

Here are some of the things that Nicole has specifically done in the D&I space that she encourages others to experiment and try:

A few of the things via her preso:

  1. Why self-preservation is only preserving workplace racism

  2. Taking a leap of faith to pursue your dream

  3. I’m not letting ageism define my future and you shouldn’t either

  4. Allyship & Advocacy: What WoC want white women to know

  5. Problems with Pronouns?

All of these seem like great topics that we all can definitely use within our own communities and teams. I think the one around pronouns is an easy and super-practical one that can help folks who aren’t entirely up-to-speed with these types of things.

As a parent with a teenager I’m constantly reminded during our chats that their friends and peers call themselves many things and in many different ways; these are very interesting and fascinating times!

The next section is really good as Nicole reminds the audience that a lot of your ability to succeed in diversity and inclusion initiatives start with the very environment, culture, and context that you’ve already created.

She asks the question: What kind of space are you creating for your community? There are a few other more clarifying questions that she poises that you might find useful:

  1. Referral Network: Are your speakers coming in via a referral network?

  2. Topics: What kind of topics do you find your community covering time and time again?

  3. Authenticity: Are you staking around hard topics?

Nicole leans in quite a bit in this section and doesn’t let her audience get away with “just letting things slide” — she wants you all to admit that there’s a problem and then go fix it!

She, of course, has some ideas how:

  1. Get real with yourself — The first step to committing to lasting change is understanding that there is an issue.

  2. Strategize about the direction you want to go in — It’s not enough to understand that you want to improve diversity, but you need to know where your North Star is.

  3. Get team buy-in — You’ll need buy-in to help lasting change move along.

  4. Determine your next steps — There are so many avenenues you can take to intentionally build diverse programming so, you need to understand which one is most attainable.

She shares how practical this can be done by simply changing your header image on LinkedIn. Here are some practical tips:


  • Your header

  • Your outreach

  • How to find people to ask to speak


  • Join groups

  • Catch shared posts

  • Watch what other people are posting about

Email Newsletters:

  • Sign up for varying newsletters

  • Create a folder for people you want to reach out to

Finally, the key takeaways:

  1. Get real with yourself — We’re all a work in progress.

  2. Get out of your referral system — There’s a ton of resources available.

  3. Team buy-in — You’re stronger together.

  4. Start small — Where are the first places you can impact change?

  5. Don’t give up — Real diversity doesn’t happen overnight!

A good reminder for any community builder, creator, and entrepreneur:

Don’t give up. This road is hard, but, it’s worth it! If you want to build the company, project, community of your dreams then you’re going to have to walk a thousand miles.

Thanks Nicole! It was crazy to think that this was her first time speaking at an event! Way to go!!