The Power of Gratitude

Marissa Ellis
Marissa Ellis

Diversily Founder

It was about this time last year that I had a thought.

Where are all the women?

After many years simply accepting that this was just how the tech industry was, I decided it was time for change. First I needed to understand why and then I was going to do my bit (no matter how small) to change things. To kick off my mission I set myself a few challenges.

Grow my network. Find people who share my passions. Find people who are different to me. Widen my horizons. Figure out how I can make a difference.

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

I established Diversily, invented The Change Canvas and can proudly say I am now part of an incredible collaborative movement to drive change. Not just to address the gender balance in tech or leadership but to change mindsets around the value of diversity across all dimensions (e.g. race, disability, culture, learning styles…) and the importance of inclusive workplaces.

Today, I am reflecting.

Today, I want to say Thank You.

I want everyone who has helped Diversily over the last year to know that I couldn’t have achieved what I have without you.

I want to acknowledge, show gratitude towards and call out some of the amazing people that have helped Diversily in 2018.

You all did something wonderful, something that you didn’t have to do.

I am grateful to those who have provided support, feedback and encouragement, amplified the voice of Diversily, given me an opportunity to speak or test out ideas.

It may have seemed small to you, but I want you to know that it made a difference. It is the accumulation of those small gestures that has propelled Diversily to where it is today. Thank you for collaborating and for generally just being awesome.

If you didn’t make the cut, I am still super grateful for all you have done. There is always 2019 😉

Before I tell you who the top 30 Diversily heroes of 2018 are, let me share why I think reflection and gratitude are so important.

The Change Canvas has changed the way I think.

I am using The Change Canvas to reflect (obviously!) It helps me check in to make sure I have all angles covered; to reflect, to set goals, to come up with ideas, to commit to specific actions and importantly to celebrate success. I use it in so many different situations now.

If it wasn’t for the ‘Reflection board’ I am pretty sure right now I’d only be thanking the people I have been in touch with recently. Whose influence and support is front of mind. I have to focus my mind to remember what I did last Tuesday, never mind what happened at the beginning of 2018. Or perhaps I wouldn’t be thanking anyone at all! Perhaps I’d just be focusing on what’s next, without looking back.

Looking back helps you figure out how to move forward.

By reflecting on what you’ve achieved, what challenges you’ve faced, what lessons you’ve learned, you can use this to propel you forward in the right direction.

Gratitude is well recognised for boosting happiness. So is purpose. So by thanking others, both you and them will get a little boost of happiness. You for being grateful and them for having purpose. Happiness and purpose both drive productivity.

So who I am grateful to?

Top 30 Diversily Heroes of 2018

I am personally grateful to everyone on this list and many more for your ongoing support for Diversily.

  1. Susannah Woolmer — Freelance Writer
  2. Marina Traversari — Oracle
  3. Rick Chapman — Business Advisor
  4. James Lucas — Product Consultant
  5. Gareth Williams — Yellow dog
  6. Ben Shorrock — Tech Spark
  7. Kirsty Trafford-Owen — Druthers Search
  8. Kiri O’Brien — Druthers Search
  9. Annie Legge — Dot Project
  10. Catherine Ainsworth — Dot Project
  11. Debbie Forster — Tech Talent Charter
  12. Richard Hillman — SWIFT
  13. Rosemary Stone — SWIFT
  14. Erin Thornton — SWIFT
  15. James Ellis — Sigma Systems
  16. Melinda Briana Epler — Change Catalyst
  17. Laura Stebbing — AccelerateHer
  18. Farrah Qureshi — Global Diversity Practice
  19. Waseem Llyas — Global Diversity Practice
  20. Sarah Williams — MangoHR
  21. Kunjal Tanna — LT Harper
  22. Julia Streets — DiverCity Podcast
  23. Kate Brodock — Women 2.0
  24. Genna Kalish — Work180
  25. Kevin Johnston — ING
  26. Jessica Ramos-Byrne — EBA Clearing
  27. Tess Coughlan-Allen — Mind Doodle
  28. Caroline Williams — The Do Good Only Company
  29. Nick Sturge — Engine Shed
  30. Anjali Ramachandran — Ada’s List

To all of the Diversily Heros of 2018,

You did something I really appreciated last year. Thank You! If this made you feel good, pass on your thanks to others to whom you are grateful.

#ShowGratitude #FeelGood

The Change Canvas is about inspiring positive action. I urge everyone to take this as your cue to thank the people in your world that you are grateful to.

Seriously. Do it. Now.

There are many people on this list that I didn’t know this time last year. We have been united by a shared vision. The Diversily journey so far has taught me so much and has been deeply rewarding. The spirit for collaboration, the shared purpose and the satisfaction of making a difference are all hugely motivating.

Our only hope to shift the needle is through collaboration. Lots of small steps will, together, drive transformational change. Diversily is on a mission to change mindsets. Diverse and inclusive workplaces result in more productive, innovative businesses and more opportunity for everyone.

I am ready for 2019. Let’s do this. Together.

Marissa Ellis, Founder & CEO Diversily

What to know more about Diversily and The Change Canvas?

Read about the recent adventures of Diversily in our newsletter here

Learn more about using The Change Canvas for strategy review and business planning here

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