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Community Highlights: Meet Felicia Johnson of The Gatson Group

Today we’d like to introduce you to Felicia Johnson. 

Hi Felicia, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I consider myself a ‘Servant Leader’. I have a heart for serving others and am always looking for ways to provide greater impact. After managing corporate diversity initiatives for some of the country’s largest organizations, I took a step, okay, rather a LEAP of faith, and started my own diversity and inclusion consulting practice! 

Since becoming a business owner, I have learned so much not only about running a business, but equally as important, about myself. This journey has been and continues to be, extremely rewarding. 

I oftentimes say that working in the diversity and inclusion field is not for the faint of heart! And that has never been truer than now. It is easy to focus on what separates us, rather than on what binds us. I am keenly aware of the challenges that exist doing this work, however, I am also aware of the benefits. For example, emails and phone calls I get to this day, from former co-workers and clients that stay in contact and tell me how my workshop or training touched them and changed their lives. 

I am committed to creating safe spaces where authentic and thoughtful conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion can take place,  free of bias, judgement or blame. Long-term and sustainable impact for my clients is what drives me.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Being a business owner can certainly be challenging. Being a woman and minority business owner can add to those challenges. While I certainly acknowledge those challenges, I do not allow them to define me, nor hinder me. 

To remain successful in business, you have to believe not only in what you are doing, but you MUST believe in YOURSELF! I have had doors shut in my face and told that my services are not needed. Did that hurt? Of course, it did! Did it stop me? Not even close! In fact, I dug in deeper. I pushed myself and challenged myself to step outside of my comfort zone. To pursue companies, I had once thought were ‘out of reach’ and pursue industries I knew little to nothing about. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about The Gatson Group?
The Gatson Group is a diversity and inclusion consulting practice specializing in diversity and inclusion certification training and creating and executing on customized inclusion initiatives. In other words, I meet you where you are on your inclusion journey and help you achieve your employee engagement and organizational goals.

What sets me apart is my personal and up-close relationship with my clients. I do not believe there is a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to diversity and inclusion consulting. I work closely with my clients to determine what they need and create an approach that is personalized to them. 

I want your readers to know that EVERY EMPLOYEE MATTERS. Regardless of a person’s belief system, lifestyle, gender, or any other diversity characteristic that makes them who they are, THEY MATTER. That is the approach I take with my work and THAT is what makes the work I do worthwhile! 

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I have always loved to read and can’t get enough of learning and growing. I am currently reading Talent Is Never Enough by John Maxwell and re-reading a favorite, ‘Living with Purpose’ by Dr. Myles Munroe. 

As far as podcasts, I actually need to step up my game in this space! LOL! A few favorites include UnBossed, Chris Hogan, Just Minding My Black Owned Business, and TED Talks Business. 

If your readers have any recommendations, please send them my way!

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