Twana Harris on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) at Freedom
We’re thrilled to introduce you to Twana Harris, Freedom’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. With over 20 years of experience, she serves as a key strategic leader and champion of advancing and continuously enhancing Freedom Mortgage’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) vision, strategies, and initiatives.
Not only is Twana Harris a passionate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leader at Freedom, but she just might be one of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet. From driving across the U.S. four times completely alone, to being raised in New Jersey, and attending universities in California, Nebraska, and Illinois, she truly has gained firsthand experience of the diversity which exists across the United States.
“It’s an important way to raise awareness and enhance our collective understanding of the value of our differences and similarities.”
One way in which Twana is bringing DE&I to Freedom is through the recognition of national diversity months. “It’s an important way to raise awareness and enhance our collective understanding of the value of our differences and similarities.” Learning about each other engenders conversation, helps broaden our perspectives, enhances teamwork and collaboration, and strengthens our diversity and inclusion efforts at Freedom.
Each of us should continue to enhance our cultural competence by “taking the time to learn about our co-worker’s diversity and sharing our diversity with them. Actively listen to the stories about their ancestors and ask questions to learn more about their histories. By wishing your coworkers well on their cultural or religious holidays, you will show that you respect their differences. Learning about other cultures through food is also a brilliant way to do so.”
Twana’s role is critical to ensuring that Freedom Mortgage continues to cultivate a welcoming, healthy, and psychologically safe workplace environment where everyone can learn, grow and contribute to the success of the company. “Employee morale and engagement thrive in inclusive workplaces. When employees feel respected and valued, they perform better. Research consistently shows that companies with inclusive cultures outperform competitors who do not ensure inclusion.”
Twana’s Master’s degree in social psychology along with certifications in DE&I Mastery, and Leadership and Organizational Development, strengthen her repertoire of skills as the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Not only was she the recipient of an American Psychological Association research grant, but she has presented her findings at various scholarly conferences, and has authored articles in publications like the Journal of Law and Human Behavior, HR News and Talent Management and HR. When Twana is not hard at work, she enjoys helping others, traveling, and reading.
You might be wondering how one person is able to stay so motivated, while leading efforts to help others approach topics that can often be quite complex and sensitive. For Twana, it’s about staying focused on the work and the expected outcomes. It’s also about being an empathetic leader. “Empathetic leadership is the ability to consider and appreciate others' needs, as well as their emotions and thoughts. You can enhance someone’s performance when they know that you care about them.” By fostering culture change, people development, and helping others uncover and fully utilize their talent in the workplace, Twana continues to be a force for good in the field of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and specifically works day in and day out to make Freedom a better place to work for everyone.
Want to join a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture on a mission to foster homeownership and financial empowerment for everyone? The time is now to #SoarWithUs at Freedom Mortgage. Check out all of our open positions by clicking here.