Such initiatives have helped Biagini in her own career. At a leadership development session for AAPI employees, she recalled, she took part in an exercise where the participants listed traits valued in their cultures, then made a separate list of traits considered favorable in the corporate world.
When they put them side-by-side, Biagini said, “we had our epiphanies and our a-ha moments.” One of those revelations, she said, was that withholding ideas and opinions sometimes comes across as passive or uninterested.
“We realized we were operating in the corporate world as we were at home,” she said, “and that we might be misperceived in a negative way, even though we were just being respectful.”
That leadership session has stuck with Biagini throughout the years. Inspired by what she learned, she took a leadership role in the AAPI employee resource group, and she developed a comprehensive welcome program for new hires – one that included the ideas she’d once held back.
“I would have never thought to do something like that until that class taught me it’s OK to operate that way,” she said. “That’s the same kind of awareness we hope to provide our members to help them thrive.”