Yvonne Alston Enabler of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Workplaces

July 18, 2023

Yvonne Alston Enabler of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Workplaces

Yvonne Alston, Chief Culture Architect, CEO, and Founder of Indelible Impressions Consulting, LLC, established the firm in 2020 to help organizations implement DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) strategies. She is a revered and sought-after practitioner who has moved culture and DEIB from being a “nice to have” add-on to HR, to a “must have” requirement to be integrated into organizational culture and operations. This means it’s an actual line item in strategic planning and overall operations.

Yvonne’s and her firm’s advocacy in DEIB is getting major recognition, including from several entities just within the last year. The gathering accolades include the Top 25 Women in Business 2022 Honoree, the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2022, the Top 100 Women of Color 2022 Honoree and Valedictorian in CT, and a new panel member of NASA IDEA.

Based in the state of Connecticut within the United States, Indelible Impressions has consultant presences in CA, CO, FL, GA, MD, CT, and MA. It is through their collective passions, purpose, and work that Indelible Impressions aims to help organizations and individuals realize their full potential by driving diversity, equity, and inclusion to advance a high-performing culture.

“Indelible offers a holistic approach to engage all levels of an organization with targeted solutions to address organizations’ culture challenges on a continuum for sustainability.”

Indelible Impression Offerings

Indelible’s work includes partnering with organizations that span public, private, and nonprofit organizations across disciplines and industries to advance DEIB initiatives of world-renowned organizations and those in smaller communities.

“We believe that each individual and organization has the ability, and should have the opportunity, to make an impact and their own indelible impression.”

This includes:

  • Employing innovative engagement strategies and executions to enable employees to thrive
  • Helping organizations engage and retain talent
  • Equipping individuals and organizations with the knowledge and tools needed to create sustainable cultures of acceptance and transformation.

Indelible’s holistic program offerings focus on education, behavior modification, and cultural transformation of people, not just environments. The team employs data-backed strategies to improve cultural humility and competency, grow and improve active allyship, and increase employee engagement, satisfaction, and a sense of belonging.

And that’s exactly what Indelible does. The team works in all environments, including factory floors, boardrooms, and mainstages. What Yvonne loves most about how Indelible Impressions does its work is employing a head-and-heart approach to meet people where they are and walk alongside them on their DEIB journey. “Within our executions and implementations, we prioritize each person’s heart and mind, connecting more deeply and intentionally so that the work goes with them wherever they go. And each team member leverages their lived and professional experiences, spanning multiple industries and types of organizations, to bring all of themselves to every engagement,” says Yvonne. “So, they are more relatable and accessible, and our clients get tremendous benefits from both.”

Yvonne Alston Enabler of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Workplaces
Yvonne Alston Enabler of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Workplaces

Battling Gender-Bias Head On

Yvonne acknowledges that top leadership in many organizations and across industries lacks diversity, which prevents women from rising to the top. At the root of these biases, Yvonne feels, are ‘fear’ and ‘systems.’ She shares, “People often want to work with people who remind them of themselves. This often leads to affinity bias and causes leaders to keep people like them closest to them. Add to this, historical systems of community and business have been built with a certain population and identities at the top, choosing which groups are allowed to occupy the middle and which ones are systematically at the bottom.”

Women that are most often impacted by this dynamic are historically marginalized and those from underserved communities. Thus, “we cannot deny that race, ethnicity, abilities, and educational stigmas fracture the group as a whole and put certain women at a further disadvantage,” says Yvonne.

This is why she advocates that education and accountability are essential to change how the world sees non-white and non-binary identities, as well as those with disabilities, as being able to do many things and add tremendous value to environments, both socially and within organizations.

Modeling as She Leads the Way

Yvonne’s life path directed her empathic, compassionate, and unapologetically authentic leadership style. “I learned the hard way that trying to assimilate to an environment or culture to be what it emulated was not fair to me or whomever I’m engaging with. I model what I teach—not in a performative way but just by being who I am, through and through. It helps give others permission to do the same. Then the kindest, intelligent, and most effective Yvonne shows up.”

Yvonne believes there are six main ways that leaders can add tremendous value to an organization’s culture: 

1. Be vulnerable and share challenges, missteps, and wins

2. Own your mistakes

3. Showcase accountability at all levels of the organization

4. Build and maintain a diverse workforce and leadership team to drive innovation and success

5. Break down barriers and close gaps for the underrepresented

6. Learn how to balance personal life with fun and work to ensure that the best version can show up in personal and professional environments.

“Me” Time Matters

Acknowledging that the work of leaders and DEIB practitioners can be emotionally laborious and physically exhausting, Yvonne says that she has become much more intentional and unapologetic about ‘self-care’ in the last year and a half.

She uses several strategies to deal with stress, such as introspection and taking inventory of what is really making her feel stressed. When she feels that she needs to re-calibrate, she honestly communicates the requirement for space or isolation. And she prioritizes joyful activities such as quick weekend getaways, time with friends, solo walks on a beach, spa treatments, and tea time with a good book.

Why Barrier Breaking is in Her Blood

The other aspect of Yvonne and how she and her team engage with folks and make her so welcome by organizations is that she’s not afraid of being vulnerable and sharing her own story to further meet folks where they are. As someone living through unapologetic authenticity, she’s not shy about the challenges in her own life that have informed her purpose and her empathy and compassion for others. This includes growing up in challenging circumstances that include tough economic circumstances, family violence, and parental substance abuse. In her latter adult years, she recognized how it helped her develop iron resiliency and fortitude, as well as deep empathy and compassion for people in difficult circumstances. It’s part of the reason that when she went to college, she thought she wanted to be a lawyer—a profession that provided wealth, prestige, and respect. However, after undergrad, Yvonne realized that what she really wanted to do was advocate for people.

She shares the three factors that got her to this point in life: “uncompromising faith, giving the best of myself in each role I’ve held with a spirit of excellence, and showcasing how to lead with character, values, empathy, and compassion.”

Yvonne completed her BA from Quinnipiac University and holds a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certification from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business. With additional expertise from several corporate marketing and communications roles and culture work within those organizations, she feels well-positioned for the work now and ahead.

“We guide those seeking to make DEIB a critical part of their organization’s fabric, moving DEIB from something they do to who they are. This includes diminishing the professional and personal disenfranchisement of people who are often underrepresented and marginalized,” states Yvonne.


“Assimilation and codeswitching are not healthy or productive ways to adapt to an environment’s or organization’s culture. Be yourself, and let others be themselves, too. You’ll all be better, more productive, and more successful for it,” adds Yvonne.

Her advice to younger women is: “Do what aligns with your purpose and passion. Figure out that aim and pursue it with all intentionality and commitment. It is the key to personal and professional success. Be more fearless in your self-advocacy. Say what you want and need, and if needed, be uncompromising—especially when you’re clear on your worth—financially, intellectually, and capability-wise.”

“Live unapologetically authentic, always and in all ways.


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