Diversity, equity, inclusion event examines ethics


Ryan Pini

Trina Scott, VP of Diversity and Inclusion at Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans, speaks to students about moving ideas into words and actions in the modern workplace.

Taylor McDaniel, Staff Reporter

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) at Oakland University hosted a “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Moving from Words to ACTION” event on Thursday, Sept. 19 to inspire the OU community.

Headlining the presentation was OU alumna Trina Scott, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. Throughout the presentation, Scott emphasized the value of inclusion in the workforce to the audience — made up of present and future professionals, whether in business or not. 

“Diversity will flourish if you have inclusion,” Scott said. 

The talk began with Scott’s journey before Rocket Mortgage — including her time at Ernst & Young LLP where she participated in the nationally led College Mentoring for Access and Persistence program

One big question she had was: Why were recruiters not being more diverse with their recruiting? 

“Different perspectives bring different things to the table that were not thought of before,” Scott said. 

During her team’s visit to Cody High School in Detroit, they had to enter the school through metal detectors — something that unnerved the non-minority team members of her group. 

“I’ve never been to a public school before,” one of her team members had said. 

Scott, who attended private school, had joked, “Well, neither have I.” 

She had realized, though, it was the first time those in the group had just a taste of what it feels like not to be in the majority. 

When Scott was approached by Quicken Loans a few years ago, she didn’t just want to check a “diversity” box for them. Luckily, this hasn’t been the case. Quicken Loans does business differently, Scott had passionately stated. 

Quicken Loans implements basic — yet important — business strategies: attract diverse talent; engage, develop and retain; supplier diversity; and community engagement. However, their approaches go beyond business. 

“We invest in the cities we live and work in,” Scott said. 

Investing includes donating money to trade schools in the area in order to get talent for recruitment and future jobs for those in the community, according to Scott. It also means 320,000 volunteer hours from team members and putting millions of dollars back into the city. 

Investing also means devotion to the employees of the company. It means promotional and marketing videos featuring team members instead of actors, curated cultural experiences, a women’s conference — the first one sold out in 20 minutes — and videos of poems and personal stories made by team members themselves. 

“We are the ‘they,’” Scott said, a phrase used by Quicken Loans as they contribute to the city and their community — turning ideas into words and those words into actions. 

Omar Salih, president of the OU SHRM, was elated by Scott’s presentation and by the turnout of the audience. The organization had hoped for 35 attendees, but over 50 people showed up to the Founders Ballroom. 

Salih echoed Scott’s thoughts, saying diversity is about more than just having the numbers, but about new perspectives that bring about new ideas. 

OU has dedicated itself to involving all of its students as well with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The office prides itself on diversity initiatives and the OU Climate Survey, taken by students, faculty and staff to measure perceptions on campus in areas of inclusion, diversity, accessibility and more. 

“At OU, learning and diversity are inevitably linked by the common pursuit of knowledge and understanding,” states the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion tab on OU’s website.