DIVERSITY EQUITY AND INCLUSION THOUGHT LEADER TALKS ABOUT ‘WHAT’S THE DEIL’

Natalie E. Norfus is the founder and managing owner of The Norfus Firm. She also is the co-host of the “What’s the DEIL” podcast.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY THE NORFUS FIRM.
Natalie E. Norfus is the founder and managing owner of The Norfus Firm. She also is the co-host of the “What’s the DEIL” podcast. PHOTO PROVIDED BY THE NORFUS FIRM.

 DIVERSITY EQUITY AND INCLUSION THOUGHT LEADER TALKS ABOUT ‘WHAT’S THE DEIL’

BY TIA CAROL JONES

Natalie E. Norfus is a thought leader in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She is the founder and managing owner of The Norfus
Firm and co-host of “What’s the DEIL” podcast.


Norfus believes that diversity, equity and inclusion was always part of her life’s journey; having a Black, Christian father whose family came from the South and a Jewish mother whose family came to America during the Holocaust.

Growing up, Norfus was always fascinated by the different
layers of her identity, with her dad going to church and her
mother going to Synagogue. She knew she wanted to be
very involved in learning about different governments and
cultures. In college, she studied International Relations.

Norfus has been an employment lawyer for almost 20 years, advising companies on their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs. She went to Burger King in 2013 as an employment lawyer and she realized her employment lawyer skills were transferable to the people parts of DEI. There, she was able to expand her knowledge and her approach in that role with Burger King.

When Norfus started The Norfus Firm in 2019, it was important for her to not have limits. She needed to be able to go somewhere with her skillset. She also wanted to be present with her son, who was booking acting jobs.

Norfus and Shantè S. Gordon, DEI Strategy Consultant
& Mindfulness Coach at The Norfus Firm, are the hosts of the “What’s the DEIL” podcast. DEIL stands for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Leadership. The podcast was launched because data showed that the projects they engaged in were going to be made or broken by senior leader involvement. What they were running into were leaders who were unsure of what they were supposed to be doing when it came to DEI. They were scared to say or do the wrong things, so they ended up doing nothing.

“We thought the podcast would be helpful to speak to
those senior leaders about what their role is in this work,
and it doesn’t require them to know every single thing there
is to know. That it’s important to be OK with making mistakes;
it’s how you recover from the mistakes,” she said, adding that
the podcast also covers what leaders should be doing on a
daily basis without needing to be told to do it.

The podcast focuses on real life issues the co-hosts know
leaders are facing and giving them ways to think about those
issues, how to handle the issues and how to move forward. Norfus hopes people will get confidence to seek the skills it takes to do DEI work from listening to the podcast. She also hopes they will hear something that triggers that confidence.

The goal is to demystify what it means to build relationships
and strong people practices so that everyone feels they belong, they feel valued, and they know what it takes to be successful. “The goal is to get these leaders in a place where they’re seeing there are inequities, there are people who aren’t given a fair shot and what is my role in trying to rectify that,” she added.

Norfus enjoys talking to people, who on the surface, are different than her and have had different life experiences. It helps her expand her own mindset. The more she can understand different perspectives and what motivates people, the better she can help find better solutions for their companies.

For more information about the Norfus Firm, visit norfusfirm.
com.orfus Firm, visit thenorfusfirm.com.

Latest Stories





Latest Podcast

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Expert Tyronne Studemire