As an anthropology and Middle Eastern studies double major, Milliance has always been interested in multiculturism and identity. After earning an M.B.A. from Babson College in 2009, she began working as a consultant focusing on DEI. But after more than a decade in the industry, she felt something was missing in the typical approach. “After everything that happened during the pandemic — the Black Lives Matter movement, George Floyd’s murder — the field was blowing up; there was just a huge demand,” she says.
Her search for a new approach led her to co-found Different. with Grace Yi and Alex Suggs in 2022; each brings a unique expertise to their DEI work, doing everything from company culture assessments to leadership development to helping to implement best practices. “We wanted to do DEI differently; we didn’t want it to be the cookie-cutter experience with everybody saying the same thing,” she says. “We wanted to really bring in a fresh perspective and to go into the work to focus on building bridges, in addition to unpacking a lot of the historical narratives that have basically created the systems that we have now.”
She continues, “We’re making sure that we’re building a future for the next generation that is beyond where we are today.”
— Anne-Ryan Sirju JRN’09
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