Milka Milliance ’05

Alyssa Carvara

Forward-thinking companies have learned that having a wide variety of life experiences and viewpoints in their workforce can boost creativity and provide better working environments. To that end, the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) consulting field has grown to meet the needs of workplaces looking for guidance; for Milka Milliance ’05, co-founder of Different., inclusivity is not just a job, it’s also a passion.

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