FMP Spotlight: IDEA Team

February 29, 2024 in , , ,
By Zoe Nerantzis and Lesley Perkins

As we approach the close of Black History Month, our Spotlight team turned to FMP’s IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) team to hear the latest on what they’ve been working on, and what’s in store for 2024. In this blog, FMP Managing Consultant Lesley Perkins, who leads the IDEA team, shares the meaning of IDEA at FMP and how it came to its current state, developments in the team’s branding, and activities planned for the rest of this year.  

IDEA stands for inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility and is the acronym that represents FMP’s function that addresses and advances these concepts in our workforce.

In 2020, FMP brought in an outside consultant to do a diversity and inclusion climate assessment. From that work, an IDEA vision and function was created. I joined FMP in 2021 and created an IDEA strategy based on the assessment results, speaking to FMP employees and management, and reviewing our overarching strategy.

Currently, the IDEA function has a devoted and motivated team composed of a consultant (Ian Hamilton) and a Managing Consultant (Lesley Perkins). This year, with the implementation of our IDEA rotational opportunity, I am excited to share that another FMP consultant will be joining our team.

Last year, the IDEA team made a concerted effort to focus its time and energy on defining FMP’s IDEA brand. Symbols are an important element of any culture. The team wanted to be intentional about the imagery that represented and reminded us of our commitment to IDEA principles and concepts.

IDEA Burr puzzle logo. Colorful shapes arranged into an illustration of a Burr puzzle.
IDEA Burr puzzle logo

The IDEA burr puzzle logo serves as the foundation for IDEA brand. It ensures familiarity and connection to larger FMP because of its consistency with the company’s overarching branding elements of puzzle pieces and the color palette. By continuing to use FMP’s signature burr puzzle design with different colors, we are communicating that diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (as indicated by the four FMP colors within the IDEA burr puzzle logo) are not new concepts at FMP. On the contrary, these four concepts are integrated into our culture, and our dedication to these four concepts is evident throughout every inch of our organization (e.g., in our policies, practices, deliverables, and values).

IDEA's North Star symbol. A four point star  that has four different-colored sides.
IDEA’s North Star symbol

Our north star imagery is a symbol for FMP’s guiding vision for IDEA. It is a four-point star that is made up of the same four colors in the IDEA burr puzzle logo. It’s a reminder of our commitment to building an inclusive organization by modeling and expanding our IDEA mindset with our clients and each other.

The five-pronged IDEA strategy serves as the foundation for FMP’s internal work. In 2024 we will be building on the momentum created over the past few years. This year, employees can expect to see the continuation of our popular speaker series and skill development training opportunities and the integration of IDEA into our internal practices, specifically our onboarding process and materials. In addition, employees can expect to see a reinvigorated REDI (i.e., racial, equity, diversity, and inclusion) committee, which is an employee-led space that invites interested staff members to come together about IDEA-related issues.

Zoe Nerantzis

Zoe Nerantzis joined FMP as a Consultant in May 2021 and works with the National Science Foundation team by supporting NSF’s learning and development branch. Zoe is from Rockville, Maryland and can generally be found reading fantasy novels, working out in her basement, or rooting for the Washington Commanders.

Lesley Perkins

Lesley Perkins joined FMP as a Managing Consultant in 2021. She is responsible for the FMP IDEA strategy and manages a number of the company’s client facing accounts. Lesley enjoys engaging with her family, friends, and fur babies. She’s an avid reader of memoirs and listener of talk radio and true crime podcasts.