Kaitlin Nonweiler-Gonzalez started KG Consulting last year, specializing in integrating and enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workforce. During the pandemic, the entrepreneur used her free time to reflect and decided it was time to act on her aspirations.
Nonweiler-Gonzalez said the business is a culmination of her educational and professional experiences. With a masters’s degree in intercultural studies, she considers herself qualified to provide technical assistance and effective communication between cultures and develop an understanding of how implicit bias and stereotypes create barriers to success.
“Every person — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, nationality, age, or ability — should be afforded an opportunity to be successful and lead a fulfilling life,” Nonweiler-Gonzalez said. “We all have so much to learn from those who are perceived to be different than us.”
She said diversity concerns building a workforce with diverse backgrounds, while inclusion ensures that every employee feels a sense of belonging. She added that equity recognizes that each person is unique and deserves specific resources and opportunities to succeed.
“Sustainable DEI strategies lead to greater employee engagement, which increases employee effort, employee retention, and performance,” Nonweiler-Gonzalez said. “This leads to greater output and profit for the company; I want to create opportunities of growth and empathy and awareness regarding barriers to full inclusion.”
KG Consulting provides training and consulting for educational institutions, large and small companies, nonprofits, health care organizations, government entities, realtor groups, churches, and more. Beginning in November, the organization will offer cross-cultural assessments of intercultural competence.
“This assessment is used to achieve international and domestic diversity and obtain inclusion goals and outcomes,” she said. “We also have training workshops that explore cultural self-awareness and identity, implicit bias, and microaggressions.”
Nonweiler-Gonzalez is an Owensboro native and learned many entrepreneurial skills from her grandfather Charles, who owned Charlie’s Key market for 27 years. She considers Owensboro a “loving and welcoming place” but acknowledged that there was still room for improvement.
“Even though I was very little, I remember people from all backgrounds and walks of life shopping at his grocery store,” she said. “I know Owensboro as a loving and welcoming place; however, I am aware that not all people have the same experience. I want to work alongside my community to continue to make it a place where everyone feels a sense of belonging.”
Nonweiler-Gonzalez’s favorite quote about her field comes from Verna Myers. It reads, “This work is not about perfection — it’s about humility, vulnerability, and unlearning as much as it is learning. If we keep trying to get this right, a new season of equality will bloom.”
By Joh Kirkpatrick The Owensboro Times