Pro Bono + Inclusive Leadership: Collaboration

A deep dive into how pro bono supports collaboration, one of Deloitte’s Six Traits of Inclusive Leadership.
Apr 2, 2021 8:15 AM ET

Taproot Foundation and Deloitte co-created Pro Bono + Inclusive Leadership as free resource for businesses that demonstrates how Deloitte has leveraged pro bono as one way to help develop inclusive leadership traits and how other companies can do the same. This profile from that resource showcases how a professional at Deloitte has connected pro bono experiences to their own leadership development.

How Pro Bono Supports Collaboration

Pro bono projects bring a broad, diverse set of participants to the table—whether across business units, nonprofit leadership, or sectors—and push employees to create a safe, collaborative, and inclusive workplace environment in which everyone can thrive.

Highly inclusive leaders empower individuals as well as create and leverage the thinking of diverse groups. The Six Traits of Inclusive Leadership

The Story: Jessica Bortolussi Consultant
Deloitte Consulting LLP, Government & Public Services

At the end of 2018, Jessica Bortolussi joined a pro bono project team to support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative and its Veteran Employment Task Force. The Task Force was launched to improve veteran employment outcomes by leveraging relationships in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Deloitte helped by providing recommendations to Hiring Our Heroes on how they can best amplify their impact. The project has exposed her to a new set of experiences and challenges, including working on a large team comprised of a diverse set of stakeholders. During one part of this project, Jessica worked internally across departments and seniority levels, and externally across sectors, to write a white paper comparing private sector veteran transition programs to the government-driven Transition Assistance Program. Through this work, she practiced “harmonizing different perspectives and goals to build stronger recommendations” and added that “working directly with many stakeholders helped me appreciate the value of [bringing together] different points of view to help solve tough challenges.”

Jessica says that this experience has made her a better collaborator and consultant at Deloitte. For example, in her current project, she proactively opens lines of communication across different workstreams. She says, “I’m so much better at reaching out to groups with different perspectives.”

“Working directly with many stakeholders helped me appreciate the value of bringing together different points of view to solve tough challenges.”
—Jessica Bortolussi

Why it Matters

When inclusive leaders actively and intentionally stretch outside their comfort zone to pursue close connections and outside perspectives, their team members feel valued and heard.

Design Tip: Applying This to Your Program

Push collaboration further by establishing cross-business pro bono project teams. Pro bono consultants on teams representing different business units and seniority levels can be empowered to practice delegation, communication, and team management in a new environment.

Download Pro Bono + Inclusive Leadership to learn more about the benefits of pro bono service programs.