May 2023 Guest Editor Essen Otu, Salt River Project

Opportunities of Inclusion

from Essen Otu

We are living in an exciting time in history, both in Arizona and around the world, as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are being recognized as critical in the business world. DEI as a concept is about celebrating, harnessing and respecting individual differences and creating environments that maximize human potential in everyone. When this is done right, individuals and companies can successfully put that into play with their own unique business function and workforce.

Arizona’s increasingly diverse demographics, generational workforce transitions, changing employee and customer values and expectations contribute heavily to the importance of DEI as a factor in a company’s responsiveness and agility. This need for agility is required to adapt to the evolving needs of customers, employees and the communities in which they live and work. This also presents a unique opportunity for a positive DEI impact within the corporate landscape. Research shows businesses that meaningfully invest in DEI efforts will see measurable outcomes relative to better decision making and attracting as well as retaining top talent and innovation. As a result, they will ultimately reap the benefits of longevity and relevance. 

At SRP, we aspire to harness the power of diversity, inclusion and belonging to build a more equitable and sustainable future for our customers, employees and communities. It is that long-term DEI vision that has driven our commitment and fuels our journey. 

In Business Magazine works to take the pulse on this movement with input from businesses in varied sectors of our business community, from healthcare to workforce development to technology. They open up about the philosophy they bring to their inclusion programs and the real and substantive impact they are seeing on their operations. 

Video has become ubiquitous in our lives — and its place in business has spread beyond the standard sales infomercial. In this month’s feature, “All Video Is Video Content Marketing,” Patrick McGowan explains why businesses need to keep their brand image in mind whenever the camera is on — and match the message to the platform presenting it.

Social media has gotten a lot of attention for how it has been transforming many aspects of our lives. The Roundtable feature takes a look at one that is commonly overlooked: banking. As he discusses that in his article, “The Information Is the Product,” Emmanuel Daniel also considers the potential that social media offers to this vital business sector. 

Offering its usual range of strong, relevant business content, this May edition also includes a healthcare article on mental health and a technology article on ethics concerns in the use of Artificial Intelligence, an Economy feature on how best to position your business for acquisition, and a By the Numbers on the positive force of disruptive businesses.

I’ve worked with In Business Magazine previously as it has covered the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion, and I’m very pleased to help create this May edition. I hope you find it a useful resource.


Essen Otu
Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Salt River Project

Essen Otu is the manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at Salt River Project, where he is responsible for providing corporate leadership for DEI in support of business objectives and corporate goals. Prior to Joining SRP, Otu spent more than 10 years in the healthcare industry with progressive roles overseeing D&I and as senior director of Diversity & Community Affairs. He received his undergraduate degree from ASU and graduate degree from Baruch College in New York through the National Urban Fellows Program.

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