Yvette De Luna, Esq.

Equality without Equity is Hollow and Equity is Needed to #BreakTheBias

Yvette De Luna is a feminist, woman of color, who grew up in Puerto Rico, and became an employment attorney. She is also a mom and a grandmother.

Full blown reboots are part of Yvette’s life story. The last one happened in 2017 when Maria destroyed her business and way of life. She packed her bags and moved to Houston to start over at 57. Her pronouns are she/her.

Yvette’s turf, without a doubt, is the workplace. So, it is fitting that the workplace is where she first experienced gender discrimination, misogyny and recently, ageism. She joined the workforce when she was 16, all starry eyed and bushy tailed, ready to work hard as her dad said she needed to work to get ahead.

What Yvette's dad forgot to share with her was that because she was a woman, it would not matter how hard she worked. She would spend a portion of every day at work fighting the sometimes subtle, the sometimes-blatant gender bias that hanged over her head like a banner as if announcing “woman=subpar work generator here”.

One day Yvette dove into employee claims prevention. She discovered that lack of documentation and failed relationships with employees are the two biggest sources of employee claims. So, she developed easy to follow document templates to solve the lack of documentation problem.

The how to prevent failed relationships with employees took a bit longer. You see, when gender-based power imbalances go unchecked, women are denied their power and forced into subservient roles in society. When gender-based power imbalances go unchecked, biased playing fields remain systemic. These biased playing fields are fertile soil for stereotypes, discrimination, bullying and rejection of “different.”

Yvette discovered that if managers are held to high relational standards, then stereotypes, discrimination and uneven playing fields are difficult and sometimes impossible to harvest. Hence, she developed a relational framework called R.E.D. Interaction Framework for Managers. R.E.D. stands for respect, empathy, and mindful detachment. She wrote the book Broken Work Vows which is the framework’s user's manual. The R.E.D. Interaction Framework for managers is a tool that supports and helps #BreakTheBias in the workplace.

Yvette believes that equality without equity is hollow. She has actively worked on eradicating systems that allow leaders/managers/supervisors or individuals in authority to put down employees/collaborators/team members/people, or blame them for their oppression, or that deny them their power. She gives presentations on all these subjects in English and in Spanish.

Yvette also believes in the power of words and their ability to change mindsets and lives. Her work is evidence of how hard she fights to #BreakTheBias, dismantle gender power imbalances and create safe, equitable spaces for everyone.

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