Start-ups are by nature the most dynamic type of business and they embrace cultural and societal changes faster than the establishment. DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) is the most recent catalyst of such changes and the cornerstone of Julia Stewart’s entrepreneurial venture, the wellness brand, Alurx.
She shares that “Women's Equality Day is a day of reflection. It commemorates the 1920 adoption of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to U.S. citizens on the basis of sex. While we celebrate the many milestones we've achieved, we need to remain steadfast in our pursuit of equality; that means equality for all, regardless of gender, color, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.”
During her forty years in the hospitality industry, she encountered many roadblocks when driving meaningful change. Ultimately, she realized that creating her own business embedded in DEI and adding “wellness for all” to her company’s mission—was the only way to ensure transformational change. As a female founder, Julia Stewart chose DEI as the fundamental principle and collective mission for her business and added another essential component, Wellness. At Alurx, it means working with other female founders, partnering with minority businesses, and creating opportunities for everyone who joins Alurx. Each team member’s development and engagement in the brand are vital. Alurx’s mission is to create proactive wellness plans, vetted by its medical council, and to help everyone who ultimately engages with the brand, to live healthier and longer lives. She insists that “DEI&W is not a slogan—it is a mindset. We breathe it, live it, and work at it together, every day.”
She also calls on the healthcare industry to rethink its DEI approach, focus on wellness for team members and customers alike, and to address structural inequalities head-on. She explains that committing to a consistent workplace practice of diversity, equality, inclusion and wellness should go well beyond implementing new HR policies to the standardized list of corporate do’s and don’ts, with the aim to improve team members’ retention and appeal to ethically conscious consumers. DEI&W is about “walking the walk” and working together with other local and national companies to drive change faster. Julia Stewart reminds us that, “It took forty-two years of struggle and sacrifice to ratify the 19th Amendment, and someday I hope that we reach the same hallowed ground for equality.”