We make practicing diversity and inclusion way too difficult. We make it more complex than it needs to be. I am not saying the work is not without challenges, but it is not rocket science; it is a social science that we all have the capacity for. Calculus kept me from pursuing a career in electrical engineering. Still, the last time I checked, there were no differentiated equations required for us to respect the inherent dignity and worth of other human beings. Here are some tips to help you practice diversity and inclusion in your workplace each day.
Day-to-Day Diversity and Inclusion 101
- Appreciate, don’t fear people who are different.
- Diversity and inclusion is not pie. Once you eat a piece of the pie, it is gone. When you practice cultural competency, you increase opportunities for yourself and others. No one is taking your place or your pie.
- “THEY” aren’t trying to take anything from you. “THEY” just want equal opportunities that are not hindered by systemic barriers.
- Yes, we all have implicit and explicit biases.
- No, unconscious bias is not an excuse.
- No, you can’t ignore your own bias to fix my bias.
Tips for Daily Practicing Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
- Treat other people better than you expect to be treated. Take the time for daily self-reflection outside of your preferred identity.
- If you are a supervisor, set specific goals for your team or those you supervise.
- If you are a line worker, learn the rules, learn the culture, and use that knowledge to impact change where possible.
- Take the time for self-reflection. Are there things about you or the system you are a part of that effectively promote workplace diversity and inclusion?
- If you are in Human Resources, set up periodic training and evaluation processes that help you reach your diversity and inclusion goals.
- Remember what the preamble to the Declaration of Independence says, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Do that, daily.
- Life—As we go about our work in the private and public sector, culturally competent behavior allows people access to the services and resources they need to live their lives.
- Liberty—We should all have the right to live our lives without threat to personhood, identity, or religious identity. Liberty is equivalent to feeling safe and being free.
- The pursuit of Happiness—As we freely and safely live our lives, we should have the same opportunity to succeed or fail on our own accord. Unjust systems of exclusion should not artificially or nefariously control our ability to elevate ourselves (pursue happiness).
The day-to-day work of practicing diversity and inclusion in the workplace can be done without stress, suspicion, and creating adversarial relationships with people in positions of power and dominance. An effective, culturally competent organization builds upon its diversity; it does shy away from it. Diversity and inclusion are not rocket science, but it is a complex social science that needs to be adaptable and flexible. The only hard and fast rule is respecting the inherent dignity and worth of all people. Unlike most religions, you don’t even have to love, like, or watch over your neighbor to be effective. Culturally competent organizations and institutions can create a harmonious system that brings various individuals together to achieve organizational goals. This means that working at diversity and inclusion has to become a day-to-day workplace priority instead of annual checkbox training.
Is your organization ready to take the next step?
Public and private sector organizations that hire Glen are ready to make a change and reap the benefits of a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Become more productive, increase creativity, and improve your ability to acquire and retain diverse top talent.
Clients and audiences tend to hire Glen Guyton when they are experiencing one or more of the following:
- They don’t know how to get started.
- Current diversity programs have created resentment and polarization.
- Leaders are having difficulty managing the different generations in the workplace.
- Their previous diversity and inclusion speakers just didn’t get it.
- There is limited diversity in the leadership of the organization.
- They have just been through a crisis related to discrimination or another type of social injustice.
Don’t worry. Many organizations are in the same boat. Glen can help.
Glen has the tools you need to jump-start your journey to be a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization.
Book Glen to come speak to your organization.