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Diversity Initiatives at Work - Change Comes From Within
How to maximize your professional position and use it as an asset to spark diversity initiatives.
The social & political movement against racial inequality is shaking up organizations, brands and institutions, and it shows.
They are scrambling to make statements about the Black Lives Matter movement and it seems like most are just doing it to save face, avoid getting called out, or boycotted against.
As diverse individuals that makes up our professional workforce, it’s actually up to us to help lead the way.
It’s time to speak up, disrupt the norm and step up. Remember….
Change comes from within.
Ways to spark a diversity initiative at work?
Sharing resources, links, videos with your colleagues & bosses
Form a team and pitch an initiative - just like you would a new campaign/offering/product
Volunteer to share your story, time, connections to help create the narrative
Ignite a virtual company-wide discussion or panel
Spark conversations and hold space for vulnerability. Don’t let racism be the elephant in the room.
All of the ideas above come down to one main point - formulate a plan or a solution. Just don’t complain and expect things to change.
A Solid Starting Point
Today on LinkedIn Live the Harvard Business Review brought Porter Braswell, founder of Jopwell, to discuss diversity in organizations.
Braswell dropped some valuable tips and insights on what’s happening with organizations today and their failures and success stories of diversity initiatives.
A few highlights from the Braswell’s interview;
Why diversity initiatives fail?
1 - Lack of leadership
The CEO needs to develop the understanding and confidence on why these initiatives matter.
Leadership lacks confidence and transparency to show how much traction's being made with initiatives
2 - The organization can't define what diversity means. - Is it ethnicity, sexual orientation, educational attainment?
How to execute successful diversity initiatives?
Leadership & Listening
Leadership needs to be confident, go head first and have willingness to listen, learn and create empathy
Listen to the experiences in the context of their organization, so that an understanding of employees perspectives can occur.
Start by speaking to your colleagues, break down the walls around these conversations/topics and accepting that it’s ok to be vulernable.
Define & Measure
Define diversity in your organization
Explain why you defined it in that capacity
Show traction & milestones are being reached along the way.
This can be done by making a top-down long term, holistic commitment that includes hiring, events, retention, promotions etc.
Just as you would when solving a product challenge or defining a product roadmap, be clear and serious. Figure out how to define what it is you want to achieve, to then be able to quantify success and share the results along the way.
How do you build a company culture that allows employees to bring their authentic self to work? This opens up the ability for people to bring their best ideas forward… which is when creativity and innovation happen!
What if you’re the only black, brown or diverse seat at the table?
Leverage your diversity as an asset! Help corporate America understand the context and perspective happening externally and how we can bring that conversation and change internally.