I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The more attention I pay to the topic, the more it seems to be everywhere I turn.
Here are some specific actions I and the leaders I work with am taking to make DEI a more central and intentional priority in our work:
- Reviewing results of assessments such as the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and creating an action plan for developing greater cultural competency
- Making DEI a conscious and intentional part of the everyday work of leadership by initiating conversations related to:
- Importance of diversity of thought as it relates to problem solving and decision making
- Prioritizing diversity of perspectives as it relates to recruitment
- Putting team development work into the context of inclusion
- Paying attention to newspaper articles, segments on the radio, podcasts and other sources of stories and current events related to the topic
I’m troubled by the thought that there is a risk of form over substance when it comes to DEI. On the one hand, there is a pragmatic side to DEI which requires presenting products and services in a way that demonstrates sensitivity to a diverse audience.
That said, listening to reactions to the recent decision to not charge police officers in the Stephon Clark shooting brought home one of the challenges of being a person of color (or any minority status) in our society. As a white American I can feel bad about the shooting of an unarmed black youth but not fear for the safety of my family members. If I were black, I would not have this option.
DEI ought to be, at core, a call for fairness, equity, and including new voices into decision making and opportunity for economic upward mobility. This calls for making a personal and corporate commitment to modify recruiting practices and cultures to make them more inclusive.
Becoming more aware and acting more boldly with regards to DEI is a growing edge for TBG and for me. Fortunately, we have clients and colleagues to help point the way. We welcome the opportunity to dialogue with you about this issue if it is of interest. Contact us here.