November 21, 2019
by Stacey Joseph for ImpactEDI™
In homogeneous spaces, the culture is going to always remain the same. But within an inclusive workforce or school community, there is a culture and climate that promotes growth and a diverse way of thinking, while producing an environment of innovation. Despite everything we know surrounding the benefits of diversity and inclusion and the direct role that both play in creating equity, there remains a tremendous amount of work to be done to close the inclusion gap. To bridge the gap, organizations must create a culture, and grow an organizational climate where community members feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. When everyone is included and everyone feels included, morale goes up and there is a feeling of overall satisfaction and empowerment within the organization that will permeate. While diversity brings a wealth of knowledge and experience into the space, inclusion opens up the space for others who might otherwise not be a part of the conversation to contribute in ways that are meaningful, self-actualizing for everyone, and beneficial to the organization.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know where to start, or how to contribute to inclusion. In our recent blog “Five Immediate Actions You Can Take That Will Impact D&I at Your Organization,” we provided a list of five practices that when transformed into habits, can empower every member of your organization, and will actually help to bring about organizations change. The list is a part of our “Five for Five” blog series that will be shared weekly for the next five weeks, and will feature five steps you can take that will move the needle on inclusion. Our last five actions included suggestions that would take no more than an hour to accomplish. These next five require just a bit more of your time, but are well worth the effort in beginning and continuing the work of closing the inclusion gap.
Five Immediate Actions to Begin Closing the Inclusion Gap
- Gain an understanding of Implicit Bias by watching this video. Implicit bias exists when people unconsciously hold attitudes toward others or associate stereotypes with them. When Implicit Biases are at work, they hinder diversity and inclusion by adversely affecting recruiting and retention efforts. They can also unknowingly and negatively shape an organization’s culture and climate.
- Ask your team or community to take an anonymous survey, and have them to rate D&I on your team or in your community. Ask that they give suggestions where and how improvements can be made. If you would like a customized survey designed for your organization please reach out to us here.
- Proactively ask for constructive feedback from members of your organization or community, specifically individuals who are members of the “out-group” or “under-represented” group(s). If you’re not sure what to ask, you can simply ask: “Hey, I hope you don’t mind my asking. Am I doing anything that hinders inclusion or makes members of our team feel like they don’t belong or aren’t valued?”
- Be an ‘Upstander.’ There are two types of people: Bystanders and Upstanders. A Bystander is someone who watches and is passive. They’re present at critical moments, but don’t participate or take part. An Upstander is an active doer, who places change, bravery, progress, and action at the center. Upstanders are needed in every space, and especially needed in spaces where there is a lack of inclusion.
- Learn how to pronounce difficult to pronounce names. If you’re not sure how to pronounce someone’s name, ask them, and pronounce it correctly going forward. Learn why using the correct pronunciation of names is important by understanding What’s In a Name.
We’d love to add new practices to our list. Is there something you’re doing at your organization that impacts D&I? Please leave a comment, tweet us @IEditm, or post to your LinkedIn and tag us @ImpactEDI™ and use our hashtag #everyonesincluded. Also, if you’ve tried any of our suggestions, share your feedback with us!