A is for acknowledgment. Working toward an inclusive organization involves acknowledging that different styles exist and that different approaches can be equally valid and effective.
A is for appreciation. Acknowledgment is an important first step, but an inclusive organization goes beyond tolerance of different styles to appreciation of the diverse talents of all its members.
A is for action. Appreciation on its own is not enough. We need to take an active role in shaping an environment that offers the space for the diverse talents of all to flourish.
B is for breadth. Working toward an inclusive organization involves realizing the benefits of being broad-minded and open to the full range of knowledge, skills and abilities that a diverse workforce presents.
B is for belonging. When we see differences, we need to move to an inclusive outlook where all the breadth that is present is seen as a reason for belonging, rather than an excuse for exclusion, distancing or distrust.
B is for bravery. We can believe in the value of others, however without the bravery point out when that value is being dismissed or people are being asked to compromise parts of themselves to belong, the inconsistency of our words and our deeds will sap our energy.
C is for conscious. Working toward an inclusive organization involves becoming conscious of privilege and marginalization and the organization structures that perpetuate these status differences.
C is for curiosity. Awareness on its own can make diversity and inclusion seem like someone else’s problem. We need to get curious about our personal diversities and how we are privileging or marginalizing aspects of our multi-faceted selves.
C is for creative. Once we open ourselves up to the wondrous variety within and without, we have the engagement needed to create new ways of being and working that promote wholeness and acceptance.
To do diversity work well, make no assumptions, do your best and see the best in others and be compassionate because becoming more inclusive is a process.
The Diversity Dividend by Katherine W Hirsh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.