Diversity

Diversity

 

Mark Ledden shares an article from his company blog on leadership and action in diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization.

This past year has caused tectonic cultural shifts. The same is certainly true within organizations. With the pandemic, many organizations have jumped feet first into remote working, flexible work schedules, and new ways of engaging their teams. At the same time, virtually every organization we’re aware of is seeking to respond to the calls for justice and equity across racial, gender, and sexual identity, both in the U.S. and globally.

This reckoning has profoundly impacted organizational thinking about culture – especially as it relates to how healthy organizational cultures can achieve optimal diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace.

Through our client collaborations, especially our work on culture diagnostics and development , we at Kenning have also been expanding our thinking. Below are some themes we’ve noted over the past year, and some related questions that have proved helpful for further consideration. Given our focus on development, we call out implications for how to approach DEI efforts as an opportunity to learn.

Strategy, accountability, and engagement

DEI strategy has a powerful connection to the broader organizational strategy. We have seen the value of connecting DEI into a fuller organizational strategy. Making connections between DEI and business strategy can unify an entire organization, even if there is not unanimous agreement about how to approach the specifics of DEI internally.

Questions to explore:

How can we evolve our organization’s thinking by explicitly designing with a diverse and inclusive client and customer base?

How can we create space for conversations about how to enhance that goal through internal alignment?

Momentum and empowerment go hand in hand with accountability across the entire team. As with any strategy, an organization’s approach to DEI needs engagement from top leadership. However, by definition DEI demands centering perspectives that have been previously marginalized. This means bringing an eye toward inclusivity of experiences and perspectives throughout the organization, well beyond those found in the C-suite or among leadership teams.

 

Key points include:

  • Strategy, accountability, and engagement
  • Momentum and empowerment
  • Unfolding external and internal events

 

Read the full article, Taking a learning approach to DEI, on KenningAssociates.com.

 

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Hung Nguyen with OUTLAST Consulting. Hung recently joined OUTLAST Consulting, a purpose-driven professional development + strategy firm focused on fueling innovation and empowering diverse talent. Prior to OUTLAST, Hung headed the Digital Center of Expertise at BP, where she piloted user-centric ways to recruit, develop, and deploy talent. At McKinsey, she focused on organizational effectiveness and cultural transformations.

She has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Economics from Harvard College and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her interest in diversity extends beyond work and into her love for travel. You can watch her globetrotting antics on CBS’s reality TV show, The Amazing Race, which premiered in Fall 2020. Hung looks forward to collaborating on projects involving professional development or diversity.

 

Christy Johnson shares the results from a panel discussion at the 2020 Project Ascendance Summit on how to foster inclusion in schools and the workplace.

The panel addressed:

Getting past assumptions and misperceptions about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

Getting the best return on investment (ROI) possible with investments in DEI

Taking the right first steps toward inclusion

Asking questions from a place of humble inquiry

Getting Past Assumptions and Misperceptions About DEI

Michael Meotti, Executive Director of the Washington Student Achievement Council, said that WSAC is a cabinet-level state agency that deals with all sorts of higher education issues. It runs a number of initiatives, including the state’s financial aid programs, which are meant to increase participation and success in higher education. WSAC is helping more Washington residents get some kind of educational credential.

We don’t think enough about what it means for the college to be a student-ready environment, Meotti said, and we need to relentlessly scrutinize the data on how students are doing. If an educational organization keeps seeing racial and ethnic disparities in enrollment, along with disparities in student participation and success, the model is systemically racist. Changing models requires taking a deep dive into how you operate.”

 

Key points discussed include:

  • Changing systems and structures
  • The solutions illusion
  • Addressing systemic inequities in schools

 

Read the full article, How Revamping Systems and Asking the Right Questions Can Foster Inclusion in Schools and the Workplace, on ArtemisConnection.com. 

 

 

Surbhee Grover discusses diversity and inclusion and explains why solidarity is the key to forging a new paradigm of equality. 

The fashion industry saw one debacle after another in 2018-19 that demonstrated just how wide the gap is between how businesses should behave and how they do. In the recent past, Burberry, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana have been hurt by adverse publicity highlighting their cultural insensitivity. 

Dolce & Gabbana’s “Eating with Chopsticks” commercials showed an Asian model trying to eat spaghetti with chopsticks. People called the ads disrespectful and racist, and the commercials were pulled within 24 hours. It was estimated that Dolce & Gabbana put ~$500 million (a third of its revenue) at risk as a result of the backlash. There have been many diagnoses offered (how did something so obviously offensive slip through the cracks of a diverse, global management team/ workforce?) and the general consensus has been that making strides in hiring for diversity doesn’t mean much if that diversity is not used effectively.

The last couple of years have seen diversity conversations expand to “Diversity and Inclusion”. But even as we fight for respect, religious sensitivities, representation on the Board, and the right to equal pay (for equal work), we might want to re-evaluate if this expansion is sufficient.

 

Read the full article, Making a Difference to Diversity Might Require us to Deviate from Existing Definitions, on the Thrive Global website. 

 

 

John Murray steps up and provides a post that tackles the divide in discourse surrounding current politics and pandemic issues. 

It is tough to get a majority of Americans to agree on anything these days, let alone an overwhelming majority.

Wait! Here’s something: ‘Political discourse in America has devolved and become toxic and dangerous.’

Last May, Pew Research published a study indicating that a whopping 85% of U.S. adults agreed that political debate over the past few years has become more negative and less-respectful; 76% agreed that debate had also become less fact-based.

It seems we can all agree that we can’t respectfully disagree.

Some folks, myself included, were cautiously optimistic that the COVID-19 crisis would bring us all closer together, and tone down the rhetoric and finger-pointing.

You know: create a rallying point that would allow us to all get behind a common cause in unity and positive enthusiasm?

Boy, were we wrong!

 

Included in this article:

  • MSNBC and FOX
  • Democrats and Republicans
  • Lessons from the Marines

 

Read the full article, The Elusiveness of Healthy Discourse, on LinkedIn.

 

 

An uplifting and sage post from Paul Millerd on what politics has become, racism in America, and why love eats politics.  

I’m sitting down right now at 11:03am in Spain to write this. I am not sure where I’ll end up or if I’ll hit send this week, but I wanted to give it a shot to write something amid the pain and anger in my home country.

I write this after spending the entire month of May fighting an infection in my gums trying to hide my fear of facing long-term health issues again and then in the past few days, finally finding a treatment that seems to be working.

I also write this

From the perspective of living abroad for the last two years, watching people in my country increasingly become sucked into polarizing narratives.

…and as someone who will inevitably have to deal with the challenges of race in America if I am lucky enough to become a father.

America, America, America.

As a white man in the US it has become a tricky time to say anything. The overwhelming pressures are to parrot popular political narratives or stay silent. The pressure to “take a stand” within the two political frames is overwhelming. Even many of my non American friends are amazed at how often they are asked where they stand on American issues.

 

Topics covered in this article include:

  • The political divide
  • Trauma and the body
  • Signs of hope

 

Read the full newsletter, Love Eats Politics for Breakfast, on the Boundless website.

 

 

Jeremy Greenberg’s company has published a report that shares insight and statistics into workplace diversity.

The research is clear that diversity in the workplace is good for both employers and employees.

Many prominent studies have found proven benefits of a more diverse work environment. These benefits include an increase in innovation, reduction in turnover, a higher level of creativity, and a more effective understanding of the needs of different market segments.

The corporate bottom line is affected as well. McKinsey reports that public companies with more diverse boards have higher levels of earnings.

Many large companies have diversity programs, which include the recruitment and development of women, racial minorities, and LGBTQ individuals. Homogeneous employment settings are now considered not merely a superficial public relations problem but a business effectiveness problem.

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • The importance of role models
  • Underrepresentation in diversity baseline
  • The diversity divide by category
  • Diversity in digital media

 

Read the full article, Study Reveals Weak Diversity Among Key Role Models, on the Avenue Group website. 

 

 

Christy Johnson shares valuable insights from a survey of Seattle start-ups.

Most Seattle startups are very focused on the data—they rely heavily on data to drive product decisions. Seattle is home to Amazon and Microsoft, which have leveraged data to succeed in everything from retail, to cloud computing, software development and artificial intelligence. But it’s also home to non-technology companies like Starbucks, that are operating like technology companies and utilizing data to make their core business decisions.

Visionary technology companies like Apple, Facebook, Uber and Google  are establishing outposts in the Pacific Northwest (PNW)

Talent from Silicon Valley is migrating to the PNW because we have these innovative tech companies and a quality of life/cost of living that’s better than Silicon Valley

The PNW has consistently been criticized for not talking about social issues like race—and Silicon Valley companies have begun sharing diversity statistics with their communities, but few Seattle companies have followed suit

To understand what these facts meant for our startups culture, we surveyed more than 315+ employees at start-ups (defined as companies with fewer than 250 employees) in the Seattle area about their experience.

 

Read the results, including:

  • The issue diversity
  • Gender equality
  • What you can do

 

Read the full article, The Seattle Startup Survey Results are in…, on the Artemis Connection website.