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The Bold Faced Blog™

July 23, 2018

What Do Introspection and Inclusion Have to Do with Diversity? Everything.

Posted 145 days ago by Sheila Ellian Lewis

Last week I attended Power Moves: Leading Diversity in the Workplace hosted by Bloomberg Live and sponsored by AIG. Held at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco, I was joined by my colleague Cathy Dew, President, 2Plus2 in Emeryville, California and a standing room only crowd of organizational development and human resource professionals who focus on the various aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion.

The first panel (shown below) included Halé Behzadi (Citi Private Bank), Tariq Meyers (Coinbase), Jolen Anderson (Visa) and Maggie Alphonsi (World Rugby) and was moderated by Emily Chang (Bloomberg Television). They spoke about how changing an organization’s culture from within requires a mandate AND action. Accountability was the word of the day from these executives who are leading the charge to change their organization’s culture from the inside.

What wasn’t discussed on this panel, or the one that followed, are two things that I believe are critical to a successful culture “switch” as it relates to diversity. The first is introspection. Each of us must choose to truly understand the lens through which we see the world and the impact that has made on our lives and therefore our organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Without this hard work, we are doomed to fail as we discuss and even argue from the outside, not the inside where our optics have been informed and influenced by our lived experiences and assumptions.

The second is inclusion. Diversity and equity are nothing without inclusion. An organization can check every box on their diversity and equity lists but if the voices and perspectives of those behind the checks are not included and valued in the conversations that drive business decisions, diversity and equity goals will be for naught. Organizations cannot be afraid of new voices if they want to succeed in the dramatically changing world of business and commerce.

I applaud Bloomberg Live, AIG and others who are choosing to continue the discussion. Let’s elevate it and keep doing the hard work!

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Categories: categoryBusiness Transformation & Innovation categoryWorkforce categoryCulture Transformation categoryDiversity & Inclusion

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