*Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Reading Time: 4 mins
Over the past 30 years, we have seen an enormous effort exerted to redress imbalances in opportunity based on specific population characteristics. Originally the excluding factor was race, but today that has expanded to many forms of exclusion to a wide range of groups. It’s better, but we.clearly have a long way to go. We are now identifying institutionalized exclusion that is unintentional, but nonetheless real. In fact more than 50 types of systemic exclusion are recognized. Why are we not progressing fast enough?
What We Have Done
We have, though community activism, political discourse, early educational influence and general social interaction managed to get laws passed that initially focused on quotas of ‘excluded’ groups in organisations. Beyond that, organisations have put in place complex policies that deal with diversity, and more recently have included equity and inclusion. Some organisations have gone as far as evaluating all of their procedures to make sure no trace of exclusion can be found. Yet even these organisations are finding progress difficult.
Imagine If You Are a Racist
Suppose for one moment that you truly hold racist beliefs. You work in a big company and you are aware of the law and company policy through significant training. You know what you can’t say and to whom. Now ask yourself – could you have gone through all of that and still not have genuinely changed your stance? Could you just have limited what you say and who you say it to? Could you still be playing the game but fundamentally remain a racist?
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is a very complex topic and one rooted in long and varied histories. There is no single solution that will address the change we need however we are seeing some positive results from a new form of intervention that does not require laws, policies or training. It’s called open and honest discussion between people of varied backgrounds. Talking to each other! But because the topic is fraught with hesitation, trepidation and concern, it is best started with a trained facilitator who can create a safe environment within a given group.
Some organisations have advanced quite rapidly by what they call “changing the narrative”. Literally changing the types of stories that are told among team members. Trained facilitators are establishing a safe space for their teams to share thoughts and experiences, some of these being quite hard to listen to. But working through set engagements, teams are beginning to win over hearts and minds. When we ‘choose’ to adjust our beliefs and behaviours, the result is so much more effective than when we just comply with rules.
Your Next Move
Would you like to be a trained facilitator to take a lead in this exciting change, or would you like your organization to get itself into one of these advanced positions? After all, organisations that advance in DEI are more likely to gain the benefit of full community participation. That is proven to be better for innovation, and service so everybody advances together.
To learn more about the approach and results, attend one of our free webinars here.
To get training on being an effective DEI Facilitator, contact us here.
And if you want to have your organization start making real strides in understanding, and see behaviours really change, talk to us about our 180 day program that will get you going, and leave you with trained facilitators of your own, click here.