In light of recent events in the US, I’m focusing this email on diversity and inclusion.
My hope is that the articles on diversity and inclusion included below will help us understand what it means to stop and listen. What it means to ask meaningful questions and understand what the people around us are going through. To use the “stop, ask, listen” framework is to provide a level of presence we may have forgotten these days. In our efforts to debate and challenge someone else’s point of view — or to defend our own thoughts and opinions — we’ve stayed in reaction mode to what we’ve seen play out in recent days.
Here are five articles on diversity and inclusion, including how the two work together to create a healthy culture, and how to talk about it with grace, compassion, and professionalism.
1. What is diversity and inclusion?
This article from Ideal provides great information on what it each term means, and what it means to correctly intersect diversity with inclusion. It also provides great advice on implementing D&I strategies, as well as success metrics for businesses that do it right.
2. Eight best practices for changing your culture.
This article from CIO says it all, “companies with more diverse teams outperform those with a more homogenous workforce.” Some of the more important practices from this article are hard truths — a top-down approach isn’t enough, quotas don’t automate inclusion, and inclusion is not just one-off training.
3. Three requirements for a diverse and inclusive culture.
According to Gallup, there are three main requirements for a diverse and inclusive culture. This article explains the differences between diversity and inclusion, and how they intersect. It also provides three important elements that will make a D&I program successful: 1) employees are treated with respect, 2) employees are valued for their strengths, and 3) leaders do what is right.
4. Getting over your fear of talking about diversity.
Many of us these days are finding that discussions over the events of the last few weeks are making their way into our professional lives. People are hurting. This Harvard Business Review article provides a great framework on how to have conversations on diversity and inclusion, as well as examples on how to ask better questions. This article also features the “stop, ask, listen” framework.
5. Color blind or color brave?
Mellody Hobson is one of only three black women in the US to reach an executive position in finance. In this TED talk, Mellody discusses how speaking openly about race and diversity in hiring makes for better businesses and a better society. This TED talk is also featured in a collection of TED talks on racism, which is quite educational.
On a final note, I believe that black lives matter, just as much as I believe that my life matters. As you may know, I support a domestic abuse shelter on the west side of Chicago. At that shelter, 98 percent of the people seeking safety are black and brown women and children. I volunteer my time at that shelter. I volunteer my knowledge and expertise as a member of their board. I donate every year and I consider the people who work at that shelter my friends.
I have a deep belief that when we replace violence and economic hardship with education and opportunity, we can change society for the better. I’m very happy to have a business that gives back and my hope is that every small effort I make continues to foster positive change.
Christina Holloway is an executive coach and business coach. She helps executives and entrepreneurs grow their companies faster, create results-driven teams, and increase profitability. She has been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Addicted2Success and Fast Company. If you’re interested in working with Christina, take a look at her strategy sessions and contact her to get started.