August 26, 2020
This is part two of a three-part series on diversity, inclusion and social justice in the workplace. Click here to read more.
Over the course of several months, on the heels of racial injustice protests across our country, many organizations have worked to implement internal diversity and inclusion initiatives to improve workplace culture. Our most recent intern, Daijha Thompson, shared three ways for organizations to address social justice issues in the workplace.
These issues are important as many organizations move to become more diverse and inclusive. While recognizing these issues are a critical first step in the process to becoming a more inclusive workplace, it is the everyday action that creates lasting change.
Below are three pieces of action anyone can take to start building a safe and inclusive workplace for every employee.
1. Pull Up, Then Step Up!
It starts with showing up, stepping up to the plate and being ready to make positive changes in your organization. For example, be supportive of those who continue to experience any form of inequality. People bring all kinds of perspectives into their daily work. Take the time to understand lives outside of your own, including other experiences and upbringings. Your organization becomes more inclusive when you accept diverse backgrounds, thoughts and experiences.
2. A Seat, at Every Table
Having an equal voice is important. Ask yourself, does everyone in your meetings, brainstorm sessions, side projects and lunch outings feel heard and comfortable contributing? When you promote collaboration through simple actions such as making eye contact, acknowledging ideas and ensuring all views are expressed without judgment, you move toward gaining the benefits of an unbiased culture. You also benefit from improved collaboration and new ideas from new voices.
3. Fewer Professors, More Detectives
With the steps above in mind, don’t rely on others to check or teach you. Take the time to do quality research on inequalities, including empathetic research on others. It is everyone’s responsibility to be an active participant in diversity and inclusion. Go outside yourself to be more understanding.
These ideas are good starting points to help spark motivation to become more empathetic toward colleagues. This not only improves the overall quality of your work life, but also strengthens relationships and the well-being of an organization.
At the end of the day, effort is the catalyst to progress. By simply practicing patience and having respect for one another, your organization is positioned to create real and lasting change.