TED : Ideas worth spreading

Review: How to get serious about diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Speaker: Janet Stovall
TED@UPS
Date: July 2018
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Description from TED website:
Imagine a workplace where people of all colors and races are able to climb every rung of the corporate ladder — and where the lessons we learn about diversity at work actually transform the things we do, think and say outside the office. How do we get there? In this candid talk, inclusion advocate Janet Stovall shares a three-part action plan for creating workplaces where people feel safe and expected to be their unassimilated, authentic selves.

Select the image to go to the actual video.

My Review / Notes / Thoughts

“There’s a lot of power in single-mindedness.”

Ms. Stovall is a single-minded woman and for her, this means that you don’t just care about something. It means doing something about it.

For her, this focus is on racism – more specifically, diversity and inclusion.

She believes (and I wholeheartedly agree with her), that the best mode for dismantling racism is not colleges and it’s not the church – not enough people attend either. The best mode is actually businesses.

“There are a 162 million people in the US workforce alone — people of all races, united in the spirit of wanting a paycheck and having to show up to get it.”

She provides a formula for businesses to use in order to tackle the issue:

  1. Real Problems
  2. Real Numbers
  3. Real Consequences

And she recommends that the employee base of a business should, at a minimum, mirror that of the population.

Ms. Stovall also points out that the concepts of “diversity” and “inclusion” are not the same.

“Diversity is a numbers game. Inclusion is about impact.”

So while the percentages of racial representation is a minimum to meet, she recommends instead at looking at the numbers that actually make an impact. She states that 30% is a good number to aim for because research shows that that is the number where minority groups are heard.

Finally, she discusses the consequences that need to exist in order for diversity and inclusion to take hold.

“Consequences are what happen when you don't do what you're accountable for.”

Photographer: kate.sade | Source: Unsplash

The message that Ms. Stovall presents in the video is a message that is more important now than ever before. I personally believe inclusion is extremely important, and it takes many aspects to achieve inclusion – it is much harder to reach than diversity. Businesses that embrace inclusivity will be lightyears ahead of those that do not. Inclusivity makes teams stronger and ideas better.

So how can we start developing an inclusive environment in our workplaces?

Until next time … live long life-learner!

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