The book, Belonging at Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take To Cultivate an Inclusive Organization, is now out! I quickly ordered it and read it, and recommend it to all leaders who need to take that next step of assuring everyone on their team feels they belong so they can contribute their very best.
Rhodes starts the book with a little personal sharing of how his fear of disclosing his being a transgender man, coupled with a general lack of understanding and acceptance of transgender people while working at the White House, stymied his ability to show up as his authentic self at work. This then ended up adding additional stress to his daily responsibilities, foreshadowing his eventual departure for greener pastures.
Starting from his own base of personal experience, Rhodes shares several key concepts along with many practical suggestions on moving from diversity and inclusion to the next step of as he shares, “cultivating a culture of belonging.” Topics Rhodes expands on include:
• The concept of intersectionality; that almost everyone has some aspect of their diversity (gender, race, family status, veteran status, sexual orientation, etc.) that they “cover” at work.
• Understanding the difference between equality and equity. Yes, there is indeed a difference. See graphic to the left and buy Rhodes’ book to understand more.
• The human need for and the power of fostering a sense of belonging at work
• How to apply an equity and empowerment lens by considering people, place, process and power
• How the fast changing global workplace has made belonging even more critical for business success, including the compelling business case for focusing on belonging
• And finally, very importantly, loads of practical actions to take in the workplace to promote belonging; because, at the end of they day, shouldn’t the outcome of reading a book like this be taking practical steps to increase personal and business effectiveness?
In addition to the book, Rhodes has an upcoming 30-Day Belonging Challenge.