Diversity and Inclusion Touching All Areas of My Life – Five Examples


Figure Skating is perhaps my favorite active leisure activity

NOTE: This blog has over a dozen links – please do explore them.

After retiring from IBM 11 years ago, I started my own diversity and career development consultancy. Naturally, I now look at everything I am involved in through a diversity lens. What I have been increasingly seeing is a tremendous focus on diversity and inclusion across the many hobbies and groups I am involved with. Here are five extremely varied examples:

1 – Figure Skating. At the age of 59, I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a competitive adult figure skater with no prior experience. (Link to one story.) And for a long time I have been an avid figure skating fan, attending US Nationals year after year, and a financial supporter through Friends of Figure Skating. Historically, there have been very few African Americans and Hispanics enjoying this sport.

But US Figure Skating has started ramping up its efforts to make the sport more inclusive and welcoming to all people, including forming a diversity task force. In the past, I have written about out gay figure skaters throughout the years, and you can read about 14 fabulous men and 1 woman in these blogs written in 2016 and the follow on in 2018.

2 – Numismatics. For those of you who do not know, numismatics is the collecting of currency – coins and paper money. I have been a coin collector since elementary school days, using my allowance and birthday money to buy rare coins. The American Numismatic Association (ANA) magazine has often featured interesting stories about our money that connects with diversity.  Two such stories inspired my blog about the derailed plans to place Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, and a second about an American coin inspired by the Ku Klux Klan.  And throughout 2020, the editor included a special feature about outstanding women in history (for example the November issues introduced me to educator, historian and political activist Dr. Pilar  Barbosa de Rosario), since women are sorely under-represented on American money.

My partner Rich and I enjoying a long trek with the Sierra Club in Morocco

3 – Nature and Conservation. I love long hikes and nature travel, and support several conservation organizations including the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Foundation and the National Wildlife Foundation. Their magazines now often include stories about the need to increase diversity within the conservation and natural resources professions, as well as the historic negative impact that conservation work has had on under-represented and economically disadvantaged communities. Examples: The NWF’s stated commitment to equity in their work and a focus on women in conservation leadership.

And they also are featuring the diversity of their employees and stakeholders. I recently spoke to Mark Steudel, a Loyal Donor Officer with the Nature Conservancy, and he shared about their focus on inclusive recruiting and reminded me of a story featured in a past issue of their magazine about the leader of the LGBTQ Pride Employee Network.

It is always great to get back to Georgia Tech and the University of Chicago

4 – Georgia Tech and the University of Chicago. As an active and involved alumnus, I always read the alumni magazines from my two alma maters, and almost always there are one or two  articles with a very strong diversity and inclusion connection.  Examples:
• The Scheller Business School at Georgia Tech where I received my Bachelors, prominently features its commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity as a key strategic initiative imperative.
• The University of Chicago’s recent alumni magazine had an excellent multidisciplinary in depth analysis of racism, policing and protest by 5 faculty members.
• The U of Chicago Booth School of Business where I got my MBA is offering a free series on unconscious bias for students, alumni and staff, a gift from the MBA class of 2020.

The NC Council of Churches strongly believes people of all faiths need to unite against racism and islamophobia

5 – The North Carolina Council of Churches. I am a past president and current board member of the North Carolina Council of Churches, founded in 1935 by black and white clergy people wanted to address racial injustice within the church and society. Over the years the organization has grown and now works on how faith relates to poverty, health, conservation and more. But now, given the recent focus again in our nation on racial disparities and systemic racism, the council has reconstituted a Racial Equity and Peace Committee which is starting deep work to address racial disparity across all aspects of our organization’s structure and work. Racial equity is now listed at the top of the priorities list on the Council website.

In addition, the North Carolina Council of Churches is now connecting their work on climate change with environmental justice, recognizing the intersection of diversity, racial justice, economic justice, faith and environmental advocacy.  

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I encourage you to look at all the various activities you are involved in and notice the increase focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Five Tips for Highlighting Your Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion in Your Resume: Here’s How

Photo from unsplash.com

As a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant and trainer, I am grateful to Jill Smith for providing this guest blog. In terms of looking for employment or for those hiring professionals, diversity and inclusion commitment is becoming increasingly important.

The year 2020 has seen huge cultural changes sweep over the country. Some of these changes have made their effects felt in the workplace – there has been a powerful push for diversity and inclusion. The world is made up of many different kinds of people, with each kind bringing their own aptitudes and talents to the table. Every person is able to contribute.

As employers undertake to diversify their workforce and bring in greater inclusion than ever before, it’s important for those applying to jobs to make clear that they share an enthusiasm for these initiatives, as well. It’s a good idea to begin by calling attention, on your resume. If you know how to write your own professional resume, you can integrate your own successes with diversity and inclusion.

1) Talk about how you’ve done work with diverse teams.   If you’ve had the opportunity at any point in your career to be a part of teams that were made up of people of different ethnicities, you can make a mention in your resume of how you’ve done well in these situations. You may have worked with clients in different countries, managed remote employees in other parts of the world, or been part of geographically dispersed teams. You can think about what you’ve achieved or learned through these experiences, and mention it in your resume.

2) Talk about how you welcome diverse viewpoints and opinions. An ability to accept and respect the opinions of others is fundamental to diversity and inclusion. If you can talk about specific instances when you asked others around you at work for their feedback and opinions, and took the ideas you received into account to arrive at decisions, it can make for an impressive resume. It’s an important skill when it comes to helping with diversity in the workplace, to be able to take in the opinions of others who have backgrounds and experiences that are different from yours. If you can remember times in the past when different opinions informed your decisions, you should highlight an example or two in your resume.

3) If you’re multilingual, bring it up.  If you are good at another language, it’s a positive that should go on your resume. You should also include it in your resume if you were ever in charge of a project at work to make a product or service more accessible to a wider audience by making it available in multiple languages. You may have had to work with teams in other countries to negotiate a contract or start a new office. Putting in your experience working with people who come from different language backgrounds helps show how you are good with language diversity.  (Note from Stan – I have a client who recently was looking to hire an HR professional who was fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese.)

4) Bring up any volunteering experience.  If you’ve ever contributed time volunteering at a local shelter or anywhere else, if you’ve done fundraising work for advocacy groups, if you’ve been part of a group that works to promote cultural diversity, it should go on your resume. It gives employers a look into what matters to you and who you are as a person. The information that you offer employers about your volunteer work may help them see how you care about diversity enough to make it part of your life outside of the office.

5) Include experience being on company committees and community outreach programs. Many companies organize internal communities to serve the purposes of diversity and inclusion. If you’ve ever been a member of such a committee and done work in these areas, it would be a good idea to highlight how you were involved in these teams, and what you achieved. If you’ve never been involved in such a company committee, it would be a good idea to start now, and then put it on your resume.

The idea is to show potential employers reading your resume that you are part of the solution, and you work, in many ways, to help promote diversity and inclusion, both in the workplace and outside. Making such information available on your resume can help set you apart as a candidate.

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This guest blog was authored by Jill Smith, solely written for totalengagementconsulting.com 

Stan Kimer is a diversity consultant and trainer who handles all areas of workplace diversity and with a deep expertise in LGBT diversity strategy and training, Unconscious Bias and Employee Resource Groups. Please explore the rest of my website and never hesitate to contact me to discuss diversity training for your organization, or pass my name onto your HR department.  [email protected]