Companies Now Must Lead in Diversity and Inclusion– Four Points

Diverse teams deliver better business results!

Right now in the United States, we are experiencing unprecedented disunity and division. The political and community scenes continue to get increasingly polarized, including around the global COVID-19 pandemic with sharp disagreement on what course of action to pursue.

During this time of multiple national crises, corporations continue to step up more than ever to take the lead in promoting effective diversity, equity and inclusion. Four points:

1) Throughout our nation’s history, corporate America has frequently led in areas of gender, racial and LGBTQ+ equity, with government legislation eventually catching up.

2) Companies have seen the data and multiple studies like this one from McKinsey that shows that companies that have diverse teams effectively working together outperform their monolithic peers.

3) Almost all companies have published mission, vision and values statements, and leaders can continually rally all employees to coalesce around those goals, no matter what their political or philosophical differences.

4) Companies realize that when every single employee is placed in an environment where they are empowered to contribute their very best, the whole organization succeeds and everyone benefits. It is so sad that we live in a time where people continue to cut others down. This minimizing of others hurts the entire society in the long run.

Let’s all take some lessons from the most successful companies and learn how to value the diversity and uniqueness of each person, and work together to build a better world for everyone.

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Blog author Stan Kimer is a diversity consultant and trainer who handles all areas of workplace diversity and with a deep expertise in LGBTQ+ 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]

COVID-19 Blog 3 – Diversity and Interpersonal Interactions during the pandemic

During these months of living through the Coronavirus pandemic, I will continue to writing blogs about my diversity, career development and leadership consulting through the lens of living through this pandemic.

Questions to ponder – how does what we truly think about diversity and inclusion manifest itself differently during this interesting time we are living through? Can some routine daily interactions show us how we may really feel about diversity?

I would like to share a story shared by a Black professional colleague of mine. In a recent trip to a home supply store, he needed some advice about a product he was buying for one of his home improvement projects. He was directed to a middle-aged white female employee who was the expert on that particular product line. As he approached her, when he was maybe 8-10 feet away, the woman stuck out her arm and hand in the “stop” movement reminding him to remember the social distancing rules. He asked his questions standing about 8 feet away.

Ten minutes later, my colleague saw the same store employee having another interaction with a white female customer with about two or three feet of distance between them.

So now some hard questions need to be asked:
• Was the store employee really worried about social distancing, or was it perhaps more of an uneasiness around men, black people, or black men that dictated her behavior?

In the US, the Coronavirus is disproportionately impact minority communities

• Did the store employee perhaps think that it was more likely that she could catch the virus from a black person than from a white person? I hope you all have been hearing about how the Coronavirus is disproportionately impacting minority communities.

• During this time of sheltering at home and social distancing, are we all going to have less and less interaction with diverse people?

• Finally, raising this up from a personal experience discussion to a broader discussion, what can we learn and what can we do about the statistics showing that minorities in the US are catching and dying from the virus at extremely higher rates than the white majority?

Now, on the positive side, I have now started watching the 6:00 World News Tonight on ABC and I really appreciate the wide range of gender, racial and cultural diversity of medical professionals shown and interviewed in the stories.

As our country and the world continues to unite to fight this insidious virus, let’s keep in the front of our minds the continue progress we need to make in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. As we do more virtual interaction, lets also keep in mind:

1) That we can use this time to set up connections and interactions with diverse people from ourselves

2) To remember the economically challenged people who may not even have the technology or the living space to even connect to outside world.