Diversity and Inclusion
Conversations about diversity don’t stop at hearing about someone’s personal identity. Productive, eye-opening and fascinating conversations can come from talking about the world around us.
Here are three ways to get off the starting blocks and have bigger, deeper and bolder conversations about diversity and inclusion.
Think bigger than the world of work. Talking about the outside world can illuminate perspectives inside your organisation’s walls.
In their pocket guide to talking about race, Business in the Community (BITC) bill two-way mentoring as the top suggestion for learning about experiences of race from one another. Essentially, it means a pair goes deep and shares their perspectives, experiences, and advice in equal measure.
Practically how might you do this?
⚡ Top tip
Executive coach Geraldine Gallacher states that male-female mentoring helps gender diversity providing advice is put into context and tested. The woman must think critically about any advice the man gives and explain how it might work in her case. And vice versa.
For example “I would just ‘be more assertive’ but, for some reason, an assertive woman can be less likeable than an assertive man. Let me practice being assertive and see your reaction?”.
Dr. Diane Hamilton, a thought-leader on building culture, says that building empathy into culture begins by being curious about and perceptive of what is happening around you.
What sort of things can you look out for and begin an insightful discussion around?
You might notice:
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Braving eye-opening conversations about diversity and our differences needn’t be a minefield. Broach new and productive conversations about diversity and identity by talking about current affairs, trying two-way mentoring and voicing what you observe at work.
For deep topics, use concepts from our D&I glossary.
If you have any thoughts, feedback or suggestions on other ways to advance your D&I conversations,
Having previously led Learning and Development for 3,000 people at Europe’s leading venture builder, Blenheim Chalcot, Fiona knows a thing or two about how to build high performance culture. As Content Director at Hive Learning, Fiona pioneered the organisation's leading guided content programmes which are designed to turn learning into action. Most recently, Fiona led the inception, development and delivery of Inclusion Works by Hive Learning - the world’s first diversity and inclusion programme focused on turning unconscious bias into conscious action - created from over 1,000 leading sources.
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