Denying employees the opportunity to be their true selves at work threatens their performance — and the future of your business
This year has been unimaginably difficult for millions of Americans, myself included. So, when I had the chance to celebrate two big milestones in my life — my marriage and my fiftieth birthday — I seized the opportunity and shared a photo of my wife and me on LinkedIn. The response was mostly positive, with more than 1,000 people interacting with the post, but not everyone was supportive.
“Please, let’s keep LinkedIn a business site. Post this on Facebook…
Beware of Microaggressions Through Microinvalidations
Backhanded compliments are just as damaging as more overt forms of bias
Recently on LinkedIn, I stumbled upon a post that praised Prince Joel and Princess Ariana Makonnen of Ethiopia. Prince Joel is an HBCU graduate, attorney, and businessman (and he speaks five languages!), and Princess Ariana is a Harvard-educated writer and philanthropist — true representations of Black excellence. It was empowering to see their successes highlighted, especially at a time when many stories about the Black community are decidedly less hopeful.
But this moment of uplift didn’t last long.
“Let’s hope they do something…
Marginalized people’s stories are often policed and diluted when the privileged feel left out — this has to stop
Recently, I shared a LinkedIn post celebrating Kamala Harris as our first female, Black, and South Asian Vice President. The post included a simple photo, which used emojis to illustrate the history of American Vice Presidents. Thus, there were rows and rows of white male faces and a lone woman of color in the final slot. Decades into the American democracy experiment, many a glass ceiling had finally been broken.
But I wasn’t able to enjoy the moment for long.
Creating more inclusive spaces requires strategy, sincerity, and a focus on belonging
America faced an unprecedented racial reckoning this year, and in response, several major companies like Apple and Facebook made sizable donations to social justice organizations. But perhaps they would have been better served by fixing diversity within their own walls. At Facebook, for example, the company failed to increase the number of employees from underrepresented groups over a 5-year period. Time and again, corporate America has looked for the silver bullet to tackle diversity — the Diversity and Inclusion Chief, the big money donation, the annual status report…
In early June, social media feeds were filled with black squares, as part of the Blackout Tuesday initiative. The intent was to ignite a national dialogue about racial injustice and draw attention to the Black Lives Matter movement. But there were two problems. First, many of the people who posted Blackout Tuesday squares did so with the Black Lives Matter hashtag, which drowned out important information about how people could support the cause or join local demonstrations. Second, the black squares were little more than a gesture. …
Moving beyond diversity…
43% of companies with DIVERSE BOARDS NOTICED HIGHER PROFITS
Companies with highly gender-diverse executive teams PERFORM SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER
Racially & Ethnically diverse companies are 35% MORE LIKELY TO PERFORM BETTER
Diverse companies are much more likely to CAPTURE NEW MARKETS
Inclusive companies are 1.7 times MORE INNOVATIVE
· Strategize different ways to build diverse talent pipelines and execute on referral generation, events and sourcing campaigns
· Complete market research to understand where diverse talent pools exist and work collaboratively with internal teams to execute on diversity sourcing initiatives to tap into those talent pools
Diverse workers have been a casualty of the economic downturn, but it doesn’t have to be this way
There’s no denying the harsh professional reality of the pandemic — an estimated 36 million Americans have filed for unemployment in just two months. Many of those workers have been furloughed or laid off, and it’s unclear if they’ll have jobs to return to. On one hand, some companies don’t have the capital to hang on until society returns to “normal”. J. C. Penney is just the latest retailer to file for bankruptcy in recent weeks, and small businesses across many industries…
The buzzworthy phrase is often an excuse for homogeneity
Cultural fit is perhaps the buzziest of buzzworthy business phrases, with everyone from new startup leaders to veteran CEOs touting its virtues. On the surface, cultural fit seems harmless, even desirable. What executive doesn’t want to hire someone whose professional style aligns with their company’s unique culture and values? However, using cultural fit to assess talent and current employees can be tricky.
The risks of cultural fit
Sadly, cultural fit isn’t so much a revolutionary hiring approach as it is an excuse to keep hiring the same kinds of employees, be…
It’s time to amplify all the voices at the table
The benefits of diversity have been recognized at scale. Among the many perks, diverse teams lead to increased creativity and increased productivity, which boosts revenue and returns. Diversity also improves a company’s reputation, making it easier to attract top-tier talent. But recognizing a need for diversity and acting on it are two different things.
By now, the tale is well-worn. X company releases dismal diversity figures, showing little improvement over last year’s stats. In response, X company hires a new diversity chief and then proceeds to operate business as usual…
I use to feel ashamed of my parents being addicts. I’d never speak about them.
Ashamed of having 5 kids at 21. I lied about my age.
Ashamed of having only having a GED at the time. I knew I was smart but still felt inferior.
Through reflection, candid conversations with my mirror and a lot of hard work on, still in progress,
I realize, the things that I felt shame for were only chapters.
That the beginning and ending were not up to me.
I can only work the middle of my story.
My story is my passion. Where a person comes from doesn’t dictate where they will go and how much they will grow.
Bad experiences equal experience to make better decisions.