I should cut the brother a check … a humongous one at that; one with lots of zeros at the end of it. Seriously. I’m talking about one for Leonard Pitts, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist at The Miami Herald. You’ve seen his name appear in this column a number of times before. You see, aside from being an extremely gifted – and courageous – writer, he makes my job easier. I say that because he occasionally provides me with tantalizing topics and eyebrow-raising quotes for bridging his insights on external issues into our kaleidoscopic workplace.
“Real men don’t take paternity leave,” said Robert on CNN’s Facebook page. When reminded by a commenter that it’s no longer the 1950s, Robert responded: “I wish it were the ’50s. Those were the days when men were men.” Hum, “when men were men!” Has an Archie Bunker-ish ring to it, huh?
Despite an increase in lawsuits related to religious expression and workplace discrimination, religious diversity is an area of Diversity & Inclusion often missing from leadership development. The silence is due to lack of exposure and to fear, perhaps well-founded, that religious diversity training may actually increase animosity in the workplace, rather than build bridges. Given the recent Supreme Court ruling sanctioning public prayer as an American tradition, a tradition that has often been Christian, the role of diverse religions in the US is increasingly murky and contentious.
This headline makes for eye-catching copy, does it not? Now, if I said that these are the actual words that accompany the email signature of a person in the U.S. who communicates, often globally, to members of his organization, would you believe me? Well, that’s the truth. I kid you not.
One of the many benefits I enjoy from writing this column is that I get to stir stuff up from up here on my, shall we say, “perch.”From here, I get to rant and rave, sprinkle dashes of the uncomfortable into conventional wisdom and comfort zones, take folks dangerously close to the edge, leave them suspended Wile E. Coyote-like midair, then lasso them in before they plunge over the cliff into the “diversity dangers” that may lurk below. From here, I also get to do some vigorous backpedaling, or source attribution when I need to pass the buck if things get a tad too hot or have the potential to backfire on me.
Here are three no-cost, very simple diversity management practices you can begin today. You may think that these are so obvious, you don’t need to be told, but I want you to be aware of whether or not you practice these with people who are very different than you, or who you don’t know. It’s easy to greet the same people every day, however, I’m suggesting you move out of your comfort zone. You’ll rapidly notice your comfort zone expanding as well as employee participation and creativity.
25 Traits of a Diverse Organization:
1- Everyone is seen, as part of the organization’s diversity and the goal is to make everyone’s needs and concerns a part of the mainstream diversity effort.
Have you ever had difficulty understanding someone’s pronunciation, even if he or she knows how to speak English? It can be very frustrating for both the speaker and the listener.
We’re all fed up with the reported incidents of bullying that have been dominating the headlines lately. And we have every right to be. I just hope that we’ve reserved a portion of our dismay for the workplace bullies who may lurk in our midst wreaking havoc on folks in the next cubicle, lab or conference room, or yelling, screaming and cussing on the other end of the phone, or from another culture. And well we should because bullying is anathema to who we say we are from the duality of respectful and ethical behavior.
Still not convinced?
Inclusion is not new
Six years ago, I described how Inclusion-related policies and legal regulations have long been part of economic and social change, and, at times, part of emotional and combustible debate. Inclusion took 50 years of wrangling after the first Women’s Suffrage conference in the mid-1800s to achieve a constitutional amendment granting women the vote. It took another 50 years for the Civil Rights Movement to seriously impact the workplace and establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Now, with COVID-19 and serious calls for racial justice, we are seeing another major societal and economic transformation that questions how we can achieve an inclusive diversity.