Tag Archives: diversity and inclusion

How to Spot Performative Diversity – by Pearl Kasirye

You know how it goes, every Black History Month, Juneteenth, or special holiday, companies around the world publish media about diversity and inclusion. At times, it can feel like they are obligated to do so, and they just plaster a generic diversity and inclusion sign on their website or social media page.

This is common to see with companies that desperately want to be portrayed as inclusive, when in reality, they are far from it. When you visit an educational institution that has 98% white faculty, but they are very vocal about the importance of diversity, it makes you wonder…am I missing something?

Here lies performative diversity, which is the subject of this article.

What is “Performative” Diversity?

When a company rallies for diversity and inclusion in public and is very loud about it on social media, but their policies are discriminatory, then they are engaging in performative diversity.

This can be hard to spot because not many people have the time to interview each employee to find out whether they’ve felt discriminated against during their time at the company.

It can be incredibly difficult nowadays to tell whether a company is saving face, or whether its leaders are genuinely motivated by fairness to level the playing field for all kinds of people.

What does that performative diversity look like?

  1. D&I branding on their website
  2. Token POC people on their company photos
  3. Conveniently timed BLM or D&I social media posts
  4. Large percentage of employees identify with one race or ethnicity

These are just some of the factors to consider when analyzing whether or not a company is participating in performative diversity. You can go to a university where all the faculty members are white except for that one token POC person.

You may ask why there is little racial diversity in their faculty and you’ll be met with phrases like:

  • “We only hire the most qualified people”
  • “There aren’t that many POC people interested in the position.”
  • “This is a white majority neighborhood.”
  • Or the classic, “It’s just a coincidence.”

I’ve been the token POC person before. It’s not fun, half the time you just feel like a black dot on a white canvas that is brought out for photo ops to make the institution look good. Which is why I’m so relieved to be working in a company that actually promotes diversity and inclusion internally – and not just for the press.

True Diversity & Inclusion

When I joined the Pearl Lemon PR agency, I was pleasantly surprised that my hairstyles, my accent, and my race were ever an issue. I’ve never been treated differently from other employees because people in this company genuinely believe that talent can come from anywhere.

It was a stark contrast from the Swiss companies I was accustomed to that made me feel like I had so much to prove because my race and nationality put me at a disadvantage. To me, it’s clear now that when a company has internal policies that create a culture of acceptance and inclusivity, they don’t have to post about it for you to know that D&I is a priority to them. Let’s take a closer look at what true D&I looks like.

It starts with:

  1. An inclusive recruitment process
  2. Diverse leaders
  3. Color-blind recruitment process
  4. Inclusive company policies
  5. Active recruitment of people from different countries/backgrounds

All of these elements are internal. This has nothing to do with whether or not the company’s social media presence shows diverse people or has black squares in solidarity with BLM. When the leadership is diverse, and the recruitment process is designed to level the playing field for people of different backgrounds, then that is legitimate.

A diverse company doesn’t have to come and tell you that they value inclusivity. You should be able to tell as soon as you meet the employees and hear their stories. When a trans, non-binary POC person can thrive in a company in the same way that a white, straight man would – then that company is truly diverse and inclusive.

The key here is analyzing the difference between those who promote D&I externally vs those who implement it internally. That right there, is what makes the biggest difference.

It means that employees don’t face discrimination and prejudice, and that everyone has a chance to become the best that they can be regardless of their orientation, gender, or race.

 

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Deepak Shukla Podcast: D&I in the PR Industry

DeepakDeepak Shukla is a British-Indian entrepreneur who founded the award-winning Pearl Lemon PR agency. He is a finalist for the International Diverse Role Model of the Year awarded by Diversity in Tech. This is in recognition of the groundbreaking work that he’s doing with his agency and international team to promote diversity and inclusion.

Deepak discusses:

  • How to develop an inclusive recruitment process that levels the playing field for people of different backgrounds.
  • How to manage employees in different parts of the world and a global clientele.
  • How to make diversity and inclusion a part of your company culture and not just a cute slogan on your website.

CLICK for Podcast Interview

Diversity and Speech Part 22: The Critical Race Theory Donnybrook – by Carlos E. Cortés

A year ago, who would have predicted that Critical Race Theory (CRT) would have become a 2021 national buzz word?  A buzz word for those attacking it.  A buzz word for those defending it.    Probably with relatively few of those attackers and defenders actually having read much of it.

I have, but it’s not easy going.  Lots of ideas.  Lots of jargon.  Lots of obscurantist legal analysis.  But if you stick with it, CRT can be very thought-provoking.

CRT is based on a simple premise: the law is not neutral.  As a result, institutions and systems that arise from the law will not be neutral.   When Mark Twain asked a friend to explain his position on a controversial issue, the friend answered, “I’m neutral.”  To which Twain responded, “Then whom are you neutral against?”

Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 22: The Critical Race Theory Donnybrook – by Carlos E. Cortés

Jorge Quezada Podcast – VP of Inclusive Diversity

Jorge

Jorge Quezada is Vice President of Inclusive Diversity at Granite, a century-old construction company with a diverse portfolio of roads, tunnels, highways, and airports.

Jorge is an inclusionist who focuses on our full intersectionality. Jorge  helps people unleash their uniqueness by creating an inclusive environment where people have a voice; belong and regardless of age, they know they can contribute.  Going beyond the numbers to inspire and develop an inclusive mindset in the workforce is his mission.

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Jeremy Spake: DEIB Talent management solution provider

Jeremy SpakeJeremy Spake is a Principal on the Thought Leadership & Advisory Services team at Cornerstone OnDemand, a leading global SaaS-based talent management solution provider. In this capacity, he works to develop continuous performance management, data-driven compensation, and succession strategies to advise organizations on how to drive people theory into practice. Central to this work is providing guidance to embed talent management strategy with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) initiatives for clients.  Spake has led pay equity initiatives, Employee Resource Groups, advocated for inclusive benefits offerings and regularly leads talent management strategy workshops for Cornerstone’s clients around the world. He lives in Seattle with his husband David and cat Oliver.

CLICK links to Resources discussed by Jeremy Spake: 

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with Jeremy Spake

 

Corporate Responses to Diversity Challenges – by Marc Brenman

Marc Brenman
ADR Advisor Marc Brenman

In the aftermath of tragic police violence and subsequent street protests, many US corporations and other organizations have issued ritualistic and formulaic statements declaring their support for Black Lives Matter and decrying racism. What does this mean, and what will they do to follow through? Many of these companies already have diversity programs and are already required to comply with state and federal nondiscrimination laws and regulations. A number of states, cities, and counties have broader non-discrimination prohibitions than the federal government, for example, to include LGBTQ status.

The larger companies employ Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) or someone with a different title but similar responsibilities. The vast majority of people in these positions are African-American females. Some are male, and some are Hispanic. A few are white females. Almost none of the CDOs are members of the executive teams of these companies. Diversity does not occupy a place similar to core missions, such as production, operations, marketing/sales/ advertising/branding, finance, legal, logistics, supply chain, health and safety, etc. Only a relatively small percent of companies report their diversity demographics publicly, and almost none disaggregate the figures by level of employment, pay grade, responsibility, etc.

Continue reading Corporate Responses to Diversity Challenges – by Marc Brenman

Inclusive Sports – by Martin Start

Diversity in the Sports World

Sport plays a significant role in creating communities as common bond is formed when individuals and teams compete celebrating their successes and failures with others.  The Olympics is as much a peace movement as a sporting event with the Olympic flame a symbol of harmony, cultural plurality and togetherness. Athletes have been practitioners of Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) for decades meeting and connecting with people from other countries and backgrounds setting aside differences and developing a sense of fair play for all. Nicknamed “The Greatest”, Muhammad Ali is one of the most celebrated sporting figures of the 20th Century and he brought the whole world together when an estimated global audience of 1 billion viewers watched his famous “The Rumble in the Jungle” fight with George Foreman. In the 21st Century, major sporting apparel companies understand the ubiquitous commercial benefits of I&D as evidenced in the World Economic Forum article titled: The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming which stated:

     “It is important for corporations to step up and advocate for diversity and tolerance on a public platform. A great example of this is Nike’s support of American football quarterback and rights campaigner Colin ` Kaerpenick. More than a marketing exercise, it showed the world that one of America’s best-known corporations was willing to stand aside one man in his battel against racial injustice and intolerance.”

Continue reading Inclusive Sports – by Martin Start

From Virus-Suppression to Workplace Return – by Deborah Levine and Cathy Light

How Leaders & Employees
Go from Fear to Optimism:
          One TEAM again

The new norm of work is a challenge for businesses and the workforce. No one is exempt from the challenges we face during this period of isolation.  Even those who are used to working virtually will have new demands placed on them. Teams will be forced to communicate differently and accommodate home-based needs. Team leaders must find ways to collaborate and move forward despite unprecedented uncertainty. Business owners can find themselves in a fight for survival while not only maintaining the ability to restart operations, but implementing creative ways to make that transition. How are we going to manage all this? Continue reading From Virus-Suppression to Workplace Return – by Deborah Levine and Cathy Light

Bias: Diversity and Inclusion Trends 2020 – by Soumaya Khalifa

D&I – Intentionality

Soumaya
ADR Advisor Soumaya Khalifa

It’s exciting to start a new year and a new century with the hopes that this year will be better and offer many opportunities.  The work in Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) must be intentional and not a one-time activity to check-off the box. Successful organizations in the field tend to have D&I as part of their organizational DNA just like safety.  Some trends for this year include: intentionality and understanding for the business case for D&I, increase in unconscious bias awareness, and the expanding of the Muslim ban on its impact in the workplace. 

Continue reading Bias: Diversity and Inclusion Trends 2020 – by Soumaya Khalifa

How to End the Generation War – by Simma Lieberman

I’ve been facilitating cross-generational dialogues for over ten years. I started them because I was tired of one-dimensional conversations filled with bias and wrong assumptions about people who were older or younger. After the first three sessions, it was clear to me that we have a lot to learn from each other. Cross-generational mentoring became an integral part of my inclusive leadership coaching process

People who participate in my cross-generation dialogues are always surprised at the connections they make with people a lot younger or a lot older. They find new ways to collaborate as whole people with multiple identities.

Continue reading How to End the Generation War – by Simma Lieberman