The key to celebrating Global Diversity Awareness this October is to not only celebrate and highlight diversity this month but year round
October is Global Diversity Awareness month. Increasingly, organizations have global teams due to hybrid and remote work and the increasingly global nature of business. It’s important to celebrate the diversity that the team brings to the workplace, and the real key to celebrating Global Diversity Awareness this October is to not only celebrate and highlight diversity this month but practice this year round. Use October as a launch for a new year round program or inclusion initiative, or to announce your 2024 roadmap, but steer clear of any one and done celebrations as those may come off as disingenuous.
For aspiring allies and organizations that want to show an authentic commitment to diversity year-round, consider these ideas:
- Diversity storytelling
- Cultural celebrations
- Inclusive meeting ground rules
- Allyship training
- Social media communications
- Around the world map
- Cultural Intelligence education
- Newsletter communications
- Inclusive networking events
- Empathy tours
Diversity storytelling is a powerful technique to create vulnerability, empathy and trust with a team. Consider starting the conversation by sharing a time when you felt different or didn’t feel included, and ask others to share their stories. Be careful to create a psychologically safe place for people to be brave and not expect everyone to share, especially those that have the most marginalized identities as that could be trauma inducing.
Cultural celebrations are another tangible way to demonstrate ownership and celebrate diversity respectfully. Food, holidays, traditions and language are ways to discuss cultures in an inclusive way. Many cultural holidays come at the year’s end – Diwali, Lunar New Year, Jewish holidays, Kwanzaa and other cultural traditions can be explored.
Inclusive meeting ground rules
Having intentional boundaries around inclusion is critical to long-term success. One way to make sure to celebrate the diversity of the human experience is to have ground rules for meetings or a common language the team can use to demonstrate inclusion. That could be taking turns until everyone speaks or having a no interruption’s rule for example.
Education is a tremendous part of the ally journey. That means making sure that all leaders are equipped with inclusive language skills and the ability to have candid conversations. It’s important that leaders and all employees know where their potential biases might lie so that they can be sure to proactively manage them.
Social media communications
Social media and online presence makes sense for organizations that have an external communications team or point person. It can be curated content and resources from other subject matter experts that showcase the importance of diversity and inclusion. The key is being authentic and genuine with the content that gets shared.
Around the world map
One client of ours did a poll to see what countries people were from, and what languages they speak. They ended up with a list of over 40 countries and 20 different languages spoken. That’s really compelling for teams to realize the diversity of the organization and to the importance of understanding different cultures that are represented in our organizations and the communities we hope to serve.
Cultural intelligence education
Cultural intelligence is about being aware and empathizing with people from different cultures than your own. For someone that grew up in the United States and hasn’t had the chance to travel internationally, it can feel daunting to understand the lived experiences of others that grow up very differently. Cultural intelligence is about putting that lens of culture on the human experience and getting to know them at a human level through that lens.
Internal communications that have a slow drip approach tend to be more successful with diversity and inclusion. Think about small tidbits, facts, resources and videos that you could share in your existing communications to showcase the importance of diversity and inclusion. These can also be curated from other subject matter experts and vetted organizations.
Inclusive networking events
Inclusive networking events can also stimulate productive conversations about diversity and inclusion. Consider events around hot topics, holidays or traditions of other cultures, and create a shared experience for people to come together and to learn and build relationships with people different from themselves.
One client of ours did an empathy tour where they brought together people from different cultures and backgrounds at booths and they shared their story and information. People casually walked around or were able to visit virtually to learn more about topics they were interested in.
Remember, the key to celebrating Global Diversity Awareness this October, is to not only celebrate and highlight diversity this month but practice this year round. There are lots of options to celebrate diversity and inclusion year round. Start the conversation with a right-sized communication strategy, measure the impact of activities year to year and be willing to continue on the journey even when it is tough.
At Next Pivot Point we have lots of resources to help you facilitate successful diversity and inclusion initatives. Schedule some time with our team today to discuss where to start or how to do better. You can also check out:
- Our available workshop topics for developing inclusive leaders.
- Our Train the Trainer programs for scalability within your organization
- Our Right-Sized DEI micro-content packages for consistent small-drip content throughout the year.