Diversity and inclusion matter to all humans
Diversity and inclusion is a game changer. But as humans, we recognize differences. We see color. We make assumptions about others’ gender identities. All humans are wired to size others up and assess if they can trust them. This is problematic because people generally trust people that look like themselves more than those that do not.
To understand the future of diversity and inclusion, it is helpful to look back first. I believe hindsight is 20/20. And, this being the year 2020 is the year of the ally. What can the past indicate about the future?
Our tribal history
As humans, 90% of our existence on the planet was in tribes. In groups no larger than 100 or so humans, we would travel in a footprint of 1,000 square miles and eat off of the land. We were egalitarian. In fact, women provided nearly 90% of the calories for the tribe. When we encountered other tribes, we had to assess trust very quickly. This was largely assessed by skin color, size, age and gender identity. As explained in the book, Sapians, we know that the advent of the modern civilization 10,000 to 12,000 years ago changed everything. It was then that gender roles shifted with women being caregivers and men being providers and people of color became enslaved by white people. The history lesson here: seeing and assessing difference could have been life or death historically, yet it did not mean inequality until recently.
Where we are today on diversity and inclusion
We know that diverse teams make better decisions 87% of the time, and account for 18% higher revenues. Yet, corporate America is led by more people named James than women, and people of color are underrepresented in leadership roles. There is no such thing as a female or people of color dominated organization. All industries are white male-dominated. Even non-profits are majority run by white men while the front lines are extremely diverse. We can do better than this. We will do better than this. And, we need our allies, especially the white male, to get involved in the conversation if we ever want things to change.
Diversity training for the future
Gone are the days of check the box, one and done, flavor of the month, diversity training programs. Everyone can see through it and most actually hinders diversity more than it supports it. Instead, organizations thriving in diversity and inclusion, are mastering and measuring key inclusive leadership behaviors. I have them distilled into 12 key attributes I see my allies doing very well – self-awareness, self-management, comfort with discomfort, just to name a few. Get your full complimentary checklist of all attributes and measurable behaviors at www.NextPivotPoint.com.
Like this content? Learn how to be an inclusive leader and lead like an ally at Lead Like An Ally. There, I have complimentary workbooks, a podcast series, and a video series to lead more inclusively with your team.