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How to make our companies more inclusive

I debated whether to leave the word "inclusive" dangling in the headline of this post. Inclusive of what? Everybody that's different, although really that's an impractical approach. We're all different but some of us have suffered more discrimination.

I remember in business school being told that people with red hair are "not a protected minority." A past history of discriminatory abuse has identified people to whom we owe reparations. However, a legal approach of tit-for-tat doesn't change people's behavior.

Valecia "Dr. V" Dunbar has some interesting suggestions on how to reset the corporate acceptance of diversity.

Inc.: Defund Corporate Diversity Departments, 2020-July-13 by Valecia Dunbar

Here are five ways diversity leaders can start the shift:

  1. Drop the Word Minority from Your Vocabulary. Diversity departments can no longer afford to dump every non-white employee into one big bucket called "minority." Different demographics require different programming, which leads to the next step, segmenting.
  2. Segment Diverse Programming. For example, race and gender inequities are completely different and should be acknowledged as such when creating programming. 
  3. Conduct Personality Assessments. Each employee should know the challenges and bias behind their individual personality and behavioral preferences, as well as how this affects their ability to effectively interact with others.
  4. Execute an Anonymous Audit. Obtaining unfiltered feedback from employees is the only true way to gain a look into the company's culture. 
  5. Identify the Champions. Identify your "true" diversity champions and empower them to suggest meaningful changes towards creating an environment that appreciates diversity.