Leadership Lunch and Learn: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a Journey, Not a Destination
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are critical components of any process that seeks to respect human capital (a person’s knowledge, skills, abilities, creativity, wisdom, judgment, etc.), life experiences, individual differences, and self-expression.
The latest Leadership Lunch and Learn (LLL) series focused on diversity, belonging equity, and inclusion, and featured Dr. Malcom Glover, who works as the diversity, equity and Inclusion program manager for the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.
Julianne Dunn, an instructor in Community, Professional and Economic Development unit at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, facilitated the session.
A recording of the session is now available for public viewing.
“DEI is a journey and not a destination," Glover said. “We are all unique and we must learn to value all our differences.”
DEI strategies embrace and encourage differences* including:
- Family or Marital Status
- Gender Identity or Expression
- National Origin
- Physical and Mental Ability
- Race and Ethnicity
- Sexual Orientation
- Social and Economic Status
- Veteran Status
*Remember there may be other distinguishing characteristics that matter to people.
Diversity is a fact, your identity representation. When people use this term, they're referring to demographic characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, or national origin.
Equity ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities and it is an approach that recognizes advantages and barriers exist in every society and, as a result, we all don’t start from the same place.
Equity is more than just “doing the right thing” — it is essential to success, innovation and growth.
Dr. Glover suggested that people be proactive and encourage fairness by doing the following:
- Question your assumptions
- Analyze perceptions
- Take a risk
- Disrupt the default
- Speak out
- Hold yourself and others accountable
Inclusion is a concept based on equality, fairness, and mutuality that helps create a culture where everyone feels they can be themselves knowing that their experiences, perspectives, and talents are understood, appreciated, and celebrated.
One can create inclusive practices that build and nurture relationships by doing the following:
- Advocate for policies that engage diverse groups
- Avoid the urge to impose your values on other people
- Be honest about past mistakes and present challenges to build an inclusive future
- Interact with people from different backgrounds and increase your capacity to understand their lived experience
- Intervene when you observe others engaging in behaviors that show cultural insensitivity, bias, or prejudice
- Listen, accept, and welcome different people and ideas
Belonging refers to a human emotional need to affiliate with and be accepted by members of a group. At its best, this acceptance, attention, and recognition affirms the individual’s authentic self. Belonging is achieved when we create spaces and places where all people are seen, heard, valued, and cared for.
Glover shared the following individual actions that can be done to foster belonging.
- Tell the truth and keep your word
- Acknowledge and actively monitor team concerns
- Encourage cooperation and enlist support to resolve conflict
- Be proactive in identifying and preventing potential problems
- Seek new ideas and diverse opinions
- Learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them
- Respect differences and remember our common humanity
Diversity, equity and inclusion has a strong correlation with organizational success. Glover’ s employer was recognized by Forbes as one of the best employers for diversity in the country, ranking second in 2021.
“To truly engage revolves around trust,” Glover said.
He offered the following leadership principles:
- Listen with empathy — Compassion is the basis for equitable treatment and understanding.
- Tell your story — Talking about your journey with authenticity encourages openness and inspires the sharing of ideas.
- Create a culture of transparency — Lead in a way that empowers others to speak up and raise issues without fear.
- Encourage healthy discourse — Be open to hearing differing views and urge others to express their opinions because diversity is healthy and drives innovation.
- Emphasize accountability and forgiveness — People make mistakes while engaging in difficult conversations, but we can learn from those mistakes and leaders must encourage people to take responsibility for their words and actions.
Glover also shared these resources:
ARTICLES & REPORTS
- Harvard Business Review: “Is Your Company Actually Fighting Racism, or Just Talking About It?”
- McKinsey & Company “Women in the Workplace 2021”
- CATALYST "Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter"
- McKinsey & Company “Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters”
- Anti-Defamation League “Antisemitism Uncovered: A Guide to Old Myths in a New Era”
- GALLUP “4 Things Gen Z and Millennials Expect from Their Workplace”
- themuse "The 5 Things All Inclusive Leaders Do Every Single Day"
- "We Can't Talk About That at Work!: How to Talk About Race, Religion, Politics, and Other Polarizing Topics," by Mary-Frances Winters
- "Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men," by Caroline Criado Perez
- "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High," by Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny
- Leadership Lunch and Learn presentation slides
- Hollaback! Harassment Prevention & Bystander Intervention Trainings
- Disruptive Equity Education Project Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion and Equity Trainings
The next session in the Leadership Lunch and Learn series will be at 12:15 p.m., Nov. 17. The topic is “Networking and Social Influence,” presented by Miguel Lopez, senior vice president and chief community outreach officer for Encore Bank.