Diversity & Inclusion is on the minds of top CEOs and companies across the country. And there have been several movements in our country’s history when this has come up, like The Civil Rights Movement and The Women’s Movement. Maybe even in your career experience, you’ve seen companies focus on the percentages of minority employees or attended tolerance workshops and trainings.
In 2017, I had a different experience with Diversity & Inclusion. Something that has seemed so overwhelming, taboo, and out of my hands became real, comfortable, and important. I read more, I had more dialogues, and I participated. I knew my intentions were in the right place to understand and that I could better express my intentions in one-on-one conversations and in groups. People opened up and shared with me more than ever on this topic. It was enlightening, it was meaningful, and it was real. We can all be better. We can treat everyone with respect and understanding.
In 2018, I’m going to blog more about Diversity & Inclusion. But I’m going to start here. In 2016, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson gave a speech to the AT&T Employee Resource Groups. In it, he shared:
“When a parent says ‘I love my son,’ you don’t say ‘but what about your daughter?’
When we run or walk for breast cancer funding and research, we don’t say, ‘What about prostate cancer?’
When the president says ‘God bless America,’ we don’t say, ‘Shouldn’t God bless all countries?’
And when a person struggling with what’s been broadcast on our airwaves says, ‘Black Lives Matters,’ we should not say, “All Lives Matter,’ to justify ignoring the real need for change.”
This topic is incredibly sensitive for all of us. And I’m not going to share a checklist of things you can do to be an advocate for Diversity & Inclusion. It’s not a checklist, it’s about you showing up as the best version of you.
For now… Think about what Randall Stephenson said. Think about how you have responded to people asking for their voice to be heard. Think about how you can truly listen to what people are saying. And if you’re up for it, think about what you can do to support them.