Diversity, equity and inclusion is not about “check the box” activities or talk of quotas. It is also not the work of HR. Top leadership’s visible engagement and firm commitment is required for the challenging journey involved in creating a workplace wherein diversity, equity and inclusion are values that are alive and active, not just nice words on a poster or the company website.
Leaders: to increase comfort, expand your social and professional networks inside and outside of work. Across race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical abilities, religion, etc., develop meaningful relationships with people who are culturally different from you. Create opportunities to connect, person-to-person. Have real talk about similarities and differences. Authentic self-disclosure and listening nonjudgmentally, with deep empathy and genuine respect, is key to mutual understanding and finding common ground – the place where you really connect and bridge differences.