Five Questions to Get the Diversity and Inclusion Conversation Started with Your Organization #1

Why does our organization care about diversity and inclusion training?

There is no organization that has this 100% figured out.  I have yet to meet a client that says we have hit all of our goals for diversity and inclusion training and have no more work to do.  Therein lies the opportunity, and the challenge.  This is a long game.  It can not be achieved with a one and done diversity training or strategic initiative.  It is a series of intentional actions that signal over time a deep, unwavering commitment.

Organizations deeply committed to diversity and inclusion do not discontinue efforts when business dips or the market shifts.  They stay with it even when there are distractions.  That signals it is truly important.

They do so by knowing the all telling answer to this question:  why does our organization care about diversity and inclusion?  There is a deeper purpose.

The answers I often hear are:

  • We attract more talent
  • We have better ideas
  • We are more representative of our customers

Deeper, more purposeful answers might include:

  • We have a workplace where people feel seen, heard, and belong
  • People more deeply connect with their work and their teammates
  • We are more in tune with our customers and their needs

There is a difference between the business case and the human case.  The business case is true – diversity + inclusion = more innovation = better decisions = higher revenue = increased profitability.  The human case is about real empathy for all people and recognition that treating people differently based on their skin color, abilities, gender, and/or sexual orientation is just not right.

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When asking this important question to drive this at your organization be sure to share the organization’s why, and also facilitate a discussion for all people to connect to their own personal why.  Have small group discussions with brave places for sharing personal experiences and stories.  Be sure to engage allies that may not see themselves as a part of the conversation – the white, cisgender, straight, men that might feel as though this is not their conversation to have.

This question helps jump start the conversation about diversity and inclusion training because people need to know why the organization is authentic about it.  If you do not have a strong why for your organization, team, or yourself, I insist you start here.  I promise you will be stronger for it.

Still not sure where to start the diversity and inclusion conversation?  I have more ideas for successful diversity training.