When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion, most organizations and their leaders have a strong desire to drive systemic change not only within their organizations, but in the broader communities they serve. With so many leaders and organizations stepping up to provide safe spaces for these kinds of crucial conversations, we’re experiencing a revitalization of momentum toward true, much-needed change.
Courageous, curious leaders are pushing for candid conversations and are becoming more comfortable with being uncomfortable. But we must not lose sight of the long, tough journey ahead.
While you may not be as far down the path as you’d hoped, or maybe you are unsure just how to start on your DEI journey, taking time to reflect is the only way to move forward from being reactive to becoming proactive. Being vulnerable about where you are as an organization and taking stock of the hard truths will make your next steps clear.
As you navigate the path, remember that change happens in moments. Each small step, conversation and action builds on the next to create a strong foundation for diversity, equity and inclusion. Find an entry point and work as a team, as an organization and as a community to find the spaces in between and fill them with determination, focus and discipline to close the gap.
Do the work to embed diverse experiences and equity into every interaction, every step and every moment:
- Push the past the boundaries of your comfort—integrated as a daily practice.
- Challenge yourself and others to create safe spaces .
- Provide toolkits for difficult conversations.
- Share what’s working and be honest about what’s not.
- Be transparent about where you are as an organization. Listen and learn from your team members about their experiences.
- Integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into tangible, measurable outcomes that impact all that you do.
What emerges from this vulnerability will astound you. Leaders from every level of your organization will stand up, speak up and take action. Embrace and encourage these leaders and more will emerge. Move beyond the status quo, beyond checking boxes, and enact sustainable, positive change.