We’re Doing Diversity and Inclusion ‘All Wrong’

“Diversity and inclusion are all the rage right now,” Kristin Bakalar acknowledges. “But I think we’re doing it wrong.”

What’s wrong?

“Inclusion,” Bakalar declares to her DisruptHR audience, “Is a fancy way for the dominant group to say, ‘We’ll let you in. Hey, all you people who feel different, we’re here to include you. You’re welcome.'”

What’s our alternative?

“What if the I in D&I stood for invitation?” wondered Bakalar, who at the time of her presentation was Senior Consultant, Leadership Development with BlessingWhite. Now, ironically, she’s Senior Manager, Engagement and Inclusion with athenaealth.

What’s the difference?

“Invitation is going out and showing them where the party is,” Bakalar explained to her Philadelphia audience. “Inclusion by its very definition is reactive. Whereas invitation is proactive.”

“If we want people to fell welcome, we have to go out and welcome them.”

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Do do we do that?

One way is to teach managers to use “four magic words,” says Bakalar.

What are they and how do you use them? Watch the short video to find out.

Note: In partnership with DisruptHR, TLNT presents some of the best Disrupt presentations from events across North America and now the world. Disrupt talks are modeled on the TEDx concept: Short, to the point talks on all things HR — talent, culture and technology.

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Founded by Disrupt's CEO Jennifer McClure, events are organized by volunteer teams working with Disrupt staff who assist in the planning. Events have a maximum of 14 speakers, who get 5 minutes and no more than 20 slides for their presentation.

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