We’re So Fake About Diversity and Inclusion

It’s time to take an honest look at our diversity and inclusion efforts and stop being so fake about it. That’s what Bj Glover, an HR consultant, trainer, and speaker told an audience at a DisruptHR talk in Oklahoma City.

She brought three stories to the stage to demonstrate how our commitment to diversity and inclusion could improve substantially. In one example, Glover talks about stereotyping as something people do to figure out their world. “Stereotyping is a perfectly legitimate technique to use,” Glover says. “But only for initially sorting information about people we encounter.” The problem, as she explains, is that a lot of stereotyping jumps to judging very quickly. You might categorize someone based on a first impression or stereotype but you never update the information you have on that person. It becomes a permanent label.

Glover says we’re also fake about the progress we’ve made in diversity and inclusion. In the five decades after the Civil Rights movement really took off, there hasn’t been enough forward momentum. A look at Fortune 500 CEOs shows a lack of diversity and boards still look very much the same as they have for the past fifty years.

Finally, Glover says we’re fake about valuing diversity and inclusion inside organizations. “We say we want it,” Glover says, “We understand the business case.” But diversity training alone isn’t enough to turn the tide inside of organizations. She tells the audience, “To expect me to come into your organization and change a person’s lifetime of conditioning in one two-hour program on unconscious bias with no follow-up? Fake, fake, fake!”

The solutions Glover goes into more detail on include:

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  1. Don’t misuse stereotypes
  2. Get qualified diverse people through the pipeline
  3. Take an honest look inside and make an authentic commitment to D&I

Give the five minutes a watch below.

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