Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is rife with its own buzzwords, and this can have a negative impact on the intended outcome. One way to ensure success in your D&I initiatives, dimensions of diversity and inclusion ask yourself if you fall under one of the following categories:
The organization forces new-hires to adopt their status-quo culture and practices, requiring employees to conform to “the way things are done here.”
The organization recognizes your differences and expands its offerings to new culture groups headed by representatives of that culture.
The organization shifts its culture (or aspects of it) to serve the unique qualities of different groups. This has the added effect of blending cultures together, even when these cultures seem separate and distinct. For example, clients with individualist could value from a communication style or preference found in collectivist countries.
By asking yourself which category defines your cultural approach to D&I, you’ll be less likely to succumb to the pitfalls of a “check-the-box” Dimensions of Diversity and Inclusion approach to bringing in new talent that should expand your cultural awareness.
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Wangari Kamau: When I look at Diversity and Inclusion, I also look at three things. Is your organization the kind of culture where it’s a culture of assimilation? So, Wangari come into our organization, forget who you are and do things as we do them. Or, it’s a culture of differentiation where you say, “Oh, okay, Wangari, you’re from Africa or Kenya. So we’re going to have you work on Kenya.”
So, that’s differentiation. Or the true to DNI is integration. I come in here, and somebody says or I say, “Well, I think differently on that. I see it as blah, blah, blah.” And people say, “I never saw that angle.” That is integration. That is true DNI.
And that’s what many companies lack. They will go out and hire 50 people who look different. They may be straight, gay, skin color, age, blah, blah, blah. But it’s totally a DNI strategy of assimilation. So, you come in and you think as we do. So, that’s also another challenge.
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