Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace, and the Will to Change
Diversity and inclusion efforts are not just politically correct workplace initiatives—they’re good for business. Research shows companies with greater diversity outperform the competition, meaning businesses should embrace inclusive practices as a key element to their growth strategy. However, women, minorities, and LGBT employees today still struggle with exclusionary practices, with many reporting the need to “cover” their true selves at work, minimizing their differences in order to get ahead in a homogeneous workplace.
Jennifer Brown, diversity and inclusion expert, popular speaker, and founder and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting, says it costs businesses thousands to have these vital team members walk out the door due to micro-inequities—and by the time this problem becomes apparent, it’s too late.
With her new book, Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change, Brown shares insights from more than ten years helping Fortune 500 companies embrace the opportunity that diversity represents for their own growth and for the success of their organizations, while simultaneously empowering advocates at all levels to find their voices and be a driving force in creating more enlightened organizations that resonate in a fast-changing world.
“Many talented employees in today’s workplace tell us in focus groups and interviews that they don’t feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work,” says Brown, an award-winning entrepreneur and passionate social equality advocate. “They are just getting by every day, but they’re leaving their truest talents and deepest passions elsewhere. In any organization where this is true, you can bet the bottom line is being negatively impacted.”
The concept of “covering”—or not being comfortable bringing your whole self to work—hits home for Brown, who was acutely aware of her minority identity for many years as an employee in corporate America. Now the founder of a certified woman- and LGBT-owned strategic leadership and diversity consulting firm, Brown and her team specialize in guiding organizations to capitalize on critical workplace trends and support the growth and development of a more diversified and empowered workforce, as well as a more informed and engaged executive suite.
Brown says that at the end of the day, diversity is good for business. To help companies achieve this, she encourages them to instill an inclusive environment in which all employees feel Welcomed, Valued, Respected, and Heard℠, and are comfortable bringing their true thoughts, skills, and selves to the table.
“From the top down, start by evaluating unconscious bias that may be permeating key decisions, recognizing your potential blind spots, and making diversity and inclusion a part of your daily organizational interactions,” she suggests.
Get your copy of Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change now.