Committing to Change: 6 Principles of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

on Apr 20, 2023 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | Diversity leadership Inclusion Equity
It’s back to basics this week! On this blog, we often talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), but what are the key tenets of DEI work? Which guiding principles should organizations follow to make meaningful changes in this arena? As workplaces around the world look to embrace DEI actions, companies and organizations must design their initiatives around certain key principles. It’s not a good idea to approach this work haphazardly. If a company isn’t crystal clear on its guiding principles, how can it move the needle in the right direction? Let’s discuss 6 essential principles related to meaningful (key word!) diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Other principles are certainly important, but focusing on these 6 is a great start.
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Unlocking the Power of Difference in Teams and Workplaces

on Apr 13, 2023 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | Diversity Business Inclusion
It is baked into our DNA to be afraid of difference. Our reptilian brain says, “run!” or “fight!” when we encounter someone who doesn’t fit into our expected mold. But here’s the thing…we’re better than that. We don’t have to listen to our animal instincts. We’re sophisticated beings who can do incredible things, and we’ve come a long way from the days when our “fight or flight” instinct governed our lives. It’s time (past time, in fact) we stop fearing differences and embrace them. We live in a world filled with differences. It’s important to understand how those differences can be utilized to create stronger teams and better workplaces. Through differences, including but not limited to race, gender, ability, thought, and perspectives, teams and organizations can become stronger, more vibrant, and more successful. Let’s choose to get curious, to inquire, and to use difference to our advantage. Here are 5 ways difference makes a difference.
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6 Ways to Support Neurodiverse Employees

on Apr 6, 2023 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 2 Comments | Diversity Inclusion Accessibility disability
Though neurodiversity has recently cropped up more often in books and TV shows, it remains stigmatized and neurodiverse individuals are often marginalized. This is especially true in the workplace, where those whose brains are wired differently are often under- or unemployed. In fact, neurodiverse people are eight times more likely to be unemployed than people without a disability. And even if neurodiverse folks are hired, they often experience difficulties in the workplace. They may be excluded from social groups, left out during meetings, misunderstood, or set up in an environment that doesn’t suit their needs (too noisy, too unstructured, etc.). The fact that workplaces can still be unaccommodating, or even hostile, toward neurodivergent employees is a terrible truth, considering: Neurodivergent employees have many incredible skills to offer (one study showed that neurodiverse teams outperformed neurotypical teams by 30 percent) Neurodiversity is very common (an estimated 1 in 5 people in the U.S. are neurodiverse) All people should be respected and set up for success! How can workplaces support their diverse employees? Let’s talk about 6 methods:
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8 Black Entrepreneurs Making an Impact

on Feb 16, 2023 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | Diversity Impact Business Entrepreneur
It’s Black History Month—a well-intentioned time of year that can, unfortunately, be used as a “free pass” to gloss over Black people and our history for the other 11 months of the year (see my blog post on Using Black History to Propel the Future for more). Additionally, it’s crucial to remember that Black innovation and changemaking do not solely belong to the past—to history. Today, Black people are making waves and making strides in many industries and roles. According to NBC News, Black-owned businesses have skyrocketed in recent years, increasing by an incredible 38 percent from February 2020 to August 2021. Let’s celebrate Black Present (instead of History) today by spotlighting 8 incredible entrepreneurs.
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Using Black History to Propel the Future

on Feb 2, 2023 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | Diversity Impact Children Race
I’ve been an activist and a vocal proponent of Black rights for as long as I can remember. As a high school student, I was livid when my school glossed over Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—a relatively new national holiday at the time. We celebrated Columbus Day, after all, which honored a man who didn’t actually discover anything, and who is a problematic historical figure for many, many reasons. As one of the few BIPOC kids at my high school, I felt compelled to do something to honor Dr. King and his legacy...
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4 Ways to Improve Retention Through Inclusion Practices

on Nov 17, 2022 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | Diversity leadership Inclusion retention
Diversity and inclusion are not the same. A company can make a heroic effort to hire people of different races, ethnicities, genders, and abilities…and then completely fail to integrate and include them. In fact, this happens all the time. A company can become so absorbed with demographics, they forget that they’re dealing with people, not numbers. As the CEO of Diversity and Ability, Atif Choudhury, says, “Diversity is about counting people, inclusion is about insisting they count.” It's clear underrepresented employees often do not feel like they count. A recent report found that Black workers were 30 percent more likely to leave their jobs than white colleagues. Another study found that women are three times more likely to quit if they feel excluded at work. These are troubling statistics, but they are certainly not insurmountable. With an intentional plan and the motivation to put that plan into action, company leaders can significantly improve inclusivity practices. Start with these four action steps...
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6 Signs Your Workplace Would Benefit from a DEI Consultant

on Oct 19, 2022 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 2 Comments | Diversity Inclusion DEI Consultant Equity
The plain truth is that most workplaces in the United States have not been set up to be diverse and inclusive. For decades, the default image of a business person has been a certain archetype (white, male, married to a woman, neurotypical…the list goes on), and it takes intentional and persistent effort to dismantle those norms.
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5 Ways to Invite Diverse Perspectives into Meetings

on Oct 6, 2022 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 1 Comment | Diversity meeting Communication Inclusion
Many workplaces are so focused on diversity goals, they completely forget about inclusion. Yes, it’s an important first step to hire diverse talent. But that isn’t enough. To make the most of your diverse team and create a welcoming environment, it’s critical for leaders to consider everyone’s ideas, perspectives, and concerns. In part, that means holding meetings that work for everyone—meetings that encourage multiple viewpoints and make sure everyone’s voice is heard. According to a 2022 article by NPR correspondent, Stacey Vanek Smith, “Getting interrupted, talked over and ignored in meetings happens to everyone — but more often to gender minorities, people of color and more junior employees.” If you fall into any one of these categories, you are probably well aware that this is true. In one study by George Washington University, men interrupted women 33 percent more often than other men. And Black people often report feeling silenced in the workplace. Not only does silencing affect employees on a personal level, it can also affect a company’s bottom line. Higher workplace engagement can lead to higher productivity, a better attendance record, and improved retention. There are clearly many benefits to engaging and including your people, and team meetings provide a great opportunity to begin fostering intentional inclusion. Here are 5 ways to invite multiple voices—and multiple perspectives—into meetings:
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6 Ways to Push Back Against Unconscious Bias

on Aug 25, 2022 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 2 Comments | Diversity Race Fear Bias
Our brains have evolved over thousands of years to take mental shortcuts. We are capable of processing about 11 million pieces of information per second, but only 40 pieces of information is processed consciously (while the vast majority happens subconsciously). Because of these neuro-shortcuts, when we meet new people, we tend to automatically make snap judgments about them. Years ago, this was a safety mechanism. Our brain’s amygdala, which controls our fight or flight reflex, would give a signal to run/react/fight in the face of the unknown. Today, that animal impulse still lingers in the form of unconscious bias. Obviously, the human race has come a long way over the past couple thousand years, but that has only complicated unconscious bias, not eliminated it. Now, instead of fearing unknown entities, we might instead believe social narratives about certain groups of people. According to Renee Navarro, Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Outreach at UCSF, “Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one's tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing.” Categorizing. Mental shortcuts. Unconscious processing. While these cognitive tendencies might occur instinctively, that doesn’t give anyone a free pass to hold onto their biases. It is our collective responsibility to acknowledge unconscious bias and work to change the narrative (both in society and within our own heads). Start with these 6 steps...
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10 DEI books to Spark Workplace Discussions/Action

on Jul 28, 2022 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | Diversity personal development Resources Inclusion
When it comes to building a more diverse and inclusive workplace, education is key. Workshops, seminars, and training courses are all valid ways to learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), BUT you can also take your education into your own hands and pick up a book. Sure, blog posts and articles can deliver bits of wisdom, but books take a deep dive. They provide a rich wealth of knowledge that you can take and use in your everyday life. There’s a reason some of the wealthiest people in the U.S. (think Oprah, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett) are also exceptionally well-read. Books can deliver insights and ideas to fuel your hustle. When it comes to DEI-centered books, you have a lot of options (including my own publication, Actions Speak Louder). However, not all DEI books are created equally. We did the research and put together a list of 10 engaging and educational books that cover diversity, equity, and inclusion topics. Pick the ones that spark your interest, find a cozy spot, and start reading!
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