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+ Problematic Phrases in the Workplace (and 8+ Alternatives)

on Mar 30, 2023 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | Race Business Communication Inclusion
Workplaces are filled with jargon and catchphrases. In recent years, we’ve been inundated with “synergy” and “thinking outside the box,” while being asked to “pick the low-hanging fruit.” Those phrases might be overused (or even annoying!), but they’re harmless enough. But sometimes a phrase is not harmless. Sometimes it belittles certain groups of people, whether the speaker realizes it or not. We all have a responsibility when it comes to language. Just like when we were little kids learning about “inappropriate words” we shouldn’t say at school, so, too, must we have the humility to unlearn some of the harmful phrases that have crept into workplace lexicon over the years. If we do not make an effort to banish these phrases from our vocabulary, we run the risk of marginalizing others. These turns of phrase can be viewed as micro-aggressions (defined as statements or actions that––while sometimes well-intended––can be offensive because of the subtle ways they denigrate others), and these micro-aggressions can add up quickly and create a hostile work environment for all involved. To start creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment, it’s important to banish the following 8+ phrases from your speech. Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list, and if you’re unsure about a certain term or phrase, it’s best to look it up to see if it has a problematic connotation.
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How Learning About Yourself Builds Bridges (6 Ways)

on Mar 23, 2023 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | Reflection Communication Authenticity Inclusion Continuous Education
The wisdom of ancient Greek philosophers might not be too relevant in everyday conversation, but they did say a few things that still hold water today. Among their commonly used maxims was a phrase that still resonates with many of us: “Know thyself.” It’s a simple phrase, but one that’s loaded with meaning. How well does the average person really know themselves? And how often do we sit down to intentionally become acquainted with our inner monologues (that voice that runs through our heads)? Or think about our behaviors or tendencies? Or reflect on how we might have handled a past incident better? If you’re like most people I know, you rarely carve out time for this kind of thinking. We’re all so busy with our day-to-day responsibilities, we tend to skip over personal development work. And that’s a shame because research shows, “the habit of reflection can separate extraordinary professionals from mediocre ones.” There are many ways to develop a “habit of reflection.” You could choose to journal, take a science-based assessment test, talk to a counselor, read books on the topic (such as Insight by Tasha Eurich or Speak by Tunde Oyeneyin), or just carve out a few minutes of your day to think deeply. Not only can learning about yourself increase your confidence, self-awareness, and authenticity, it can also be a powerful tool for building bridges between yourself and others. Here are six reasons why:
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4 Metrics to Measure and Improve Workplace Inclusion

on Mar 16, 2023 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | Culture Business Inclusion metrics
Chances are, your workplace tracks and measures many different things. It may track the effectiveness of its advertising, or the profitability of a certain product, or how many days of PTO its employees usually take each year. These metrics help guide the organization to make crucial decisions for the future—decisions that could affect its bottom line. So, why don’t we place this kind of emphasis on inclusivity? Some might argue that terms like diversity, equity, and inclusion are too hazy to measure. How is it possible to gauge inclusion? What does that look like? What metrics can you possibly use? This week, let's discuss 4 ways to measure workplace inclusion.
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6 Ways DEI Initiatives Make a Lasting Impact

on Feb 9, 2023 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | Impact Business Inclusion DEI Consultant
We’re in the second week of Black History Month in the United States. While it can be valuable to shine a spotlight on the amazing accomplishments of Black historical figures, activists, entrepreneurs, and other changemakers, it can also feel like checking a box. “Great, we celebrated Black history! Now let’s move on…” As an organization, it’s certainly fine to acknowledge Black History Month, but don’t let a single month offset the rest of the year! It’s not enough to send out a few inspirational quotes from famous Black leaders or mention Black history in a company newsletter. Instead, organizations should strive to create lasting, meaningful change all year long. One of the best ways to do this is by investing in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives (which we’ve discussed often on my blog). DEI initiatives not only help diversify the workplace, but also create a more inclusive environment for all employees, regardless of race, gender, and other factors. Keep in mind, this isn’t about ticking items off a list. True DEI-centered actions are company-wide, leadership-driven, and long-lasting. If your organization is truly committed to DEI work, incredible transformations can take place. Here are 6 ways DEI initiatives make an impact...
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Leading with Inclusion: 6 Habits to Adopt This Year

on Jan 5, 2023 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | leadership goals Inclusion Teamwork
With workplaces just easing into the new calendar year, what better time to adopt new, productive habits? Your habits not only shape your daily life, they can have a ripple effect on those around you and can fundamentally change who you are. According to James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.” Why not make this the year to improve your inclusivity practices and become a more welcoming leader? Inclusive leaders tend to be successful leaders. When individuals feel respected and included in the workplace, their morale and productivity increase. Not only that, inclusivity opens the door to a wider range of perspectives and ideas, creating more robust projects and collaborations. Research shows that when diverse team members collaborate effectively, they engage in better problem-solving. Clearly, inclusive leadership is a win for both the team and the organization, as a whole. Work to improve inclusivity in your workplace this year by practicing these 6 daily habits:
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4 Steps to DEI New Year’s Resolutions for the Workplace

on Dec 29, 2022 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | Plan Business goals Inclusion Equity
Another year is upon us, and that prompts many people to create New Year’s Resolutions (or goals, or objectives) for the year ahead. Even though we’re really just turning the page of the calendar, the psychological effects of the New Year are real. People feel like they have a clean slate, and a chance to head in a new direction. This phenomenon is known as the fresh start effect. This concept claims that “people are better at tackling their goals when they start on so-called temporal landmarks.” A temporal landmark might be the first day of the year, the first of the quarter, or a Monday morning. There is some debate about whether the fresh start effect is a help or a hindrance, but one thing’s for certain: the effect is real. There’s a reason gym attendance increases by 20 percent at the beginning of a new year! How can you use the fresh start effect to create momentum around your work’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices? Try the following 4 steps:
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Create an Inclusive Holiday Season at Work

on Dec 8, 2022 9:00:00 AM By | Deanna Singh | 0 Comments | Event Planning Culture Inclusion
The holiday season can be a joyful and uplifting time for some…and a time of exclusion and frustration for others. Traditionally, national and Christian-based holidays have taken center stage, with Christmas (a highly visible holiday) placed squarely in the spotlight. However, it’s becoming increasingly likely that not everyone in your workplace is Christian, and not everyone celebrates Christmas. Nearly one-quarter of Americans identify as “religiously unaffiliated,” while another 5 percent are part of a non-Christian religion. Not to mention, certain Christian sects, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, do not celebrate holidays. Even if the majority of people in your workplace celebrate Christmas, it’s important to be mindful and inclusive of those who do not. After all, workplace belonging is one of the most important factors in determining whether someone is likely to remain in their position or search for a new job. On the flipside, being sensitive to everyone’s holiday traditions and preferences does not mean canceling seasonal celebrations entirely. Instead, the holidays can be approached with empathy, an open mind, and the goal to be as inclusive as possible. Here are 5 ways to accomplish that (seemingly) big ask:
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