“Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”
As I announced at our Town Hall in January, one of our priorities for 2019 is to continue to advance diversity, equity and inclusion here at OneDigital. When we first started the discussion amongst our leadership teams it became evident that there is sometimes confusion about what these terms mean and how they relate to one another. It’s not an easy topic, but a lightbulb went off for me when I recently read: “Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”
We do have a diverse assembly of people working at OneDigital and I am very proud of that.
Having strong diversity in our organization is just the beginning however, as that doesn’t ensure that everyone feels welcomed and valued or given genuine opportunities to grow. There is still much work to be done here and I think that by focusing on a more inclusive environment, even greater diversity and equity will follow.
Recently, a OneDigital colleague offered this profound thought when providing feedback on this important topic: “Diversity comes as much from the ‘inside’ as it does the ‘outside.’ We tend to align diversity with the outward appearance of individuals, but the true power of being inclusive is being open to new and different perspectives, thoughts and ideas, regardless of who they come from.” I could not agree more!
Our focus in this area is important for a variety of reasons including creating a great place to work. While certainly driving a thriving culture is a top priority for OneDigital, this is actually a financial and business issue as much as a cultural priority. It’s widely documented that a diverse workforce and inclusive environment ensures having a greater variety of backgrounds, talents, and experiences that enable businesses to have greater flexibility in adapting to dynamic markets. One of OneDigital’s strengths has always been to adapt and respond to changing markets, but we cannot rest on our past success. Companies with workplace diversity and equality can gain a wider range of ideas and perspectives necessary in meeting the needs of customers more effectively. As you are aware, becoming Obsessed with our customers is our top priority for OneDigital! We have a diverse set of customers with broad perspectives and we must continue to evolve our “fresh and diverse” thinking to meet our customer’s diverse needs.
While I’ve heard it many times that “it comes from the top” and I absolutely believe that, I also know that this won’t be successful without everyone’s participation. This month and going forward, I’m encouraging all of you to Be Inclusive. Please take the time to ask the hard questions of yourself, your team and of this company:
- What barriers or opportunities exist within OneDigital that are influencing our workforce from feeling included?
- What are we doing to ensure that inclusion is real, that we walk our talk?
- What can I do to help create a more inclusive environment?
We need to foster thoughtful and deliberate discussions and actions to cultivate a more inclusive environment at OneDigital. We are ONE family and we have each other’s backs.
If you have ideas, comments or feedback, please contact me or E (firstname.lastname@example.org). This is not a simple project, but an important ongoing focus and priority for our company and our culture. We would love to hear from you!
Have a great week and find ways to BE INCLUSIVE!