DEI is no longer an option in business - it has become business critical. But where do you start? We have a few thoughts for you!
In full transparency, we have had this post planned for some time now because diversity, equity, and inclusion are always important topics. However, after the recent events both of the Chauvin trial and Duante Wright's death in Minneapolis (one of our major markets and home to half of our employees) we feel that the need for critical steps in DEI are more important now than ever before.
So let's set the baseline. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not nice to haves. They are need to haves. Every business owner, every leader, every employee should strive to do their part to make the world a little bit better, a little more fair, and a little more just every. single. day.
This is our attempt: helping you take the first step in centering equitable outcomes in your communications. We are not perfect -- not as people, not as a company -- but we believe that together we can make progress towards a world that will be better for everyone. We cannot pretend to have all the answers, but we can share a commitment to bettering the world with you.
As a practice, we like to ask ourselves the following questions:
1. Who is here? Who is missing?
This goes far beyond who you have chosen as a spokesperson from your company. It's who takes up space, it's who is even in the room to have the opportunity to speak. Who have you invited in and who have you left out (even unintentionally)? Asking yourself these questions can help set the stage for lifting up voices from people with different lived experiences and/or historically marginalized or disempowered identities.
2. What is my position? If I have power, who can I share it with?
Too often, people in a position of power feel the need to lead. At times like this, that need can be overpowering when the crises evolving seem to untether society. It's possible that that is the correct role for you -- but too often the people who need to listen the most do not. This is a good opportunity to reflect on your organization, your identity, and the space you're in. If you have a position of power, opening the door for others outside of a position of power to have a role makes sense and will lead to more equitable outcomes.
These two questions are just a starting point, but so much of the nuances of that have to do with the challenges your organization experiences personally.
There are many ways to advance a more just and equitable society. Humanity transcends politics and it transcends business.
People come first. At Alta Via, we live that value every single day. If you want to have a conversation around equity, diversity, and inclusion, or seek resources for equity training, please reach out. We are always here to support your journey.