Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has become a requirement for the modern workforce. Safe spaces are needed, where individuals can discover their voice, test ideas, debate perspectives, dismantle biases, and address inequities. What do these spaces look like at work and how can we build them together?
During Point/Counterpoint: The Truth About Inclusion and Belonging at Work, an intimate, roundtable-style event curated by and for learning thought leaders in New York City in November, NovoEd addressed this topic with an intentional, collaborative approach. A conversation was facilitated by our two featured speakers, Patsy Doerr, CEO of the Association of Junior Leagues International, and Yrthya Dinzey-Flores, VP DEI, Social Impact & Sustainability at Justworks, who discussed purposeful ways business transformation executives can build stronger, more inclusive, and resilient organizations.
As Dinzey-Flores said, ““Diversity is a term used to identify what sets us apart and what makes us unique. Beyond recognizing exclusion, its use often leads to people feeling excluded. The diversity, equity, and inclusion journey is meant to encompass all of us, and it’s critical that accountability is shared by all involved.”
Tackling the tough questions
Participants in this thought-provoking discussion didn’t shy away from the difficult challenges presented by creating, implementing, and executing DEI initiatives.
A sampling of the questions posed by this collective of learning & development leaders demonstrates how deeply these topics are being considered across organizations:
How can leaders overcome overly careful and conciliatory actions to demonstrate true courage and meaningful change?
How do we position speed and urgency vs. deliberate and measured in our efforts?
Should we really be bringing our whole selves to work? How do we protect individuality while championing inclusivity?
How do we connect diversity and inclusivity to growth and profitability?
How do we consider the emotional labor of marginalized groups? How much should we expect them to do in this ongoing work?
The answers may not come easily or quickly, which makes the communal conversation that much more imperative.
“Point/Counterpoint” is part of a series of experiential concepts developed for NovoEd’s The LX — a kaleidoscopic community of learning leaders. The LX brings torchbearers and trailblazers in the People space together to connect the dots to a brighter, wiser future. Click here to join us.
Learning is important to the success of an organization and should be baked into the workplace culture for ongoing development and advancement. Research backs up the importance of continually developing a wide range of skills for a more creative, agile, and satisfying learning journey.
A roundtable is the perfect setting for storytelling: It’s where we come together, share meals, and connect with one another. Meeting together at the Night of the Roundtable evening was an opportunity to share experiences in business, the arts, and storytelling, and to learn from the experiences of those who joined us.