This is what I think about…1 only way to ensure DEI+B priorities work
Fast Company reported that research reveals that 39% of C-level leaders believe that DEIB is a waste of time and resources, and that executives’ perceptions of inclusion are disconnected from those of employees.
In some ways this is not surprising because of the ways systemic racism has divided us as groups of people. Sigh.
But I am happy to report that my clients fall into the category who do believe that DEIB is a good use of time.
In case you are wondering, my clients are White, cisgender, male.
Here is what I think:
I fully believe that there are many people who want to do the right thing, but still are unsure where to begin.
Here is what I know to be true:
The first point of contact must be learning about race, racism and the impact had on Black Americans. Did we forget that this whole movement began with the murder of Mr. George Floyd, a Black man? This is critical because in order for any DEIB priority to be sustained it is held together by understanding of racism.
Here is what you should know:
There are levels of racism.
- Individual Racism
- Interpersonal Racism
- Institutional Racism
- Structural Racism
- Systemic Racism
Here is what you should have done:
- Investigated your own path in each level of racism
- Had an audit around antiracism understanding
- Discussed and owned how to interrupt the first 3 levels of racism
- Used this information to form your DEI+B training
Here is why it matters:
I led the audit of an organization and communicated gaps and glows in each domain of antiracism and DEI+B to 100% of employees. The data showed that some understood racism and others needed education. I trained the entire organization which led many changes including board changing policies, implementing systems to generate feedback, managers holding 1:1s, reformulation of its logo, reevaluation of job description, differentiated PD for employees, etc.
I trained White men, White women, and Brown folx on microaggressions, privilege and White supremacy. People are always surprised at what they did not know. At the same time they are appreciative of what I teach them. Now they are using their privileges as a sword to interrupt racism.
This example shows how DEIB is a good use of time when leaders and employees engage in antiracism work first.
Ultimately, we really do have a responsibility to become antiracist people, antiracist businesses, antiracist organizations and antiracist nations.
I am LaTonya Davis, CEO and founder of TonyaDavis.com. I speak, lead Allies That Amplify Workshops and coach. Follow me here and on LinkedIn.