The growing calls for social justice around the world are creating new opportunities in the workplace – a chance to foster real and lasting organizational change. But if we are to truly address diversity issues, including the systemic inequalities and injustice inherent in our organizations, we need to learn to suspend judgement and find ways to understand and appreciate the situation of others.
Some of us feel very uncomfortable having conversations about race, gender and religion through the lens of diversity. In fact, we may avoid them because we are afraid we will show our own bias, or make remarks that will polarize or be taken as racial. However, if we are to increase the sense of belonging in our organizations we NEED to learn how to have these conversations, to create the space for authentic connections.
If you are interested in beginning this journey towards becoming more aware of the many issues surrounding diversity, the first step is recognizing the need to educate yourself. Below are two books I would like to recommend to help you develop new tools to help you on your way.
Are there other books you would recommend to help those who are on this path?
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass the recommendations on!
We Can’t Talk About That at Work!
By Mary-Frances Winters
In this book, Mary does an excellent job of helping the reader develop brave conversation skills. She shows how to deal with sensitive subjects in a way that brings people together – helping all parties open up and share their experiences, biases, and needs – instead of driving them apart. We know these conversations are important, and having the tools to make them productive is vital for success.
By Tiffany Jana and Matthew Freeman
Whether we'd like to admit it or not, everybody is biased. The authors give practical examples, exercises and activities to help readers reflect upon their personal experiences and uncover how their biases are formed. Once we are aware of our hidden biases, we can learn to overcome them.
WATMEC’s new Live Virtual Learning Series, Building Cultures of Belonging, has been created to empower teams to recognize unconscious bias, and then think beyond it to create a work culture of belonging.
Dale Wilcox is co-owner of WATMEC. Dale is a respected board member, former volunteer of the year, and inaugural Chair of the Canadian Society for Training and Development.