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“Not Just Talk:  Five Things You Can Do NOW to Promote Diversity &  Inclusion” by Debbie Wilson

by Debbie Wilson  |  January 13, 2020  |  Submit a Comment

Not Just Talk:  Five Things You Can Do NOW to Promote Diversity &  Inclusion

It’s well-established fact that diverse teams outperform those that are not.  Variety in thought process, approach, background and experience bring a richness and depth to decision-making and strategy that uniformity simply can’t match.  Most of us SAY we support diversity, and we CLAIM we want to be inclusive.  But what does diversity and inclusion really mean?  It means taking action.  Why not start with  these actions as you welcome the new year and the new decade!

  1. Diversity isn’t just about gender. Its about socio-economic background, age, religion, political views, sexual orientation and geography.  A team recruited exclusively from three similar universities isn’t a diverse team in terms of thinking, no matter the backgrounds.   Consider ALL dimensions of diversity when recruiting.
  2. Give everyone on your team opportunities to do cool new things and take on interesting challenges. Don’t concentrate all the “goodies” on a few “favorites.”
  3. Give everyone on your team a voice. Make sure your quieter members have their moment to contribute their thoughts.
  4. Be considerate for team members in different time zones. Don’t require only some members to regularly “dial in” late at night or super early in the morning.   Set meeting times that allow people to take turns.
  5. Take the time to understand behaviors and attitudes that confound you. Some responses that seem “weird” to you may be rooted in an individual’s culture or tradition.   “Strange” may simply be “unfamiliar.”

Not a manager?  You can do some of these things nevertheless (eg when you are chairing a meeting.)  For others, suggest them to your teams.

Happy new year, friends, and may 2020 be a great one for you and your teams!

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Deborah R Wilson
Managing Vice President, ERP Strategy Team
12 years at Gartner
20 years IT industry

Deborah Wilson, a recovering Gartner research analyst, leads the Gartner ERP strategy research team. Read Full Bio




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