Part of our bite-sized learning modules focusing on Models of Engagement. From Isolation, Tokenism, through Exclusion to Total Inclusion.
Hello, My name is Joanne Lockwood and I am the founder and CEO of SEE Change Happen. We promote Diversity and Inclusion into businesses and organizations and specifically focus on Transgender awareness, and Transgender support and LGBT communities.
This is part of our bite-sized learning series, and today we will be focusing on models of engagement. See if you can recognize organizations that maybe fall into some of these categories.
Firstly I’d like to talk about isolation, this can occur when people work from home, disconnected from the main office, traveling, they can very quickly feel isolated and it’s important organizations need to recognize this and ensure that employees are kept in touch with either by weekly Skype calls zooms, certainly invited into the office periodically for training and just cultural satisfaction.
Many organizations can suffer from this uniformity it is corporate fit, zero diversity. It is important to remember during the recruitment process, are we literally just trying to propagate people with the same type of degree people the same type of background with the same type of experience let’s question how that works.
What we have to do though is avoid tokenism where where we bringing in people specifically because of a characteristic because of a tick box exercise, we need more women on our board therefore we’re going to just hire a woman, I am not saying that is a bad thing but what we in danger doing is hiring people because of a characteristic not because they’re the best person for the job people do need to be given the help and fairness all women short lists are very valid.
We need to be careful we don’t tokenize people just a tick a box if we do tokenize people we’ve got to be careful we don’t assimilate them. Quickly we can stamp out the diversity, stamp out people’s individuality and bring them back into a corporate model so let’s be careful we value people as individuals what we don’t want to do though is exclude people through our processes so it’s in recruitment whether it’s in our office layouts whether we have different styles of working but is it to recognize that people are individuals and each person has a specific need.
Segregation can occur, often occurs maybe when there’s two different cultures maybe corporate mergers, companies buying sell each other, maybe the head office the branch office different cultures can exist not just within different characteristics so again we need to be careful that we have a corporate culture and that we spread that throughout the whole organization otherwise there is a danger that we bring people in, in silos and actually we don’t achieve what we’re looking for.
We can then just tolerate people if we’re not careful just bring them in but again leave them feeling and I say to put in the whole and not part of the majority we’re not giving people here the same opportunities succeed, maybe once they’re employed they can’t rise above a certain level.
What we really want to try and see is an open inclusion model where people are valued, the company can see people for who they are as such a show that companies are more successful when they are diverse and inclusive.
When we set up employee networks it is important to remember that people fit into multiple different characteristics multiple different backgrounds whether it’s gender, BAME or LGBT. We don’t want to create more silos and more exclusion so again when we setup these networks we need to make sure that is discussion between them and that people aren’t going to different environments all the time. But likewise is also important to remember that people do need the support of their networks and that’s why they’re there.
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