“Diversity is having a seat at the table.
Inclusion is having a voice.
Belonging is having that voice be heard.”
— Liz Fosslien, Author
Inclusion is about people feeling like they belong. An inclusive work environment not only promotes a sense of belonging, but it values and respects the individual talents, beliefs, and backgrounds of its employees. With this in mind, following are three ways you can foster and influence inclusion in your workplace:
Take Diversity and Inclusion Training
We all bring some form of bias to the table. Howard Ross, Founder of Cook Ross, Inc. says …
Unconscious perceptions govern many of the most important decisions we make, and have a profound effect on the lives of many people in many ways … Unconscious patterns can play out in ways that are so subtle they are hard to spot.” (CDO Insights)
Bias can be hidden deep within our psyche. We are typically completely unaware of it. Taking diversity and inclusion training can help uncover these unconscious, biased behaviors that so easily beset us all. Through education, we can begin the process of acknowledging bias and address it in a productive manner.
Join or start an employee-led task force
You know that old saying, “Be part of the solution not the problem”? Participating in a task force has the potential to bring you together with a group of individuals who are not like you. Yet, you can meet together on common ground with a shared commitment to foster inclusion and acceptance amongst the diverse group you work with everyday.
An employee-led task force can also be a safe place to use your voice and apply what you learned in diversity and inclusion training.
So, join your company’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force or lead the effort to start one if it doesn’t exist. This is a great opportunity to support your organization’s efforts to be recognized as the place where everyone wants to be, because they know they have a seat at the table and their voice is heard. Yours included.
Lead with Respect and Kindness
The truth is, we can do all the right things – take training, join a task force, work on correcting blatant bias behaviors but, at the end of the day, we’ll never agree on absolutely everything. We’ll continue to have differing viewpoints, but we can and should always and without question, lead with respect and show kindness to one another.
We don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another
Visto, Grace Hill, and NAAEI are committed to supporting the rental housing industry with resources that provide guidance and promote a diverse and inclusive workforce. We encourage you to access and utilize these resources and apply them in your workplace – Visto Diversity and Inclusion Resource Center.