Businesses may try to operate from the stance that the growing awareness of bias — racial, ethnic, cultural, sexual or other discrimination — is a social issue outside the world of their internal actions. Some businesses, however, are already operating from a heightened awareness of responsibility internally, to their workforce, as well as externally, to the society they are part of.
We at In Business Magazine believe it is imperative to widen the dialogue. Discussion will span the spectrum from business-centric bottom line, such as Hortense de Gentil presents in her “The Power of Embracing Diversity,” to idealistic, such as Joanna de’Shay expresses while exploring the need for conversation in “Finding Comfort in the Awkwardness”; and includes furthering awareness of the pervasiveness of bias, such Dr. Joel Martin shares in her “The Hidden Threat of Microaggression,” and action strategies, suggestions for which Saray Lopez Dr. Christina Neider and Tondra Richardson offer in their “Moving Beyond Conversations to Address Systemic Inequities.”
In Business Magazine is pleased to be working with these authors who are so invested in addressing these issues. Ours is an ongoing commitment, and we believe that working with others in this will help ensure a strong outcome for businesses as they acknowledge change is necessary and is, itself, ongoing.
It does have a place in the business world
by Hortense le Gentil
How can one nurture collective alignment while encouraging diversity? When dealing with cultures, modes of thinking, backgrounds or outlooks different from our own, creating and maintaining alignment by communicating effectively and adjusting to new circumstances or environments is particularly crucial — and challenging. It’s important to note that alignment does not mean pressuring others to think and behave the same way we do, or becoming someone we are not in order to fit in. Instead, it involves cultivating the agility and openness to embrace, foster and leverage diversity.
Hortense le Gentil is a Marshall Goldsmith #MG100 Certified global leadership coach and author of the book, Aligned: Connecting Your True Self with the Leader You’re Meant to Be. She works with decision-makers in the business world, including many C-suite executives from Fortune 500 companies, supporting them in their development and leadership through aligning their personal values with their professional activities.
A conversation about DEI and race
by Joanna C. de’Shay
The idea of having an uncomfortable conversation about race or racism is right up there with getting those wisdom teeth pulled that many people dread having done but know is essential to having and maintaining good oral health. No one likes or even wants to do it, but everyone knows that, at some point in life, they will have to be brave enough and strong enough to just get it done. What people are observing all around them today are those types of opportunities to bravely face the ugly and painful truth about the racism, unconscious bias and microaggressions that are prevalent in their communities, places of worship and workplace.
Joanna C. de’Shay is the executive director of Diversity Leadership Alliance. The epitome of a disruptor who designed an intentional life filled with success on her terms, de’Shay is a change agent who left a corporate career of more than 15 years to start her own clothing label and serve her community. This mother of two is determined to change this world into a more tolerant and inclusive place.
Mitigating their impact, organizations need first to recognize them
by Dr. Joel Martin
Microaggressions are communications that are conscious and intentional, unconscious, and/or intended to be complimentary. Whether intentional or unintentional, conscious or unconscious, microaggressions are negatively inflicted upon a group of people due to their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or culture. Microaggressions are a form of discrimination. They are rooted in stereotypical thinking, prejudices and biases.
Joel (JP) Martin, Ph.D., is president of Triad West, Inc. and founder of Positively Powerful™ Programs. Dr. Martin is a communications specialist who designs and implements diversity, equity and inclusion strategic solutions based upon researched needs analysis and best-practice programs of vision alignment and transformational leadership development.
Actions speak louder than words where it comes to diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace
by Saray Lopez, Dr. Christina Neider and Tondra Richardson
As calls for social reform persist, people continue to look to leaders to champion a more diverse, inclusive and equitable society. A critical first step is to create safe spaces for conversations to promote an overall understanding of the impacts and outcomes of systemic inequity. But it’s time to move beyond this. It’s time to implement solutions.
Saray Lopez is the director of Educational Equity at University of Phoenix, where she brings her experience in building and designing competency-based education programs in a private liberal arts college and a community college setting. She has an MBA and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change. Her community involvement includes serving on the Arizona Multicultural Education Conference Committee.
Christina Neider, Ed.D., is dean for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Phoenix, where she is responsible for overall leadership and oversight of strategy, operations and academic functions within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and leads the development and implementation of the college’s strategic plan.
Tondra Richardson is the director of Student Diversity & Inclusion within the Office of Educational Equity at University of Phoenix. She holds a Master of Business Administration specialized in Human Resource Management. With numerous certifications in Diversity & Inclusion, she sits on the Education Committee for the Diversity Leadership Alliance and Arizona Multicultural Education Conference Committee.