Archive for the "Inclusion and Belonging" Category

3 Important Questions for International Women’s Day

by Lynette Silva

Recognize This! – A day doesn’t accomplish much. But a movement can. Be inspired this International Women’s Day.

It’s International Women’s Day. That immediately raises three questions.

  1. Why do women get a day and men don’t? (Men do – it’s in November.)
  2. What will a day accomplish? (A single day won’t accomplish much. But the attention that a single day can bring to an important discussion can accomplish quite a lot over time.)
  3. Why is this even important?

That last question takes a bit more time to answer. I think this video answers it best. Out of the mouths of babes, the video shows a Norwegian child social experiment and the gender pay gap. I couldn’t include the video directly here, so take 2 minutes and click through. It’s well worth it.

Video Still

For those who prefer a quick summary, children paired up in boy/girl teams are asked to complete a simple task together. They then receive their reward. As you can see in the bottom right in the image above, the rewards are very unfair and skewed in the boys’ favor.

The children’s reactions are priceless. The girls are shocked when told the reason for the disparity, for the girls receiving far less, is precisely because they are girls. Equally telling, the boys are visibly uncomfortable, confused, and horrified.

When questioned about how they feel about the experiment, two of my favorite comments are:

  • “She was just as good as me, so we should get the same reward.”
  • “It’s just wrong. Girls aren’t worth less than boys.”

When did we lose sight of this basic truth? When did we become inured to the reality (and real, life-changing impacts) of pay inequality? Why do we continue to accept the excuse that, though a woman may have left the job market for a period of time to birth or raise children, upon return to work, it’s OK to pay her less for the same work as a man in the same role?

As the statement at the end of the video clip says:

“Unequal pay is unacceptable in the eyes of children. Why should we accept this as adults? Women working in the financial sector earn on average 20 percent less than men.”

Of course, there are many more aspects to be considered on International Women’s Day including #MeToo, opportunity, safety, and much more. Join us at WorkHuman April 2-5 in Austin, Texas, where we will dive much more deeply into these topics as well as others that make work more human.

“I don’t see color.” (Maybe you should.)

By Lynette Silva

Recognize This! – Inclusion welcomes all that makes another person fully themselves.

mohamed-nohassi-175530I am deeply proud of my company and our leaders for the stand we have taken for greater diversity, inclusion and belonging – both in our own organization and through the WorkHuman movement. This isn’t about political correctness. This is about creating safe workspaces for people to bring their whole human selves to work, in all of their passionate, creative and sometimes messy human glory.

That said, in the interest of being inclusive, I acknowledge tone deafness at times. How often have you heard the phrases “I don’t see race.” or “I don’t see gender.” This misses the point of inclusion and belonging. In saying “I don’t see an essential part of you” – whether that be your gender, your relationship preference, or the color of your skin – we are also choosing to deny a large part of what makes the other person essentially them.

Each of us is, yes, more than the color of our skin, or who we choose to love, or our gender, or our religion, or our ethnic background. Yet all of those elements are what make me unequivocally me.

See me for who I am and all that I am.

That’s what makes social recognition perceived through the WorkHuman lens so powerful – it’s about recognizing the person for what they do and for who they are. It’s acknowledging that you – uniquely, specifically, beautifully you – and your talents, skills and perspectives that arise from all that it means to be fully you – are what enable you to make important contributions and achieve results for organization success. It’s about recognizing and appreciating the whole human. It’s about truly seeing the entire person in all their humanity.

As Verna Myers said beautifully, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” But how do you do that? She’s also explained, embracing inclusion requires “the institution’s ability to fully integrate its understanding of and appreciation for the diverse cultures and backgrounds of its employees.”

True inclusion sees, welcomes and respects everything that makes each of us, well, us. And when I’m seen for who I am, in all my facets, and welcomed anyway, that’s how I know I belong.

What makes you uniquely you? How do you seek to understand others in their fully unique humanity?

(Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash)